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MarquisAlex

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About MarquisAlex

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  • Birthday 10/27/1993

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    Male
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    Cornwall, UK
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    Get to know me a bit better, and I may tell you. :)
  • Minecraft Username
    MarquisAlex
  • Character Name
    Aylwin Blaxton

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  1. The Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton - Book 6 Warning: NO META - These memoirs are OOC information until Aylwin Blaxton dies, then they will become common knowledge IC. Chapter 51: Exodus Redacted Artist, "Exodus" (1604) It's been a while since I have put my quill back to the parchment of my Memoirs. Lady Adrijana's seizure had definitely set me back as I stood idly outside her bedchamber, day in and day out, watching that she did not overly exert herself or stress. Though who could blame her? We were outcasts, refugees, given shelter only on the whim of the Princess. H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia Horen-Pruvia had a kind heart to allow the refugees from Mondstadt to remain at Ostwick, provided that we made ourselves useful, whilst we waited for word of the Lord Owyn Amador and/or any other casualties of the War. Nothing had been heard, with only a sparse few individuals making it to Ostwick. Hope wasn't high. Ayldan, my own and only brother, was M.I.A. It was then that I received word of an unthinkable event. An Exodus of the Highlandic people from the Kingdom of Haense, across the perilous sea, to the Republic of Carasca. The refugees hoped that, by doing such a deathly deed, they'd escape the horrors of a Courlandic-held Hanseti-Ruska. Within me, an uneasiness stirred. These were my people. My people. Feeling forced that they do the impossible so that they may escape persecution and death. How many would lose there lives on this Journey? How many would sacrifice themselves just to see another spared from the Courlandic yoke? But the most important question that plagued, not just my mind, but my soul; How could GOD, the Four Prophets, the Saints ignore this? I felt my heart drop. Had GOD abandoned us? If so, why? Had we been wrong? Overcome by this frozen feeling of being forsaken, alongside being moved by the desperation of my people's diaspora to Carasca, I travelled into the chapel within Ostwick. I must have spent hours within GOD's house, overcoming the quietness of the empty pews with a solemn and heartfelt Prayer. Nothing. Not a sign. Not a sound. Nothing. I proceeded to climb the steps to Ostwick's tallest tower, spending time outside, on the balcony. I continued reciting my prayer, over and over. Shouting it at times as the wind whipped against my face and the rain drenched me through. Shivering, with the raindrops hiding my zealous tears, I feared greatly for what our future would hold. It was like my faith was slipping from me, like a barrel with a leak, allowing the water to flow out like a wound. I needed a sign. Chapter 52: Refuge Redacted Artist, "Paradise?" (1604) After spending several days in prayer, often outside the balcony of the aforementioned tower, I had practically given up hope. I spent my time either performing menial tasks around the Barony or skulking around the parapets of the walls. As I did so, I looked around the place that I was starting to make home. The sun's rays shined down upon the red roofs of the Barony, with a sound of the waterfall behind it echoing down the corridors and walls, creating a scene of some natural beauty that I found some meagre comfort in, despite the dark feelings I felt. It was hard to think that this castle was once the bridgehead that would have launched the Kingdom of Courland against the Empire of Oren, a Kingdom which would later be the belligerent force in the Northern War. It was whilst I was surveying the land around Ostwick that I begun to hear a voice on the wind. A Voice that Called my Name. Was it Him? Was it Them? Constantly, it called my name. Naturally, I began to follow the voice to find the source, which gradually got louder and louder. Eventually, I found the source beneath the parapets of the princple tower of Ostwick. What? It was Leofrik Farsight. What was he wearing? He was dressed in a simple linen tunic, nothing like the Hanseti armour we once wore, nor the skins or furs we used to keep warm. He stated there and then that he had come for me; He had come to take me to a good and pleasant land beyond the sea, to Carasca. I asked him there and then that if he was one of them, one who had travelled the sea to Carasca. He had. I persisted, querying if our people had made it across the sea. They had. All of them? Yes, All of them. I looked out to the Horizon, my heart lifted. The Highlanders had made it. They were now in a safer place. The sun began to softly caress my cheek like a small child, the warmth from the summer winds building on the wallowed look of my face. I felt reassured. GOD and his own had listened. He had safely delivered them across a treacherous sea and into a place where they could be safe. I felt eager to join Leofrik, but then a familiar sense of uneasiness stirred. . . But at what price? If this had been his plan, what then was his plan for me? If I had gone, would I merely be tempting fate for the waves to take both me and the young Farsight to a watery grave? I turned to Ostwick. No, I thought, He wants me here. I told Leofrik I would not be going with him, to which he protested a great deal. But No. He wants me here. I only needed another sign to prove it, and soon enough I would have it. Chapter 53: An Offer Adrijana Amador, "Ostwick in Stained Glass" (1600) Some hours after Leofrik had left, I found myself in the Tower Library once more, attempting to collect my thoughts as I sat at my usual writing desk. In front of me was the memoirs you now see before you, with the quill in the ink-pot, with a very small pile of books and letters next to it. My hands rested my forehead in the palms, rocking it ever so slightly, back and forth. It did little use, so soon I was leaned back in the wooden frame of the chair and looking outside the window, to the stars outside. Perhaps then I was willing GOD to show me some sign, to validate me in my own thoughts. Am I mad? I thought. No, surely not. The sound of clicking heels could be heard behind me, approaching up the staircase, towards the library floor. As