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About BenevolentManacles

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  1. The aging Knight trails behind his younger fellows, the weight of his armor and his aching body from drink the previous night keeping him from his top condition. He had done it to himself, of course, as he always did, but it was embarrassing after such a long career of war and battle to be found at the end of the line. As the army comes to the front of the gates, he catches the main body of the army, grouping alongside them with shield in hand. His heavy breath, reeking of liquor, fills his helm noxiously. He pulls his visor up for a better view of the enemy as the Orenian soldiers group together for the assault, scouts dispatched by the General Elliot to survey the walls for weaknesses. Perhaps as soon as the scouts were dispatched, without word and warning, the arrows began flying, known only to John by the thud of one striking his shield off center. The Knight let a grin spread across his face, his vision clearing and his armor growing lighter as the familiar rush of battle returned to him. He was never a distinguished soldier in battle, but he knew how to fight with a group, and he had done so since he was a young boy nearly every year of his life. It was not long until the Emperor himself and his guard clashed against the enemy’s sally from the main gate, striking down the Orc who appeared to be the de facto leader of the ragtag bandits. The Emperor’s laughter resounded through the battlefield, and the men echo’d him, the humor infecting the entire ranks in the middle of pitched battle. Soon the entire formation was in uproarious laughter. John let himself laugh along, consumed by the charisma. It was not long before the scouts had returned, having noted a potential entrance to the fort that had been overlooked. John heard the General Elliot call the formation to move, and they circled the fort till the scout brought them to the tree which branches would allow the force entrance to the fort. The Knight sheathed his sword, clambering upon the tree with the assistance from his younger comrades. He gazed across the gap from the tree to the wall for a moment, before he felt the push of a man behind him. He had already hesitated too long, and he was forced to leap. With a heavy thud, his boots landed on the roof of one of the camp’s structures, safe from the short fall. The rest of the brigade followed quickly, bunching together behind cover. John closed his eyes, drawing his longsword again. He knew this moment a hundred times over, had lived it countless times. He adjusted his grip on his blade, and didn’t wait long. General called the charge, and John let out a blood curdling battlecry. As the force turned the corner, the enemy’s line buckled. A cascade of convicted Orenians, empowered by the presence of the Emperor himself, crashed against the line. On the left flank, John slammed his shield against a dwarven barbarian’s. They pushed against each other for a moment, but John was no stranger to fighting dwarves, and their low center of gravity. He relaxed his shield arm, stepping to the side to allow the dwarf’s pressure to propel the dwarf forward. The dwarf lost his balance, and while he scrambled to regain himself, John’s reeled his blade back, thrusting it at the dwarf’s upper spine. The weapon sank into the short creature with a grotesque gush of blood, splattering John’s armor. John ripped the weapon from the dwarf, which slumped over. John turned to see the enemy continue to break, and saw an elf dashing off toward the corner of the camp, attempting to outflank the Orenian left. He grinned at the elf, from behind his helm, and took a few steps forward, raising his shield and slamming his pommel on the front a few times with an aggressive stance. This got the elf’s attention, who backed itself into the corner, with nowhere to maneuver in the oncoming onslaught. John kept his eyes carefully on the elf as it raised its shield, preparing for the fight. John raised his sword arm into the sky, as if to strike the elf’s shield. The elf raised its shield, blocking its own line of sight. No doubt this was a novice. John roared at the elf, raising his right foot and giving the elf’s shield a powerful kick square in the center. The elf’s body slammed against the wall of the encampment, disorienting him. The elf dropped its sword, and quickly lunged its hand to grab the sword it had lost control of. Too late. John slammed his boot on the elf’s wrist, hearing it cry out in pain as its bones cracked under his weight. John threw his shield off his left arm, gripping the elf’s visor as it knelt, disoriented in agony. He ripped the elf’s helm off, tossing it aside, and swung his sword with great force for the elf’s neck. The elf made no sound as its head was cleaved from its body, rolling down the hill toward the cage that held the captives John and the others had come to free. John turned instantly to view the state of the rest of the battle, to see a quiet field with countless dead; and not one of them Orenian. The bandits had been butchered completely. The aging Knight knelt, wiping off his bloodied sword on the cloak of the dead elf, and sheathed his weapon. He returned to the company as they freed the captives, one of them an elven women, throat slit and bound. John grit his teeth with rage at the cowardice, to murder a woman captive. He unbound the dead elf, slashing its bindings with his dagger, and threw his own cloak over the corpse. He closed his eyes for a moment, letting out a deep breath as the end of the battle brought his age back to his body. The rush of battle seemed to be the only thing that kept him competent on the field. Perhaps this is how he would spend the next years of his life. Perhaps this made him feel more alive than any drink could. One thing was certain. These bandits were no match for the Imperium. To John, and the men of Oren, their deaths were a laughable waste of time.
