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About _Stigwig

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    John Alexander
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  1. TO MY BROTHER Joey the Pretender’s army cornered and butchered during the Siege of Helena, c.1716 “They say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but not when your soldiery are solely comprised of scribes” - Charles Elliot to Francis the Unfortunate before his execution in 1666. Dearest brother, Alexander, who takes the name of our own shared father. I write to you with a please and request which you should not find too onerous, a request agreed upon by all the signatories underneath this letter I have penned. It has come to the attention of the assembled patriarchs of the houses of Dragonsblood that in the list of titles your courtiers attribute to you in the various letters published under your seal you list the title of King in Renatus. Knowing you to be, by the letters I have shared with my father over the years, to be a loyal, well-intentioned, kind-hearted and intelligent young boy I am sure that I do not need to bring attention to the fact that the titles of Renatus were dissolved by the late Godfrey Remus and not claimed by your predecessors as Emperor following his reign. I hope that its inclusion is merely an oversight by an overzealous courtier who desires to see your prestige grow and is not aware of the history of such a particular title. As veterans, and descendants of veterans, of the various Renatian conflicts, not least the painful and destructive War of the Two Emperors which divided this realm for so long, we have no desire to see the Renatian title resurrected. It was a title for a militant, war-like Kingdom. To adopt it is to encourage claimants and a legacy of destruction, and to insult the memory of both our dearest cousin Godfrey and the founders of the great nation who desired to dissolve it. We therefore forward our humble request: recognise the dissolution of the title and instruct your courtiers to remove it from your Imperial signature. HIS GRACE, John Alexander Alstion, Patriarch of the House of Alstion HIS MAJESTY, Tibor I, Patriarch of the House of Tiborovic HIS LORDSHIP, Persus Helane, Patriarch of the House of Helane HIS LORDSHIP, Lucian Renault, Patriarch of House Renault HIS LORDSHIP, Paul John Victor Varoche, Patriarch of House Varoche HER LADYSHIP, Laurentina Julia Cascadia, Matriarch of House Cascadia SIR, Titus Tiber, Patriarch of the House of Tiber
  2. LIFE WITHOUT LOVE Sunlight dances on her face. She turns to look at him, smile radiant and full of joy. It lights up the world. His world. All worlds. It dazzles and blinds, perfect white teeth each beaming with perfect wholesome love. Her cheeks are rosy and gently coloured, her lips pressed together with the gentlest of huffs. Around her hang the dark curls which define the girl, free of any binding. They hang wild, too long for her. He refuses to cut them, loving the beauty and joy and freedom of her unravelled. He looks back at her, sitting so close and yet - too him - too far away, and his heart melts and breaks in two. She turns, and the moment breaks. It shatters in his mind like a glass pane dropped from the heights of the tower in which he dreams fitfully. Light breaks from it as it turns a thousand times over, each memory new and beautiful. She breathes, smiles, offers forth her childish laugh. In the distance he hears a bird calling. Two birds, together now. They sing a beautiful song. Slowly, gently, his sleep calms, and the moment is whole again. He watches his daughter as she dances in the pure blue river. It is the most beautiful river man has ever seen. It is azure, a deep blue so unlike the greeny depths under which the ocean’s dragons hide their prey. It is bright and shining, like an uncut diamond which blinds a lesser man, and as she dances and bounces droplets fly upwards. Droplets that catch the light, not of the sun which burns above, but instead the light of her simple joy. In this moment she is his without worry, without fear, without the danger of the men who hate and burn and cry with joy when they kill. He knows, in the depths of his heart, that he is one of them yet here with her he is free. Here he remembers the choice he could have made. Dark-haired boys riding across the plains, whooping to each other with the joy of the race. Falcons soaring in the sky above the dark towers. Frost in the morning, burning and beautiful, soft ice beneath his touch. Here, deep within his memories, he wonders why he ever turned away. One life, his only life, his only chance at feeling and being and loving and joy. One life wasted. Wasted on death and murder. His head turns, grey eyes like polished glass which reflects the gentle clouds rolling over on a summer’s night. He looks at the girl as she leaps and giggles. Her laugh breaks within him, tearing apart his insides, and he weeps to have her here before him. She turns, slowly, head titled and curious. She does not know this pain. She cannot know this pain, and yet she reaches out her hand all the same. The water stills, ebbing away about her ankles. Her dress is marred, perhaps forever. It is sodden and worn, purple bleeding out and grit clinging to her stockings. She reaches out a hand, stumbling forwards, and brushes at his burning cheeks. He shakes - turning in his fitful screaming terrible sleep - and burns again at her touch. Tears pour again and again, unstopping, like a