I turned around, H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia came up the staircase. She professed that she had been concerned of my recent absence. I did not make known to her then of my own thoughts, concerning the Highlander Diaspora, nor Leofrik's arrival to Ostwick. I felt that these concerns were mine to bare. To share them with her would probably have only made H.R.H worry about her own absentee son, or even question my sanity, which I too was also debating within me. Nonetheless, after she had been somewhat assured that I had been busy tending to some minor duties, she made known her intention for seeking me that night. Having worked diligently for the Lord Owyn Amador for most of my career, gaining a reputation as a competent envoy and diplomat, she had come to offer me a position in the Barony. And not just any position; She offered me the job of Chamberlain, the most senior organisation office of administrating the Barony. This was His sign. His sign that he wanted me to stay. I felt emboldened by it, but now conflicted, I had spent a great deal of time working with the Lord Owyn and his family. GOD be Good, I had even garnered a favourable relationship with the Lady Adrijana, who needed all the support she could get at the moment. I told the Princess of these hesitations to leave the Lord Owyn's side, to which the Princess rebuffed: It would hardly be a crime of desertion to serve the Mother of my Lord, I would still be serving the family. I remained uncertain, so I begged time to consider the offer and talk to others, to which she granted me the Acting position of Chamberlain until I had decided. She then left demurely, as I stood there looking back out towards the Night sky. This is Your Will? Chapter 54: Fever Redacted Artist, "Refugee" (N.A) My eyes felt heavy. My body felt weak, sometimes hot to the touch. Unbeknown to myself, I had actually driven myself ill with a terrible fever over the past few days. Tossing and turning upon my bed-sheets, unable to get comfortable, I would often go back out onto the tower balcony or even sit at my desk once more. I would eventually fall asleep at my chair or rarely manage sleep in the bed. The constant hot-flashes left me a little dizzy in my thoughts, unable to keep a straight thought for much longer than a few moments. It was during such a mood that I found myself in the Throne room of Ostwick, clothed in my normal armour, in an attempt to cool myself down. It didn't work. Lady Adrijana soon entered the Throne Room, herself looking a little haggard from lack of sleep, both from her own stress and for caring over the Children: Henrik and Ruslan Amador. In her hands, she was clasping onto a painting frame, with its back faced towards me. I rose a brow, as she walked my way with petit footsteps and passed the painting over to me. To my surprise, she had created a Portrait of myself. Apparently, during the few times that I had spent guarding her, she had taken it upon herself to paint my figure, then dress me in a peculiar Court Attire. Attire that would have suited a diplomat of House Amador. I queried, why she had made this for me? Her eyes gazed down towards the tiles of the Princess' Court, confessing that she had seen me as a family figure, away from the family that she once knew. She felt that, for all the kindness that I had given her through the Lord's relationship with her, she needed to pay back that kindness. It was a humbling moment. She then noted the strange look upon my face, after saying thank you to her, enquiring why did I then look so strange. Feeling confident that she would understand my thoughts, given the fact that she herself was also a Highlander and a Canonist Faithful, I told her of my experiences over the past week or so. She was not amused. Soon, Lord Oan arrived, giving me a similar medical check-over that had been given to Lady Adrijana once before. The pair of them soon took me down to cellars, near an open stream to cool me. It would appear that, during my prayers and nights on the tower balcony had given me hallucinations, driven by an underlying fever that I had contracted. Lady Adrijana, feeling I was now in good care and company, left me with Oan. Whom escorted me outside to cool down further by swimming in the nearby lake. It would appear, that during that time, Leofrik had come back to Ostwick. He must have said something to upset H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia and Lady Adrijana, because neither of them looked happy as they talked to him. Chapter 55: Godfather Redacted Artist, "A Writing Desk" (N.A) Recovering from the fever that I had contracted, Lord Oan had set me a strict diet and bid me exercise regularly in the nearby lake, in hopes of avoiding anymore delusions. Hallucinations or not, I felt that GOD was still sending me a clear message, a message which still lingered in the back of my thoughts. I merely tamed these thoughts, attempting to gain back the reins of my life and return to some level of normality. I began to shift through my papers, and organise the Library and Barony. There was a lot to do. The entire Barony needed a serious refurbishment, with some rooms still baring the names of some former residents of Ostwick, like H.R.H King Tobias Staunton. Gosh, he had a nice room. Whilst organising this colossal task, the familiar sound of heels clicking up the steps was heard. Turning my head, I found that this time it was not the Princess, but rather Lady Adrijana. She had come to check how I was feeling, given my recent fever. Satisfied that I was making good progress recovering, we began discussing what we had left off in the Throne Room, that being that she wished me to be named as the Young Henrik and Ruslan's Godfather. An honour to be sure, but informed her that if she did, they would have a hard time without me. She seemed puzzled, until I outlined my desire to stay in Ostwick. Lady Adrijana was saddened by the news, stating that she didn't know how she would cope without me being close, so much so that she began to cry. I attempted to comfort her the best I could, but it didn't work very well, so I reluctantly said that I would follow the Lady Adrijana. She brightened up a little, explaining that she needed me close, since Owyn had been so detached from her recently. Apparently, Leofrik had come to Ostwick to indeed whisk me away to Carasca, but it was on the Lord Owyn's wish. In that same sentence, it upset Adrijana that she had only summoned me and not him, so to some extent, she was glad that I refused him. In retaliation, I stated that I was also very mad that the Lord Owyn