  2. A missive is distributed about the city of Helena. With regard to Andrew Owyn d’Arkent; In my first year with my dear wife, Vespira, I wept, for no matter how hard we tried, we could not find her fertile. With every herbal remedy and blessing we could find, we sought to remedy this to no avail. Thus, I took it upon myself; I would hide Vespira away to feign her pregnancy, and adopt a babe as my firstborn, to ensure my legacy carried on at least in name. Of course, we have found since then that her womb is as fertile as can be, activated no doubt by our increased passion for each other. Yet it has become apparent my supposed firstborn son is naught but a vagabond who seeks to disparage my name, and has no sense of loyalty. Thus, I admit to the world my grave error, and beg GOD’s forgiveness and grace. Andrew Owyn was never named Andrew Owyn, but was instead born Roderick Pine, the child of a peasant family who could not afford to feed him. I name him disinherited by virtue of his lack of blood relation. GOD save the Emperor. His Excellency, Ser John d’Arkent, Baron of Selm
  3. “Only a coward kills himself,” John remarks to his wife between sips of ale.
  4. The Vice Chancellor sighs, slinking out the door to attend to matters diplomatic. Or to drink more.
  5. Reeking of liquor, but too far for anyone to smell, John speaks. “Honorable Senator May, let us not recuse a man for lacking the funds to provide for the infrastructure and military status of vassals whom have thus far been unreceptive to the idea of paying any form of taxation to the institution it requests such assistance from. Surely, if you wish to extend the generosity of the imperial treasury, you yourself have a plan to increase it’s size to suit such a large burden?” The Vice Chancellor offers a whimsical grin, as though to dismiss the idea altogether, “Or perhaps the Mister de Leumont can provide us a method by which we may ascertain this growth of imperial funding and it’s distribution?”
  6. The Vice Chancellor listens as the attendees speak, nodding a few times at each contribution. With no more words in the chamber, he bangs his gavel as a sign that he is calling a division. “Well, I think that’s long enough,” he states pensively. “We’ll now have a division on the confirmation of Veikko Harjalainen, Senator from Helena and Solicitor-General-designate, as Solicitor-General, entitled to sit upon the Council of State and with all of the privileges therein. I would also like to briefly welcome the Duke of Helena’s appointment for the seat formerly held by our emperor, Senator Desmond Sola.” After he calls the tally for a vote, a clerk tallies the ayes and the nos for confirmation. When the senators have finished casting their final votes, the same secretary brings John a roll of parchment which he squints in reading. In the process, he knocks a drop of the contents of his goblet onto the register, revealing that it is not water but whisky. “Ahem. Armas, Helvets, Rutledge, Sola, Harjalainen and Bowers in favour, May and Corbish against. The motion carries.” The Vice Chancellor bangs his gavel once more, “Honorable senators, you may know that my work as Vice Chancellor, regrettably for you all, extends beyond this chamber. With the accession of a new emperor to the throne, this work has increased ten-fold. Within the Edict of Establishment is retained a provision to elect a president pro tempore, or temporary president, from among the senators to serve as the presiding officer of this body in these very cases. As I cannot devote my full attention to my duties as presiding officer, I would like to nominate Frederick Armas, Senator from Kaedrin, for this role. To move promptly, I will now call a division.” The aging drunkard takes a sip of the liquor in his cup, gesturing for the clerk to first arrange a division for votes and then to get him some more whisky. When the senators have finished, John de Balain reads the names in favour of the proposal. “Order, order in the chamber. Armas, Helvets, Rutledge, May, Corbish, Sola, Harjalainen and Bowers in favour. The motion carries unanimously. Frederick Armas, Senator from Kaedrin, so long as he remains a senator, shall now serve as president pro tempore of the Senate until such time as he resigns, loses the confidence of the chamber, or the office of the Vice Chancellor returns to preside over it more actively.” With those forbearing words, the Vice Chancellor calls up the Senator from Kaedrin to the presiding officer’s desk to exchange the gavel and resume the session as president pro tempore.