waterfall which breaks its banks and brings down ruin unheard of. “Papa?” She whispers, the song of her words the most perfect melody which he has ever heard. It wells up again within him. It is sorrow enough to shake mountains, sorrow enough to break the world upon its axis. Yet it is joy at the same time. Her voice alone brings him heady joy, silencing his pain. She whispers to him and it is the most merciful thing he has ever heard in his short, hate filled life. “Hush, Adeline.” He murmurs in response, choking back on his tears. “We will be fine.” It is night in Helena. It is not the gentle night of summer which lulls in the breeze and whispers him to sleep, promising peace and safety in the palace rooms. It is not the warm, suffocating night of winter which forces sleep and safety in its own anger and warmth. It is night. Night as God imagined it. Night as the artists picture it. It is the night which breathes and hungers on its own, without a thought for others. The night which hides murder and robbery and the soft call of the wolf which hungers for the blood of its own pack. It is night, and it terrifies him. He sits in a chair which he has never sat in before. It is new to him. It smells clean and new. It smells dirty and it reeks of the blood of men. He sits curled in on himself, clutching at his own sides. Before him the fire crackles. Logs sit upon another, precarious, stacked with no care for safety. The fire roars or burns. It fills the room - warm and stuffy. The dark-haired man tugs at his cloak, tugs at his neck and nape and stops himself from choking as the smoke drifts upwards and upwards. He leans forwards, sweat gleaming on his forehead. It sparkles and glitters. He thinks of rivers, flying water, and silent tears begin to fall once more. In the red-hot fire he sees himself. Dark hair, curling at the side and matted with sweat. Soft facial hair, covering cracked lips. His coat is black. Blacker than the night that surrounds him, and within it he sweats. On it lays a scarf of august purple. Purple he has never deserved. Last of all, as he looks within the burning crackling screaming logs, he sees his eyes. They are cold and grey. Grey like polished glass reflecting nothing but pain and the screams of the trapped man, marked for death. He draws back, slowly, as breath rattles within his chest. His eyes flickered close. The scream dies in his throat, settles again like a serpent in his lungs. It laughs at him. They all do. He sits as the fire grows and leaps and rises and dies. He sits as the night fades, the darkness fading and bleeding across the sky. There in the distance is orange. It is the burnt orange of the ochre rooves he saw once. It is the burning orange of the world being born. Life emerges. He breathes in fitfully, starting awake. The fire is dead. Embers dance in the grate as he kicks at the bone-white ash. He laughs, for he has never seen a bone as white as this. Only one bloody and wrenched from a man’s body. Bloody as she must have been. He forces himself from the chair, throwing off the sweat-damp coat, and breathes in and out. In and out. It rushes in, yet fades so quickly. The night has faded, and he lives still. It is a small mercy, to see Julia’s face again. He must. It is the fire which drives his whole being, the reason he lives. It is what Adeline would have wanted of him. The courtyard is full of life. John revels in it. Grooms run to and forth, dancing between armed men. Two soldiers stand at the gates, polished helmets reflecting the midday sun, clutching freshly forged swords which rest firmly in their hands. Their glances to each other speak their own language - much of the guard may be green and piss themselves at the first word of the enemy but these two have seen blood before. Half a dozen horses stand in the middle of the yard, majestic and glorious. They are kings amongst their kind, pawing at the dirt and shaking their muzzles. One accepts, magnanimously, a carrot from a young noble-boy and chews at it for a moment. Their enormous eyes gaze out across the courtyard, drinking in the scene of soldiers returning. Atop the lead mount sits a young man, imperious in his own right. Gold wraps about his forehead, the thinnest of circlets. It speaks of power unrecognised, the natural nobility of a man whose very tone carries forth the demand that his words be obeyed. He wars the same clothes as his father, luxurious purples and the darkest of blacks. He is, even if the word exists no longer, a Horen. Steel hangs at his side, naked and exposed to the air, yet if anything it detracts from the imperial image. An Emperor does not need a sword to command men; only his words. John beams at the sight, an easy expression which dominates his face. Pride flows through him at the sight of his son so dominant. Even if they hold only a city, and the Sarkozics menace their very borders, he has achieved so much. Here Charles is easy in the world, at peace with destiny. Blonde and frail, a girl clings to his left leg. He leans down and kisses her gentle cheeks, whispering peace to her worried form. She rests, deflates, and embraces him gently. Abroad, his wife and daughter are safe in Pronce. The man’s mind wanders, as it has done of late. He thinks not of his father, who his sons resemble most closely, but instead of Charles. It was he who he had looked up to as a child - he who had inspired his loyalty. It was to Charles, not his own father Alexander, who his upturned eyes had sworn their undying service to one dark