Amador had not come to Ostwick and talk to us, comfort us that he was actually alive. I was also sour with the fact that he had left myself and Adrijana out of the loop, not providing us with plans of moving to Carasca until Leofrik was informed to collect me. Lady Adrijana shared my concerns and stated that she planned to bring them up the the Lord, but attempted to reassure me that she had conversed with him recently and he was attempting to do his best, though his best was very distant from the communication needed. She left soon on that note and left me to my work. Perhaps I would be staying with the Amadors after all, instead of just working for the Princess in Ostwick. Chapter 56: Death of another Redacted Artist, "Ecclesiastical Synod of 1603" (1603) The Death of H.H Owyn II, High Pontiff of the Canonist Church happened during the mid-summer months of Axios. H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia Horen-Pruvia had called a meeting within the Throne Room of all those present in the Barony at the time, which had included myself, Oan, Ladies Alyssa & Adrijana and the Medic called Gael. She announced to the Court, with a letter in her hand that the High Pontiff had been struck down by a lich, aided by Courlandic troops. The news must have caused shockwaves in every corner of Axios, where the Canonists faith had still held strong, particularly here in Lorraine, the Westerlands and in the Republic of Carasca. No doubt about it. My own reactions were one of disgust, yet another diplomat had been killed in cold blood, but this was far more significant. What must the Courlandic troops be thinking, to allow themselves to work with a Lich, an Undead? Either the Church of the True Faith truly had no moral compass, or these servants of Courland and the Faith were dimmer than the candle-light I now work with. By such an action, the Church of the True Faith had made themselves out to be somewhat heretical in their own stance with the Undead, whilst also disillusioning all of Humanity. The entire situation made me physically ill. It was not made easier that H.H Owyn II was a Highlander I had known: Rory, Bishop of St. Karlsburg. There was much commotion in the Throne Room over it, to be sure, all sharing my same disgust. But my thoughts went instead, oddly, to H.R.H King Tobias Staunton. Surely, he would not have been mad enough to ordain such an attack, nor would the high priesthood (heretics as they are) I would have imagined. No, they may be heretics, but they are not stupid enough to do such a thing. This action was either done with some level of idiocy on the part of the soldiers, or a co-ordinated attack by rivals within to taint Courland's banner all the more. For what rhyme or reason, I can only speculate. A New High Pontiff would be anointed, apparently, in the Republic of Carasca. GOD bless the man who takes up the charge, for it seems there is a target on his back. Chapter 57: The Bridge between Two Worlds. Redacted Artist, "Annebelle Farsight" (1600) As was expected, the outcry from the aforementioned attack on the Former High Pontiff had created a diplomatic backlash, most notably from the Duchy of Mardon. In two separate documents, the Duke of Mardon called for Vengence. The news had spread like wildfire does to the parched forests of the south, consuming the marketplaces of Lorraine with gossip of the matter and how the other Canonists powers should strike back at Courland, for this affront to their religious values and beliefs. I found very little comfort in the words, to be honest. The Kingdom of the Westerlands had been undergoing its own turmoil with the Undead threat in the Deadlands, The Kingdom of Lorraine had fallen upon it's own hard times as they attempted to rebuild and the Republic of Carasca was usually Isolationist, I saw no hope for a Coalition War. Only the Duchy of Mardon and some sparse Hanseti-Ruskan resistance to Courlandic rule remained. The way I saw it, we had lost too much. . . It was time for Pax Courlandia. I am sure the idea would be anathema to other Canonists, surrendering from the might of the Courlandic Army and their heretical faith, but constant fighting would only bring more bloodshed. H.R.H King Tobias too desired this peace, which would obviously be a peace he would be able to dominate and control, much like the Oren Empire before it. Whilst I toyed with these thoughts inside my head, sat atop the bridge between the Barony of Ostwick and the old d'Savin territories, I saw a familiar face. It was Annebelle Farsight, dressed in a rather beautiful dress. Hopping down from the side of the bridge, I went over to her as we both conversed. She had apparently moved over to the Kingdom of the Westerlands, but had also found another lover, a Colborn. She had come to Ostwick to find myself and any of her former Mondstadt friends, to inform them that there may be a Wedding at some point in the future, so we may be invited! Of course, I was happy for her and congratulated her for being able to find love again. GOD rest Lord Boris Ruthern. We talked at length over the news over the past month, to which she informed me there had been a new High Pontiff called Lucien V, a former bishop of Mardon. It became clear now that there would likely be an attack on Mardon from Courland, after the Duke had formerly declared independence from the Courlandic Yoke. On top of this, the Grand Marshal Jacque de Felsen had mysteriously gone missing in Haense whilst trying to secure the lands for the Courlandic crown, apparently during a snow-storm. Whilst the Courlanders mourned the loss, I had my suspicions that, like before, he would be back again. No body, no proof he's dead. After our long discussion, Annebelle and I said our goodbyes, with a promise to keep safe in the future. A promised sealed with a hug. Chapter 58: A Sick Rose Lady Adrijana Amador, "Lady Susanne Von Schlichten of Chambery" (1605) The summer suns were slowly making way for the autumnal season, with the leaves of the great oaks surrounding Ostwick becoming as orange and brown in appearance as the stone hews that built the Barony, turning the surrounding areas into a Savannah landscape that was beautified by the nearby lake. The scenery was of the utmost beauty. One could understand why the Princess would want this place for her own. It complimented her. As I was busy creating schedules for deliveries to the Barony for the food required for the upcoming feast, a woman dressed in a grass green dress stepped through the gateway. She was a brunette of petite build, pale and sickly. She came forward and asked for the Lord Oan. After