  7. John recalls his tumultuous relationship with Adrian. Watching the man whom he had grown to care for like a brother die in a pool of his blood had upset the aging knight. He retreated from the room before hearing these final words, surely to be found in some garden with some drink, and very alone.
  8. John sighs upon the poem, squinting his eyes half pensively, and half in frustration. He recalls his father’s love for poetry. The now aging knight buries his face in his hands.
  9. The Vice Chancellor nods his head in appreciation as the Senators speak on the bill proposed. “If that will be all, we shall tally the vote,” he lets out a deep breath, reclining in his chair before addressing the Senators one at a time. The Vice Chancellor calls each senator one at a time, attaining ‘ayes’ from Senators Armas, Rutledge, Sigismundic, May, and Corbish. Upon attaining Senator Corbish’s assent, the Vice Chancellor raises his hand to stop the proceedings. "The vote passes with simple majority. Thus the bill is enacted into law. This particular law’s involvement in the regulation of the Council of State is revolutionary, make no mistake. I can not name a time in the history of the Empire that an electoral body has been empowered by the Crown to regulate its own councillors. Do not take this role lightly.” John de Balain lets out a long sigh, scratching his beard as he continues his address. “We require appointments for the Chairs of these committees. For the promulgation of these committees, I will take it upon myself as the President of the Senate to appoint these chairs, should they choose to accept. My choices are as follows; Frederick Armas for the Chairman of the Committee on Civil Affairs. Terrence May for the Chairman of the Committee on Justice. Antony Sigismundic for the Chairman of the Committee on Treasury. Now that we have confirmed the nature of our committees and their chairs, we have Cabinet confirmations to make. The first of which is our dear Senator Veikko, whom I now invite to the floor. Should any Senator have questions for my friend Veikko, speak now. Once we have inquired on the candidate’s qualifications and whatsoever else we wish, we will take a vote on whether he should be confirmed as the Solicitor-General of the Imperium.” John finishes his long speech, clearing his throat as it had grown sore from over-talking. He takes a sip from a mug on a mahogany table beside his chair, presumably water, but certainly not.
  10. From the Dais, John lets his classic silly grin spread across his face as he peruses the copy of the bill. He nods his head before raising his eyes to the Senate and speaking. “The Senator May has proposed his bill. Any senator may comment or propose amendment now. Once all such comments or propositions are made, or if none are made, I will call a vote to order.” With this, he returns to his seat, observing the process.