winter night. It was Charles whose instructions he had laboured under against the Marnanites, it was on his words that he had sailed back to this realm to help depose Antonius. This was a scene he could be proud of - his descendants dominant, bestriding the world and judging in matters of life and death. Noise disturbs his revelry. Foul, hateful noise. It breaks through to him, bursting aside his memory of nights long past. His smile fades, turns into the troubled scowl which he wears so often. Hoofbeats sound close by, thundering in his ears, as a boy on a worn roan bursts into the compound. Mud flies into the air, spattering the bottom of Charles’ coat. An errant glob lands on John’s cheek, stinging. He sees none of this. He does not see the messenger boy, his tattered and worn leathers and chapped lips. He does not see the half-dead beast which breathes in and out desperately. He sees only the message clasped in the boy’s forefingers. Of that truly, he sees only one thing. The seal. Her seal. Dragons in flight, slaying and loving. He sees Adeline’s seal and bursts into action, snatching at the letter. Numb fingers brush against the wax once. Twice. Three times. He curses and it snaps, unravelling all at once. He reads, heavy brow furrowed. Time fades as he stares open-mouthed, heart not bursting but simply stopping. He does not feel. He cannot feel.He cannot feel when another takes the letter. He cannot feel the passing of the hours, the rough hands taking him to a seat inside the palace. He cannot feel the dying of the sun as life flees the tempestuous, accursed world. He cannot feel the onset of the night, nor the coat which sticks to his back. He cannot feel his own life, nor the love which had made it whole. He feels nothing but numb, feels only pain. What, after all, is life without love? Smoke billowed through the room. It obscured the precious light, misting his way. It filled his throat and he choked upon the bitter smoke, the murdering smoke. He eats on it, barking as he pushes his way through the room. Bitter steel rests in his right hand, long and lithe. The blade is chipped two-thirds up and the stink of blood wafts towards him. He closes his eyes, wading through the cloying swamp. His boot thuds against something, he does not want to know what thing it is, and he forces himself onwards. Into death. His eyes awake, bright light stinging. Tears stain his cheeks. Two men stand before him, stretching from roof to the floor. They wear the bright colours of the Marnan host, swords ready and thirsty. One laughs a horrible awful demon’s laugh, recognising the would-be King. John slows and halts, breath like a lead weight on his tongue. Fear settles in upon his heart and his hand, staying his action. One man stomps closer, footsteps shaking the world about the trio. The fear tears apart his insides, ripping at his heart and lungs and throat. It races up his throat, ready to take wordless form. It is a fear he has always felt. Always known. It is his closest friend, his only ally. It is the fear which awoke in him the first time he ever raised a stick in the halls of his father’s home; the fear of a boy who has never known how to kill. It is the fear which belongs to a small boy, beaten for his name by bigger ones. It is fear he cannot speak of. It is the fear which has haunted his dreams since he arrived at city. Fear which has grown every day, as the enemy host has grown. The fear of death and feeling death. Fear of killing and being killed. It is - he sees now as he looks between the men - the fear of failure. It is the fear of failing the girl he loves. The child he has always sworn to defend. Not the fear of being slain and the blood leaving his worthless body behind, but the fear of what it might mean for Adeline. He has known fear all his life, but not this fear. Not fear of this kind. Not this magnitude. It was fear he could finally embrace. Fear worth fearing. It settled over his body like a glove, scream dying from his throat. It was fear for the beacon which blazed brightest in his life, fear for the thing which made his dreams worth living for. Worth dying for. The men were close now. He could feel their warm breath on his skin as he looked up at the pair. Smell the boiled leather and scent of blood and iron, see the sword which inched forwards. He slid backwards, wraith-like, bringing up his own blade to brush aside the footman’s. He breathed in the scent of a burning world. The palace burned as sparks flew between the swords, fire tickling along the beams above them. Blood and rotting flesh filled his nostrils and he laughed. John looked forwards, between the pair. His eyes were like polished glass, reflecting nothing but the grey glimmer of a mad man. He laughed. So loud it shook the walls. So gently it barely brushed the leaves in the trees outside the corridor. The laughter peeled forth along with the man. Dancing, he brushed aside one blade and then another, carried along by the breeze flowing through the corridor. He dug forwards, feeding the fire within him. Fear. Pride. Ambition. Lust. Avarice. Fear. He fed them one by one into the furnace. There, in the corridors of a burning world, he awoke. His blade flashed and a man fell, hamstrung and bleeding. Unable to move. His blade flashed and the next man died, choking in the dust upon his own blood. He laughed, blood dripping from a cut on his cheek. It mixed with the sweat on his upper lip, stinging. Burning. Still he sang and wept, heart leaping. He burst into the