enquiring who she was, she named herself as Susanne Von Schlichten of Chambery. After explaining that the Lord Oan had gone on a hunt with some of his retinue, in order to stock up for the feast to come, she seemed ever so disappointed. Coughing a bit and looking less the healthy, I escorted her into the palace. She explained that she had come from Chambery, south-west of Metz, seeking the Lord Oan's medical attention. As a guest beneath the roof, from noble birth, I decided it best to give her some quarters until she was able to see the Lord Oan. I therefore escorted her to the former guest quarters of the barony, which had formerly been occupied by a woman named 'Lisette'. It was a modest room with a view over the lake and plains of Lotharingia. We talked at some length whilst I had maids set up the room to match her more appropriately. She asked very politely to prevent anyone from the Van Loden family to know of her whereabouts, as she did not want to upset Floris Van Loden. Whilst I assured her that I wouldn't, my mind began to wonder. I had not seen the Van Lodens at all. . . Not Floris, Not Johen, Not Erin. . . Erin. I missed her the most. I wondered where they were now. Evidently alive, from the Lady Susanne's claims. . . I'd have to search for them eventually. Food was brought to the Lady Susanne and I then departed for the rest of my duties. Chapter 59: Refurbishment Unknown peasant artist from Ponce, "Lady Alyssa Adelheid Amador" (1604). As acting-chamberlain of the Barony of Ostwick, I had to spend more and more time with the Lady Aylssa Adelheid Amador, a woman who I had only previously mentioned shortly in the memoirs. As she was growing up under her Mother's care in Lorraine, she had developed into a well-manners but stern young lady, with all the characteristics of the Princess. She was a mere inch shorter than me by now, with the Amador's cold grey eyes and a Heartlander's pale skin. She often wore a small tiara, to remind those around her of her status as the Princess' daughter, whilst wearing elegant silk dresses. Most of which were of her own making, which was impressive given her tender age. During my time in Ostwick, she was the High-Stewardess, in charge of overseeing the complete and utter refurbishment of the Barony. This meant that all the former chests and belongings of the previous soldiers of Courland. It was my job to therefore to collect all the goods around the Barony, whilst she organised rooms and began to tear them out for the new furniture to come. She had planned a great deal to change, knocking out some of the rooms to create more luxurious apartments for both guests and servants, whilst also getting rid of some of the more 'militaristic' aspects of the Barony. To all intents and purposes, she was attempting to create a palace on the Northern reaches of the Kingdom. The only militaristic buildings that she wished to maintain was enough to keep a garrison of d'Anjou levymen, to defend the palace. H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia did not see much point in attempting to raise a levy of her own, having sworn herself to Count Robert d'Anjou of Cleves, she relied on him to provide military support. In return, the Count had requested that an ample space be provided for him and his men. It seemed like a fair enough transaction to be made, allowing the Princess and her daughter to create a courtly environment that would not be overtaken by the militarism of the other lands around Axios. I sometimes suspected why they did not simply swap lands. . . Regardless, the Lady Alyssa made known to me during this time that she was looking for a person who would be capable of defending her, as a bodyguard. I sighed a little, as thoughts of my younger brother re-entered once more. He would have been perfect for the job, were he still alive. Not a sight nor sound of him since the Battle of Elba. I believe the Lady Alyssa sensed my concern with this and comforted me somewhat, asking to keep a weather eye out. We then continued organising the Barony. Chapter 60: Past Blunder Redacted Artist, "Blundermore Wind-Raker" (1604) As I was burning some of the empty and old chests from the front of the Barony, an elderly individual entered through the gates of Ostwick. He was dressed in blue robes and wore a blue pointed hat, which had a strange yellow stripe along the base, as well as wielding a staff or walking stick of some fashion. I had to admit though, I was a little jealous of that wondrous white beard. I'll have to grow myself one. . .I greeted him and made the usual introductions, as he did the same, beneath the warm glow of the morning sun. He stated that his name was Blundermore Wind-Raker, a Travelling Wizard who had come searching for employment in the Courts of the Nobility, having been previously refused from the Court of Courland. I was a little stunned, but was more than happy to see another person join the Barony. I invited him into the drawing room and study, near the Throne room. Taking out a notebook and quill, I began an informal interview with him, to gauge whether we was genuine or not. He claimed to be very skilled in enchantments, minor alchemy and Alternationism, wishing to settle down into more stable work. He seemed to also have a deep dislike for the Undead, noting that there were some abnormalities around the Barony, which he believed he would be able to correct, if given the opportunity. Pleased to see the eagerness in such an old man, I offered him the placement as the Princess' Court Wizard, with the added responsibility of keeping the Barony clean of the Undead risk. He accepted, provided he was paid up-front to right some previous debts. This was done. It was by small coincidence then that we walked out of the Drawing room and finished settling the Wizard into suitable accommodations that we happened upon the retinue of Lord Robert d'Anjou, who was flanked on either side by his levymen, facing H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia. I sensed that there was some animosity between the Lord Robert and this Mr. Wind-Raker, but it seemed to abate ever so slightly as introductions were made. Lord Robert had arrived to have a meeting with the Princess, which I had previous arranged and organised, to see to some of the finer detailed of the Refurbishment effort. The Princess remarked at my competence, which made me beam a little, but it sought to raise the eye-brows of the Count, who quizzed me on my previous encounters with the Princess. The answers I gave must have satisfied him, as well as that of the meeting, for he was soon off to Cleves again. No doubt we'd see him at the feast to come! Read Book 1 Here! Read Book 5 Here! Book 7 is a W.I.P