  11. John sighs, for he really wanted the summer dress.
  12. First Session of the Imperial Senate, 1736-1738 The scene within Varoche hall. The brisk air of Helena subsides as the new members of the Imperial Senate file into Varoche Hall one at a time, moving to either side of the hall to sit with their respective colleagues. On the Dais, the Vice Chancellor stands, arms crossed, observing as the guards at the doors admit the senators one at a time. Once they are settled into their seats, John de Balain uncrosses his arms, taking the few short steps to the floor from the dais to address the congregation. “I call to order the first session of the Imperial Senate. In the name of GOD and the Empire, you have taken upon yourselves the heavy burden of civil service, governance and legislation. It is here we will propose, debate, discuss, present, and assent to the laws of the Holy Orenian Empire within the restrictions placed upon us by the Crown and the Edicts of Establishment and Election.” The Vice Chancellor snaps his finger aggressively, a pensive grin on his face as he awaits a clerk from the corner of the dais whom scurries to his side, handing him a small leather booklet. He bobs his head in appreciation for the clerk before prying open the booklet slowly, a single document within the binding. He reads from the paper, raising his voice to an unnatural boom for all to hear. “ Your names and offices are as follows; The Senators from Helena; Veikko Harjalainen - Term expires in 1738 Antony Sigismundic - Term expires in 1740 The Senators from Haense; Siegmund Corbish - Term expires in 1738 Terrence May - Term expires in 1740 The Senators from Kaedrin; Frederick Armas - Term expires in 1738 Othodoric Helvets - Term Expires in 1740 The Senators from Curon; Charles Bower - Term expires in 1738 Matthias Rutledge - Term expires in 1740 John closes the booklet, handing it back to the clerk who scurries back to their note-taking corner. The Vice Chancellor then ascends the dais once more. “As the presiding officer of the Senate, I retain the right to call order to the Senate, speak first on legislative proposals, and be the first to make such proposals. I will say only this; I know many of you, hopefully drank with some, not that I’d recall that. If not, expect an invitation. This aside, I am pleased to have the opportunity to make this Diet an instrument by which we do the good will of GOD and propagate our human fraternity. I have no other such proposals or commentary to make, and so, the floor is open to the Senate for the first Senator who wishes to propose a Bill or Writ to be made into law.” With this, the Vice Chancellor takes his seat on the dais, resting his elbows on the arms of the chair and observing the Senators with interest and expectation. ((This is a forum roleplay post. Only players with characters in the senate are present in the room and able to reply.))
  13. The King of Curon would receive a letter by courier, a wax seal marked with a simple fiddle. Pierce, You sent me a letter some time ago, hoping that you might ascertain some semblance of response from me. How silly of you to think an indulgent wastrel as myself to make the time to upkeep the relationships to which I commit myself. I relished in my retirement for some time recently. The Lord Protector seemed to be doing well in areas of progress my dear late Alexander failed terribly. I do miss Alexander, too. Few things have hurt greater than standing over the boy I had grown to love like a son, sickly and weak, pale in face and purple of lip. For all his faults, I could never tear myself from my eternal affection for him. Though of course, those times my bottles run dry are close to the same sort of agony. I’m sure at times you, my dear friend, feel the same. But yes, retirement. A farce, of course, for how could I ever stand idly by where I see so many cracks in the hull? My mind swarms with my past errors, and the errors of Empires past. I hear the voices of my critics, and the critics of my sovereigns, and all the while I plot in my head on how to plug every hole I can with these swollen, bruised digits at the ends of my hands. It is a taxing thing, to have such an active mind. I can only hope that you are not plagued by such things, Pierce, or your wife would berate you for drinking till the early morning, as Vespira so often does. With the Lord Protector, the city was being built. The army was being built. This is where we failed before, most supremely, and in not fulfilling this most ultimate of charges, Alexander’s Empire, and my task was a resounding, disunited and chaotic failure. Yet even with the Lord Protector’s successes, my mind was screaming at me. Fix this, fix that. And then the woodkin killed my Mars, and I lost myself to those voices again. I am worried, Pierce. I have thrown myself into the fray once again, but I do not know if it is right. I put myself here once before, and I failed. It will be taxing, and this time it may actually kill me, yet I can not stop myself. I feel selfish, stealing myself away from my wife and children again to perform some grandiose task I feel charged with by GOD. Yet perhaps the best thing I can do for them is give them a safe place to live, with friends and a good home, before I drink with Alexander in the Seven Skies. Speaking of nearly dying, I went to visit Morsgrad, and alongside the Duke we slew a boar the size of three bears! I will take you there sometime to join with us. Tell me of your Kingdom if you reply. I tire of writing so much about myself, yet I know not what else to write; it is what I know best. Always the best, John
  14. Sir John grits his teeth, furious the elves who murdered the cats had managed to survive long enough to do so much damage.
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