sunlight, kicking away the body of a knight who had come to close. Torn steel burst open before his bloody heart. He sang with joy, laughing and weeping all at once. This - he knew - was what it felt to be a dragon. The feeling of dominance and power, of finally feeling strong on a battlefield. Of being able to kill. Yet that was not why he did it. He did all of it for her. Once, he had sung to Adeline as he balanced her on his knee - soothing her tears and bringing laughter to her eyes. Now he killed for her as she watched from above, a trembling girl full of power and promise. To think of Vivienne now was to compare a dying candle to the bonfire which is at its most incandescent. She was all things Adeline was not, all things worse. Blonde where she was brunette. Harsh where she was forgiving. Hating where she was loving. Absent where she was the centre of his world. Perhaps he had grown to live with her, but only because she had granted him the gift which made his life complete. He still lived the day. Even now, even as all he could think of was the dream which he had lived in and its shattering. Broken like glass. Even through eyes clouded by pain, blinking back tears, he could see the day. He was a boy. Terrified, alone. One figure on the pulpit, a figure made for his forefather’s ambition. He could feel himself shaking. Silence reigned. Silence of anticipation, silence before the great wellspring of ambition. Not pure silence - not a silence of nothingness - but rather the silence of hush and stilled tongues, slowly waiting for what was assuredly to come. Then, the doors swang open. He did not look back, only forwards. He must do as he was told. The seconds draw into a long minute. The congregation hums gently, a quiet murmur. Too quiet. He shuddered again, eyes drawn to the long ceiling and intricate glass windows. Finally she arrives. His bride. His wife to be. The women he has been taught he will love. Must love. He turned to look at her, lips trembling. Quaking. She was blonde and perfect. Her hair shone like gold. Queen. Her face sang of a thousand ancient promises. He looked for her eyes, almost-blue eyes. They shone under the bright lights. Yet they did not shine for him. They shone past him. He looked over his shoulder, quicker than a serpent. Forbidden look. There he saw all he needed to see. She gazed past him, gazed at Hadrian. Gazed at the boy the courtiers whispered she should have married. Should have loved. He shook then, not with anticipation. Not with nerves. He shook then with rage, barely suppressed. He shook then with hatred boiling under his skin, with a dragon’s fire burning in his chest. He shook, and stilled himself. Then, slowly, turning to face the altar, he swore to never forgive her. Even now he had not. Even when he held her blonde tresses in his fingers and whispered that he loved her. Even when he looked her in the eyes, almost-green now, and whispered that he loved her, in the blackest corner of his heart he wept and laughed and tore his heart asunder. Even then, he had lied. Even now he lied, and now he could not tell her. Could not apologise. It was the blackest part of the night when John left his quarters. He pulled the cloak over his head and about his body, tattered green glancing off the torchlight which burned in the long, winding, bloody hallways. It was the night which had its own life, the night which hid murderers. Tonight that night hid him. His cheeks shone red as he reached the stables, trudging through mud and ****. He threw a saddle over the nearest horse, jumping up into its saddle and turning the beast in a round circle. This, at least, he knew. This he could do. There was nothing left for him in this palace which his son inhabited. He could be Prince now. John did not need it, did not want it. The beast trotted its way out of the palace, John on top. All he had left to him for now was memories. Memories that would haunt him. The light shone. It filled the room, chasing away the dark and filling every nook. It drove back the curtains, sweeping along under the stairs. It burnt through the throne-room, chasing away the rats and rodents which inhabited the broken palace. Rock had burnt through the wall - how did rock burn? - and broken asunder the room. It was not a palace but a warzone. He knelt before the light. It filled his vision, even as he looked down, helmet trapping him. Trapped. His ears rang, buzzing, haunted by the battle which had faded. Blood crusted his glove. Cloying, burning through his skin. Blood he could not brush off. Blood he could never lose. It clung to his fingers, sticky and disgusting. He looked up at the light. Infinite light. Weary light. Joyous. Judging. Forgiving. Adeline smiled, a smile of power and joy and victory. He smiled too, weary and happy. She lived. She lived. “Papa?” She whispered, and his heart burst into song. “Papa?” She whispered, and his heart broke again. He clung to the image of her, watched her slip like sand through his fingers. Watched her break like glass, over and over again. Watched the boy hand him the letter. Feel the letter, the parchment. Even now he could smell the death. Even now he could smell the azure river, the floating flowers. Hear the joy in her laugh and see the rose in her cheeks. Even now he found rest. What is life without love? Living like a puppet with its strings cut- like a man with no heart? It was, he supposed, glancing across the Silversea at the burning stars in the depths of night, a life where he remembered love.