  2. The Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton - Book 5 Warning: NO META - These memoirs are OOC information until Aylwin Blaxton dies, then they will become common knowledge IC. Chapter 41: Losing ground Giovanni de Felsen, "Massacre at Curon" (1604) As the sun rose upon the coast of Curon, a sea of grey and green flags could be seen along the roads that had been once used by traders and wayfarers, matching the dim colour of the sea that morning. The Courlandic army had taken a significant portion of the coastline, but under the cover of darkness, our men were able to lock the gates of the palisade behind their Vanguard. This gave us some time to shore up the defences of the initial fort on the border of Vasiland, rebuilding and resupplying it. The main force of the Courlandic Army had taken up positions near a large staircase that headed up into the mountains. I hear that staircase leads to a fortress of some kind, but not one that either of our parties were interested with. We then received word from our Command, we were to push the Courlanders back in an all-out charge, with the hopes that our numbers would force them back. Adorning my armour of Iron, battered from our recent incursions with the heathens, I started to prepare myself for the worst. I'd never been one for war. I left that to my brother. My brother, who I had not heard from now since the battle of Elba, with no mention of whereabouts or body. My gauntlet-covered fists picked up an Iron axe and shield, before marching out to the palisade, with the rest of the Cohort. The plan would be that we'd charge the Courlandic ranks and hopefully force them into a route, which could then culminate to an attack on their camp. Needless to say, it did not go well, as no plan ever survives first contact with the enemy. They came at us like a wave bashing against the rocks, like the tide next to us. Man after man fell beside me as I attempted to hold my ground, until an individual stepped forward wearing the heraldry of a Rising Sun stepped forward and shield-bashed me against the palisade wall. I gazed up for a moment feeling that this would be my end, as the knight rose up his sword. Smash. Another had shoulder-barged him down to the sea and defended me from another blow. Staggering up to my feet and retreating behind the palisade wall, I noted that the one who had saved me was Andrei Kovachev, Duke Sergius' brother. I never thanked him for his actions that day, and my mind wonders to where he was now. The charge against the enemy had been foiled. The enemy had not broken and were now besieging the palisade once more, soon enough they had us fleeing back to Serpentstone, burning it wooden wall to the ground after seeing their previous vanguard slain. Large Trebutchets were created from carts brought by the Courlanders, as the Hanseti-Ruskan troops began to mount Mondstadt Ballista onto the walls of the fortress, looking down from the parapets like make hungry eagles waiting to find their prey. A small ceasefire was made to collect the dead, for many had fallen upon the wayside of this skirmish, more than would probably have been lost throughout the entirety of the campaign. Chapter 42: An unexpected visitor Redacted Artist, "Lady Adrijana with the Twins, Henrik and Ruslan" (1604) For all the hell that they had wrought upon my homeland, first from the lawless raids that had once plagued our settlements in the Dual Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska and then the countless deaths of battle, they had a ***** sense of patience. This ceasefire, I believed was a chance for the Lords of the Dual Kingdom to contemplate: to what extent are we willing to go for the Kingdom? Whilst none would say it openly, one need only have looked in the eyes of some to see that the hope was dwindling, victory against the Kingdom of Courland seemed distant. For to look into a man's eyes is to look through the hollow form that is ourselves and see the soul that is within, as if looking through the windows of a house into the warm hearth awaiting you. Many were Brave, Loyal. But only fools wouldn't be scared. In this ceasefire, Erin and Johan van Loden had finally been able to finish preparations for their wedding party, held at Laurenstadt. It was a modest get-together of some close friends, though there were some who I did not expect to have been in attendence. The first was one Fakhri Kharadeen, the Crown Prince of Haria. He was a fairly short, rather scholarly looking individual, with a limp on his left leg. He spent most of his time next to me at the banquet table, talking to Johan and Erin whilst they cradled their young toddler, Willem, to a soundless slumber. Fakhri had arrived escorted with another man, who decided it best to patrol around Laurenstadt than join the festivities. Each to their own, I suppose, for neither drank during party. I think Fakhri said his name was Khalid. . . The second, third and fourth unexpected visitors was the Lady Adrijana and her newly born twins: Henrik Ramdir Amador & Ruslan Nikita Amador. Henrik would be the Lord Owyn's heir. I was not amused to see Adrijana present at the party, and was sure to tell her so, but was told to allow the transgression to go unmarred. Lord Owyn had missed his wife dearly, and despite it not being in the Lady's best interests to be in the Kingdom, she had insisted to see her Husband, along with the twins in tow. I was admittedly annoyed, as would any other loyal man, since she was going against the Lord's wishes. But she loved him like no other woman could love an iron-handed man. Coloured party hats on our heads and the bubbly going wild as we feasted, the party was a great time, culminating into a duel for a horse or minae. Oh, this was such a terrible show up for me. . . Tipsy from too much rum and aching from too much food, I found myself having to fight against Leonhard, the van Loden guardsman. He didn't need to expend too much effort for my head to end up in the icy cold snow-mounds around Laurenstadt. An embarrassment on my part, but Leonhard faired well, considering he was just as drunk! Johan van Loden was pitted against the Lord Owyn Amador after us, which was fairly entertaining. Johan, much more the lover than the fighter, continued to try and out run Owyn. . . Only for him to fall to the Count's sparring arm. It was hilarious. Unfortunately, I lost a bet to Johan soon after, as the Lord Owyn fell to Leonhard. A job well done for four men who had drunk and eaten far too much. Chapter 43: Playing Chess Giovanni de Felsen, "Ser Rotger von Curon" (1599) After the party at Laurenstadt was over, the Lord Owyn and Lady Adrijana spent some time together within the walls of the Amador Manor. He cradled the young Ruslan within his arms, making several funny faces and puffing his cheeks, just to hear the child's soft chuckle. The Lady Adrijana was sat beside the Count, her fingers tangled in the curious Henrik's palms as he clutched and reached for her attentions, pawing at her like a kitten would to a mother cat. It was warming to see them all together, a family, under the same roof. Myself? I was sat by the piano, practising my skills with sweet and simple tunes. But I couldn't help but think of this temporary paradise we had created, how soon it would come to nothing, with the war's end coming. Soon enough, the Count of Mondstadt kissed his children and Wife goodbye another time, sending them on a carriage to Ostwick before the ceasefire would end. The flames flickered over the empty hall as the wind howled against the windows and wooden doors. The Count and myself gathered close to the fire, both attempting to get warm from the brisk night air, talking of the events that were to come. He had told me then that the night he had gone off to the Cloud Temple, he had gone to meet Jacque Staunton of the Felsen Watch, Grand Marshal of the Courlandic Army. The meeting had been supposedly brief, with the neutral ground between them there where neither would seek harm on the other lest GOD take offence. In that meeting, the Grand Marshal had pressed hard for the Count Owyn to turncoat and fight for the Courlandic forces. Naturally, his Lordship refused to do so, citing that his vows to H.R.H King Marius were worth more than his own life, but I saw something there. . . Fear. I believe, as he was telling me this story, Lord Owyn did fear for his life and how far he would have to go to maintain his honour and loyalty. Honour and Loyalty. These are the words that hold a nobleman to a king as surely as iron shackles hold a slave in captivity. It means everything to the nobility to have a sense of honour, which their superiors can then use as a way to gauge the trust and Loyalty. Sensing that the Count felt like a cornered animal, I offered a solution. If he were to send me to the Court of H.R.H King Tobias Staunton, at his Capital in Courland, I may be able to convince the King to be merciful to himself and other Lords of Haense after the war. This was, strictly speaking, Treason. H.R.H King Marius had recently produced a new Act which required the Lords to reaffirm their loyalty to the Crown and make it clear that contact with the enemy was punishable by imprisonment or death. The Count gave me a cold, hard glare. One that I had previously seen from his sister Alyssa and the Lady Adrijana. A Hanseti-Glare. He accepted to send me, but made it very clear that if it was discovered, it was myself who would be killed. With a Diplomatic writ of intent, I saddled off to Courland. Chapter 44: Reception Giovanni de Felsen, "His Royal Highness King Tobias Staunton of Courland" (1593) It was clearly a blessing that the ceasefire had lasted for as long as it did. Courlandic troops had held their ground on the borders of Vasiland and held fast outside Serpentstone without neither shot nor shout given. Such a pretext, I believe, allowed me to do what the Late Count Boris Ruthern could not have done. Upon a simple, nonthreatening Courser Horse, I rode for the dockyards of the Old Imperial Heartlands. There, I was able to leave my horse and procure a ship which gave me passage to Asul, where I was able to arrange transport to the Capital of Aleksandra. Along the way, I attempted to remain as incognito as possible, knowing there would likely be some Courlander who would happily remove my head from my shoulders. As I entered the boundaries of Aleksandra, a Harian man walked up to me and demanded a duel, throwing sparring sword to my feet. I protested, arguing that I had no time for this and needed to leave, but he would have none of it. With a sigh, I took up the sparring sword and managed to hold my own, until he jumped from a great height and broke my sparring sword in two. He was satisfied and left on that note. Already, Asul was beginning to look like a very strange place. . . I wandered through the markets of the city and towards the main gate, where a young women (who I suspect was an elf) was attempting to gain entry, knocking on the door and shouting. I think her name was Evelyn. . . I asked her to allow me to have a try, to which I soon followed suit and received a reply. A man by the name of Ser Rotger von Curon, wearing a tabbard of the Courlandic army over simple chainmail armour, came to the door and asked us our names before the elf-looking woman quickly hurried off to see H.R.H King Tobias. I felt a little bit stunned by the speed of her, she was almost impatient to see him. I personally felt a little sick to the stomach, nervous and anxious with anticipation of the reception I'd receive. I stepped to the gate to the Courlandic Court, where I had once been loosing volleys of arrows at Courlandic guards, stood with my hands behind my back in a patient pose of politeness. H.R.H King Tobias was sat within his majestic throne, flanked by two nobles and guarded in-front by the same man who had almost killed me: Grand Marshal Jacque de Felsen. They sought to the business of the elven-looking lady as the blessed Princess Annabel Staunton-Hearth entered, to which I courteously bowed to her, she seemed well of health and nodded in reply as I was ushered forward. H.R.H King Tobias' eyes squinted as he looked down the hall to my person. I advanced down the Courlandic Court with a stride in my step, courteously bowing before them from the hip, catching the attention of Ser Rotger and the other Nobles of the King's court whilst wearing Hanseti armour. I introduced myself to the King and his court, as an envoy who had passed through the carnage of the warfare to speak to H.R.H, which I was surprisingly welcomed without much resistance. The courtiers merely murmured to each other as they noted my armour, indeed so did the King, querying of my homeland. If there were any doubt left, it was sealed away after I present the diplomatic writ to Jacque de Felsen, who passed it on to the King; Bearing the Count's Seal and my credentials as a Diplomat to the Kingdoms of Lotharingia and the Westerlands. Chapter 45: Loyalty Giovanni de Felsen, "Princess Annabel Staunton-Hearth" (1601) Now, some of my readers at this moment would have thought me a dead man. . . Here