  3. _Stigwig

    The Response

    TrendE’s covered in more than enough detail why this particular blacklist is almost basically false, but it’s worth remembering that this isn’t the first time blacklists have been handed out and GMs have either lied/refused to show evidence for claims made. Beyond the fact that there was no solid evidence of us raiding (we rode up to the gates and rode away), my blacklist cites “copy and pasted emote” when I did not emote at all in the situation and the GM failed to procure any logs to say I did. Despite pointing this out there was no correction and the GM refused to remove this point from my blacklist. Whether through ignorance or a wilful desire to remove certain player’s ability to engage in conflict RP, this is not the first time players have been punished for actions they did not commit.
  4. BENEATH NORTHERN PINES The battle against marauding Hansetic forces on the banks of the Silversea had been quite unlikely the desperate defence of Helena; a merciless rout as opposed to an agonised and hard-won defence. There had been almost no losses amongst the armies which had amassed under the Renatian banner - no reason to turn back and pause. Despite the poor quality of the forces which had opposed them - the army had been reduced to nothing but peasant conscripts in their rear ranks - there could be no rest. The Renatians would honour the most grievous loss of the war yet, the death of their honoured Siegemaster and the son of Aurelius Tiberius Horen, through redoubling their efforts. As sunlight broke through the trees which arched over the small, rutted paths along which siege weaponry trundled and painted the grass in a beautiful orange they mourned his name. They were one step closer to Reza. Even if the enemy forced deigned to give battle again, rather than ceding the field and retreating to their walls, they would be defeated and forced backwards once more. There would be a new King of Hanseti, and an end to the Marian regime which had enabled the Nenzing Proclamation. Now, with the false and rotting edifice of ‘Oren’ ripped away, the loyal soldiers of Godfrey III would be able to strike down the true adder which had plotted against them all this time. WARCLAIM Type of War & CBs (if applicable) Rebellion, Claimant, Rivalry, Demands, Border Friction (Renatus>Haense), Aiding an Enemy (Fenn), Denouncement, Attack on Leadership (Defy+Gusano+Ajax+Capace) with a Conquest War Goal Attackers Imperium Renatus & Allies Defenders Haense & Allies Wargoals: Restoration of the Empire, Control over the rebelling territory of Haense Location & Proposed Time Saturday 3PM EST / 8PM GMT - 15th of June Within this area, to be discussed in warchat Contact Information vegetarianism#8288 / Gus#6475
  5. THE BATTLE OF THE SILVERSEA The men of Renatus had been ready for this battle for over a year, now. Even after the pathetic attempts of Joey the Pretender and his former Marian hosts to avoid the repercussions of rebellion by lying about their service to a pretender, the men of the Empire stayed firm. They had marched for long hours, the assorted soldiers of the alliance camped outside the Elven city which lay close to the coast. As the burning sun rose over the horizon, a glimmer of dawn brushing over the pine forest which hid the approaching troop’s advance. Opposite them stood a far smaller, quivering force. The assorted bandits who had allied themselves with the Hanseti rebels and the final remnants of the Kingdom stood opposite them - a number barely a third of their size. At first sight of the Haensetic soldiers Tiberius Horen spun his left hand on his wheel and raised his sword with vigour. He rode down the hill letting out a great war cry before crashing into the water. The famed Renatian Siegemaster’s wheelchair accelerated with such great speed that it zoomed across the water before crashing into many Haensetic boats. All that remains of Tiberius ‘Siegmaster’ Horen As the Renatian legions watched the awe-inspiring sight of their former siegemaster speed on into the waiting enemy forces, cutting through a swathe of unwashed peasants, they let out an enormous cheer. Screaming out the name of Tiberius Horen they charged, cutting through the enemies which remained with terrifying ease. As the desperate remnants of the enemy soldiery attempted to flee into the nearby seas they faltered, boats failing to move and coming apart under the pressure of the thousands of soldiers pursuing them. Some men were dragged down by their armour, others picked out by the eagle-eyed archers which Field Marshal Hannibal Horen had positioned further back. Some - it was whispered about after the battle - were dragged down by the swimming Tiberius Horen… As the battle finished and the brave soldiers of the Empire took pause for a moment to lick their wounds and regroup back upon the shore they were assaulted from behind by a terrifying sight. Held in reserve poured out more unarmoured peasantry, streaming forwards from the rearguard. The mass group of unwashed conscripts poured on and on, seemingly devoid of fear, to die upon the blades of the waiting soldiers. With victory finally achieved and the carrion crows picking apart the corpses which made a new forest floor by the shores of the Silversea, the soldiers of Renatus soldiered onwards. Reza would fall and the false-King would be defeated, much as his soldiers had been wiped out with ease. A painting of the battle, Reiver bandits being butchered in the water by Renatian soldiers The late Tiberius Horen as he prepared for battle.
  6. THE PRIVY COUNCIL OF THE HOLY ORENIAN EMPIRE The Privy Council of the Holy Orenian Empire serves first and foremost to aid and advise the Emperor on all issues, sitting to offer him aid on any issues he requires to consult them on. Beyond this the Council serves as a body with power in its each right; each member holds their own set of administrative powers and duties with which they aim to aid the Crown in furthering the governance of the Empire. The matter of who sits upon the Privy Council is the decision of the Emperor himself, as is the definition of the exact powers of each individual role. The Privy Council also possesses, beyond the individual powers of each role, a collective responsibility and set of duties which it may sometimes have to exercise without the presence of the Emperor. In the case of the death of an Emperor without a clear line of succession it is the role of the Privy Council to oversee a smooth inheritance, while the Council also has power in times of uncertainty surrounding the Monarch’s status to govern the Realm. THE EMPEROR-IN-COUNCIL The Emperor-in-Council has ultimate control over the Privy Council in determining both its nature, powers, and occupants. Taking the role of Emperor-in-Council to lead the Council when he attends its sessions, he also possesses the power to act beyond its confines whenever he deems it necessary. The current Emperor is His Imperial Majesty, Godfrey II of the House of Cascadia, Emperor of the Holy Orenian Empire, King of Cascadia, Marna, Mardon, Salvus, Seventis, Savoy, Courland and Santegia, Duke of the Crownlands, Avar, and Frederica, Count of Helena, Alamar, Frederica, Thelen, Lorath, and Cantal, Baron of Darkwood, Gravelhold, Fidei Defensor, Protector of the Heartlanders, Highlanders, Farfolk, etcetera. THE CROWN PRINCE The Crown Prince is the chosen heir of the Emperor, sitting in concert with His Imperial Majesty to serve the Realm. Although not endowed with any particular duties or responsibilities he may be assigned certain duties by the Emperor. By sitting with the Council the Crown Prince aims to gain valuable administrative experience and is able to assist any other member if they require aid. The current Crown Prince is His Imperial Highness, Achilius of the House of Cascadia, Duke of Aenus. THE ARCHCHANCELLOR The Imperial Archchancellor is marked by the Signet of St. Wilfriche. They hold penultimate authority within the Privy Council and, in lieu of the presence of the Emperor, are empowered to oversee sessions of the Council. He is charged to preserve the Crown by any means and serves as chief amongst ministers, empowered to undertake diplomacy on behalf of the Imperium. The current Archchancellor is His Imperial Highness, Romulus of the House of Cascadia, Archchancellor of the Holy Orenian and Imperial Crown of the Exalted Godfrey, Duke of Cascadia. THE GRAND KNIGHT The Grand Knight is marked with the Signet of St. Lothar. They are charged with overseeing the Order of the Red Dragon and the Imperial Knights, with arranging the protection of the Imperial Family and organizing the knighting ceremonies of the realm. The current Grand Knight is His Imperial Excellency, Ser Uthred of the House of Gromach, Grand Knight of the Holy Orenian and Imperial Crown of Exalted Godfrey, Baron of Herborn, Ordermaster of the Imperial Order of the Red Dragon. THE GRAND MARSHAL The Grand Marshal is marked by the Signet of St. Edmond. They are charged with overseeing the Imperial army and its fortifications, with levying and otherwise drafting the peasantry of the realm in times of war, with ensuring the ample stocking of the Imperial armories, and with the training of new officers within the Empire. The current Grand Marshal is Her Imperial Excellency, Illythia Rose of the House of Arator-Elverhilin, Grand Marshal of the Holy Orenian and Imperial Crown of Exalted Godfrey, Baronet of Whitepeak, Matriarch of Clan Arator and Draughtswoman of Renatus. THE IMPERIAL VICEROY The Imperial Viceroy is marked by the Signet of Saint Lucien. He is charged with overseeing and ensuring the fealty of the Imperial provinces and overseas