I am, a Hanseti-Ruskan Soldier, inside the Court of the Courlanders. Ceasefire or not, they had every right then to take me captive, as a diplomat's immunity meant little in times of war. Yet this did not happen. Instead, the Princess Annabel Staunton-Hearth stepped forward, asking if I had known her after recognising my voice. The King would take the diplomatic writ from his Grand Marshal as I nodded to the Princess, as I was the one who had taken watch over her person whilst she was a captive of the Kovachevs of Carnatia, taking care of her health until her untimely escape. Murmurs from courtiers turned to silence, as many would stop to stare at me and the Princess, including the King and Ser Rotger. The Princess returned this with a grateful smile and polite nod, with her thanks on being so kind. I respectfully bowed to the King, as was expected of me. The enemy or not, the foundations of a bridge to communication were being laid, done on the back of a kind deed. Soon, I was ushered to a small garden table, surrounded by the King's most trustworthy, with H.R.H King Tobias sat at it's head. The regular hospitality that was to be also expected during such communications were also observed, with a small meal of steak and carrots being served with a goblet of wine. Such courtesy, his Majesty said, came from the lessons of his father. Seated next to the King was Jacque, followed by a late individual named Edmund, whom I assumed to be Edmund Torryn. On my side, I was separated from the King by some close confidant of his, perhaps a family member? Talks started with a warning that, should harm come to my person by loose lips, no action could be taken there-forward. Everyone seemed to acknowledge this, as I spoke about the King's nephew and niece, whom I knew loved dearly. Truly, I thought there was injustice in how they were treated, so these words were true. We then discussed my Lordships plight. He would not turncoat to Courland, which I made clear to them, was out of the loyalty that the Hanseti-Ruskans have for their King, H.R.H King Marius. Nonetheless, should the King be defeated honourably, I proposed that the Count be given fair trial. After-which, should he be granted clemancy, he could swear the Amador banner to the man whom the King would grant the Cap of the Hetman. For, if the war were to remain in its current course, the Highlandic race would likely be annihilated. This was dismissed by the King, stating he did not wish annihilation, but moved that this was H.R.H King Marius' doing. It was his hand that put lives to the sword, which would also result in the Count's death. I implored the King to see reasoning, for such an honourable and noble man as my Lordship could easily be put to better use under the Crown Prince of the Raevir. Talks continued in this manner for some while, until the H.R.H King Tobias professed to be moved by my Lord's loyalty, offering a counter-proposal in good faith. Faith. That word stuck in me like a knife, for he was one of the True Faith. But he was willing to listen to me, so I did so unto him. His offer was simple, withdraw his banners from the field and proclaim neutrality publicly, so the Count would not be forced to strike down fellow kinsmen. If he did this, then H.R.H King Tobias swore that no harm would come to the Lord Amador's line and Both of their Houses may continue. With the talks thus being concluded, I was wished safe passage and escorted to the Gates of the Castle by his Majesty himself. Before I left, his Majesty said some words that still ring within me somewhat, which make me contemplate the nature of war: ========================================================================== Chapter 46: Seven Skies Redacted Artist, "Courlandic Mercenaries at Vasiland" (1604) After the talks with H.R.H King Tobias, I procured transport and headed directly to Mondstadt, hoping to pass on the message soon so that my Lord may find some peace with his Family. However, as I rode into the County, through the stone gate which seperated it from the wilderness outside, I found that the Count had gone. He had been summoned to attend a war-meeting in St.Karlsburg and would not be expected for a while. Thus, I went to my house, out in the Lumberyard. Taking out a tin bath, I filled it with hot water from the kettle and some cold from the nearby well, attempting to cleanse myself somewhat of the dirt that I had picked up from my travels. With daylight fading, I fell asleep on my simple bed of linen and feathers, determined to pass the message on tomorrow. Lord Owyn Amador arrived back in Mondstadt shortly after the sunrise the following morning. I proceeded to meet him in Amador Manor and told him of the events that had occurred and the deal proposed to him by H.R.H King Tobias. A familiar grey glare came from my Lord's eyes as he watched and listened to the proposal, his iron hand picking somewhat at the wooden Throne that he sat himself on. After I had finished, he said nothing, he did nothing, he merely stared. What was going through his mind? . . . I thought. . . Was this not what he wished?. . . He congratulated me soon after on a successful diplomatic trip, but requested that I leave him alone in the hall, so that he may think. Ever the loyalist, I took my leave. But no proclamation would be made by the Lord that day. Soon enough, we were called to arms. The ceasefire had ended and troops were moving back to Serpentstone. Taking up my arms and armour with the Lordship and the rest of the Amador squad, we marched over. BOOM! went the sound of trebutchet ammunition against our walls. THWACK! went the sound of the ballista firing bolts. SMASH! went the sound broken Alchemist fires. The initial fighting was not as brutal as one would like to make them out to be. The first move made was done with a sally of Hanseti-Ruskan Knights upon the Courlandic camp, apparently to attempt some form of ambush or sabotage, that would set off some form of explosion. I never saw this come into fruition. Rather, I was placed on the ballista teams, charged with bringing down the trebutchets. Alongside Aleksandra Abrielle II Kovachev nee Ruthern and Count Owyn Amador. Our initial hits from the ballistae upon the high walls of the fortress had hit their mark, losing much of the Courlander's siege equipment. We were hopeful that a victory might actually have been on the horizon. The Courlandic forces sprayed down arrowfire on us where they could, but many missed their mark. It was only until a fatal trebutchet stone hit the North-Western corner did they begin to try and pour in. Lined up near a simple wooden