territories of the realm and with conducting general matters of trade and other diplomacy with elven states. The current Imperial Viceroy is His Imperial Excellency, Julius of the House of Staunton, Imperial Viceroy of the Holy Orenian and Imperial Crown of Exalted Godfrey, Prince of Courland. THE LORD JUSTICIAR The Lord Justiciar is marked by the Signet of Saint Daniel. He is charged to update and codify Imperial law and oversee Imperial courts, delivering just judgement to those convicted of capital offences, to bring those of both noble and common birth to trial for their crimes, and to establish the necessary institutions as to promote the continued well-being of the Crownlands. The current Lord Justiciar is His Imperial Excellency, William of the House of Alstion, Lord Justiciar of the Holy Orenian and Imperial Crown of Exalted Godfrey, Count-Palatine of Jrent, Hero of Renatus. THE LORD PRIVY SEAL The Lord Privy Seal is marked by the Signet of St. Adrian. He is charged to keep the monarch’s wax seal and draft his legislation, and to maintain the traditions and culture of the Empire through the publishing and keeping of both Imperial documentation and cultural materials. The current Lord Privy Seal is His Imperial Highness, John Alexander of the House of Alstion, Prince of Alstion, Duke of Balemena and Alba, Lord Privy Seal of the Holy Orenian and Imperial Crown of Exalted Godfrey. THE MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR The Minister of the Interior is marked by the Signet of St. Godwein. He is charged to act as chief herald and keeper of the Crownlands, managing the palace and Imperial Household. He has furthermore the ability to staff the Imperial Household as he sees fit, to uphold etiquette within the Imperial courts, to hold hunts, festivals, tourneys, and other events throughout the Crownlands, the management of civil and construction projects of the Crownlands and to act as its Seneschal, and to manage the budget and books of the Imperial Crown. The current Minister of the Interior is His Imperial Excellency, Charles-Edmond Talraen, Minister of the Interior of the Holy Orenian and Imperial Crown of Exalted Godfrey, Baron and Lord Protector of Rennes. THE MINISTER OF TRUTH The Minister of Truth is marked by the Signet of St. Theodosius. He is charged to act as keeper of the history, reputation and prestige of the Empire, managing the imperial history book and keeping the imperial relics. He also has the ability to censure, sanction, punish and arrest whoever insults, defames or slanders the Empire and its institutions, to supervise the content of the events and press of the Empire, and to appoint Imperial Inspectors as he sees fit. The current Minister of Truth is His Imperial Excellency, Alexander II of the House of Merentel, Minister of Truth of the Holy Orenian and Imperial Crown of Exalted Godfrey, Count of Vintas and Baron of Hallowfell. THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS The Minister of Foreign Affairs is marked by the Signet of St. Johannes. They are charged with the maintenance and creation of foreign alliances, the oversight of the Empire’s diplomatic corps and the continued support of any foreign treaties. The Minister is empowered to appoint, with approval, diplomats and ambassadors, though not with plenipotentiary power. The current Minister of Foreign Affairs is Her Imperial Highness, Anabel Lisette of the House of Cascadia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Holy Orenian and Imperial Crown of Exalted Godfrey, Empress-Mother of the Holy Orenian Empire, Princess Royal of Cyrilsburg, Duchess of Cascadia.
  7. John remained beside the pyre as the flames slowly died down, ceasing to lick at the fallen elf’s plate-clad corpse. The execution had troubled him, caused more by the ominous signs that accompanied Khaine’s passing than brief heartache he felt at the killing of a man. He would carry a sliver of fear with him for a long time. The death of an honourable opponent made him all the more melancholic as he trudged away from the scene, even if the Prince could not bring himself to regret his decision.
  8. Cousin, I receive, and appreciate, your missive. I much prefer this form of conflict - of legalese and written word - to the harsh twilight of battle. It seems, sadly, that in these dark times it is the latter which often emerges triumphant as the best resolution to the quarrels which occupy men. Let me first dispel the impression which hangs behind the entirety of your response - that I am somehow “bribed” by Renatus and a foreign agent whose will has been somehow subverted. This idea of Renatus as a foreign, oppressive and unknown agent lies behind the myths which sustain this entire conspiracy and rebellion. I serve the same Empire which my father and grandfather served nobly. I serve the same Empire which you, and your King, served for over thirty loyal years; a service which should be applauded for its devotion and strength. Renatus is no foreign imperial state but merely a renamed Empire of Man - a state which you owed ancient oaths to; oaths now broken. I see, regretfully, that despite your apparent willingness to engage with me as a man of character in peaceful, measured written words you have totally ignored the central tract of my essay. You turn to the erroneous ‘A Return to Dust’, published by Antonius, to justify the treasonous actions of the royals of Hanseti-Ruska. Yet the legitimacy of this document I have already discussed, and found seriously lacking. Let me repeat this simply and clearly in the perhaps forlorn hope that no more shall men be deceived as to the true nature of the events surrounding the Marnanite rebellion: No oaths were dissolved by Antonius - for he was not Emperor when he penned his missive. In response to his person being missing, presumed fallen, he was replaced by the common assent of the Privy Council and the peoples of Renatus by Godfrey III, the chosen heir - the Empire follows lateral succession after all. Following the ascension of Godfrey III to Emperor, when Antonius was stripped of power, he published his decree. This was a decree with no legal power, serving simply as a screen to excuse the oath-breaking of those varied signatories of the Nenzing Proclamation. The vassals of the Empire of Man owed loyalty and fealty to Godfrey III, therefore. Even when this Empire was renamed to the Imperium Renatum they still owed oaths, for no state had been dissolved and no ancient oaths allowed to fall - it was merely a change in name, designed to reflect the shattered state of Humanity. It was these ancient oaths, which you yourself acknowledge the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska swore by in 1678, which were shattered in a treasonous fashion by the proclamation of open rebellion against the Imperial Crown. I respect your openness and willing desire to engage in constructive dialogue. I welcome this from any of my people, and will meet safely with any who wish to speak face-to-face, yet I will always dispel false rumours designed to disguise treasonous activity which disrespects the Creator Himself. You are my cousin, and blood must always be treated with respect. I stand here, accused of avarice and raw ambition - lambasted for supposed lies. Yet it is I who stands true to ancient oaths, who stands by promises made in the presence of the Lord. It is the false Marius and his acolytes who attempt to obscure the truth and pretend that their treasonous activity is somehow justified, openly lying about the status of the late Antonius. I would rather face open traitors than the weasels who attempt to deceive Highlanders into believing that their open warfare is justified rather than an affront to their oaths and GOD given promises. John Alexander, Prince of Alstion
  9. John receives his father’s missive whilst overseeing work to repair the streets of Helena, offering a grim smile.
  10. This happened to me and Jungle_Asian last Friday.
  11. “There is no way our enemies will attain victory when they refuse to even sally forth to meet us any more!” Exclaims the Prince of Alstion.
  12. I’m the Prince of Alstion and heir to the line of John, you insufferable *****!
  13. THREE MORE GRIEVANCES It was just past dawn in Helena when the messenger-boy arrived, a scrawny lad who wove his way amongst the crowd to reach the centre of the city. Pressing forwards to the nearest soldier he could see - a tall, dark-haired man who stood conversing with the indomitable Ser Carlovac - he thrust the message into the Prince’s hands. With hard, grey eyes turned downwards John quickly skimmed over the proclamation before passing it over to the Knight, spitting out a glob of phlegm in disgust. “Copy up the signatories, boy.” John ordered, lips pursed and hands pressed together as he turned back to the messenger. “We have already executed the first, the false Count Conrad. Have the Legion know the other names, for they have openly pinned their names to rebellion.” Two days had passed before the crowd gathered once more at the guillotine, ushered to their places by the mournful tolling of bells. Two men were brought forth from the crowd: one, a tall and proud man shackled and forced forwards, the second an old patrician recognised by many in the crowd. With the slow clanking of irons and jeers of the crowd, the pair slowly ascended the platform. “Arthur de Falstaff, Marshall of the false-King. Edward Morris, Patrician of Ves and agent of the false-King. You stand accused of treason, having taken up arms against the Emperor Godfrey.” The older man was pushed forwards first, once-noble cape falling and catching upon the muddy floor. A moment’s pause - the high, gentle whistle of falling steel - and his head dropped forwards, bright red blood dribbling down onto the floor beneath. Arthur took his fate more manfully, features upturned in angry resistance. He stepped forwards, pride wrought upon every feature of the young soldier’s face, yet still suffered in turn. Another moment, and the life eeked out of his now-resting corpse, Ser Darius turning away from the fallen man. With a soft sigh John Alexander turned to the crowd. “Another signatory of the false Nenzing Proclamation lies dead, joining Conrad. The Marshal of these traitors lies dead. Our troops have slain Alfred, along with Charles Morris.” “Let these be the 87th, 88th, and 89th Grievances.”
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