shelter, Hanseti-Archers let down a volley of arrows, one after another. The arrows threw Courlander's mercenaries aback and off of the parapets to the water below, as they attempted to scale the Fortress. However, as the Courlandic horde moved forward like the ever restless waves below, they too ended up on top of the fortress. Fighting ensued with caches of Alchemist fire being dropped over Serpentstone. It was at this moment I found myself caught between the parapets, the fire and Courlandic Archers. One. Two. Three. I was falling. . . Chapter 47: Pin-cushion Unknown Artist, "Doctor's Anatomical Drawings" (1595) Whilst in pain from the several arrows that had pierced me, my body landed in some shallow current, which floated me to shore. The Assault on Serpentstone had succeeded and any hope for a Haense Victory was now quite lost. The Kingdom would be set adrift, as much as I was, against History's restless tides. I picked myself up off that sandy shore on Curon and, gritting my teeth some, snapped the arrows and took off my armour. Blood seeped from my wounds, but it would have seemed I was quite fortunate that Courlandic Archers were not good shots. Two arrows had hit my left shoulder, whilst another had lodged itself in my side like a skewer. I needed medical attention. There were no civil medics left in the Dual Kingdom, most had been conscripted into the Army as medics, whilst those who cowered from fear ran to the other Kingdoms. I knew of one who had treated a friend of mine before, so I attempted to find them. Walking down the coastline some, I found an empty fishing vessel, which I procured and set off in search of them. The medical professional in question was somewhat of a recluse, hiding in the swamps and forests like the druids, rather than socialise with humanity. I was fortunate that none had come to stop that small, helpless, fishing ship I used. Soon that ship took me to the aforementioned swamps and woodlands, where a familiar doctor was busy collecting herbs. Shocked at my condition, they took me into, what could be called some form of homestead. Laying me down on some surgical table, they began creating some foul pastes and bandages, soon the pliers were out. GOD be good, it hurt like hell and the paste made everything sting all the more! It was only after this was done that they began to patch me up with a needle and thread, before wrapping these bloodied wounds in a soft woollen bandage with covered my torso and left shoulder. By some miracle that this doctor performed, I was able to live to see another day, but not before exacting a toll that I go to a nearby market and collect some ingredients for them. Hardly a tall order, even if it cost me some minae, but it was done nonetheless. I headed on my way with a simple staff in hand, towards the Sky Temple. Chapter 48: A Cloudy Chance & A Dead Dog Redacted Artist, "Ser Markus 'The Loyal' Brawm-Lothston" (1603) Some readers may now think: Why on earth would you go to the Sky Temple? The Answer is fairly simple, much like what happened between the Count Amador and the Grand Marshal de Felsen, one cannot be attacked on this neutral ground. It is anathema to all race. A sacrilege against any and all diety. Therefore, I'd be safe from any Courlander stragglers who would come across me, like a wolf would to a lamb. Staggering around the Sky Temple, I must have seemed rather useless and pathetic to the ones going on with their everyday wares at the market place, limping around and clutching to a simple staff. But not that long after I had finished a small tour of the temple and the marketplace did I hear a familiar voice shout my name. As I turned around, a smile crossed my lips; it was the young Amador levyman, Leofrik Farsight, the Commander Sandry Farsight's son. He greeted me and checked of my health as I enquired to his. As we did so, he told me that he had managed to survive the Assault on Serpentstone with little more than a few cuts and bruises. Young & Lucky Bastard. After working out how we both got were we did from there, we had come to the same conclusion that it would have been safer to regroup people at the Sky Temple, but whereas I had gone out in search of medical assistance, Leofrik had been helping those in Mondstadt clear out their things. H.R.H King Marius I Barbanov had signed a reluctant peace with H.R.H King Tobias I Staunton. Under the terms of the peace, the Highlanders would be free to leave without persecution, but the Dual Kingdom would be handed over to the Kingdom of Courland. It was a bitter pill to swallow. The Heretics had Won, it had felt like GOD had abandoned the Canonist faith for those of the 'True Faith'. Leofrik could sense my displeasure and offered that we go out in search of the Lord Owyn, by using a bird to send a message, with the hopes he would answer. I agreed, provided we walked over to the Lighthouse of the Sky Temple, so that the Bird may have had an easier point at which to find our Lord. Leofrik scrawled a note eagerly and aided me up to the side of the Lighthouse, where we talked at some length about the Lord Owyn, about the War and more. He soon let slip that Ser Markus Brawm-Lothston had fallen in battle; An honourable knight who had spent a great deal of time with Ser Viktor Ruthern and guarded the Count Owyn Amador after he had been rescued from Aleksandra. A small tear crossed down my cheek. Soon enough, a message returned. His Lordship was well and could be found in Ostwick. An excited Leofrik jumped to his feet and speedily ran down the cliffside towards the docks. Geez, did that boy have some speed and energy. . . I attempted to give some manner of chance, as only a wounded-but-recovering man could. Chapter 49: Lofty Ambitions Lady Adrijana Amador, "Aylwin Blaxton, in a Diplomat's Garb" (1605) Leofrik went off with such speed, that honesty, I contemplated bridling him and hooking him up to a carriage. Much to his annoyance, Leofrik often asked me to keep up with him as we made our to Metz, where we came to a rather abrupt stop. Thank goodness, Leofrik didn't actually know the way to Ostwick from Metz and relied on me to show him the way. A much needed breather, I must say!!! Following the road outside of Metz to the former lands of Felsen, we rode around and past the bridge towards the Barony. As we approached the gates, a guardsmen requested to know why we had come. Leofrik was quick to reply that he was out to find the Lord Owyn Amador, which showed a zealous loyalty to our Lord, but received no positive reply from the guard. A little disgruntled, I asked the guard to mention my name to the Lady of the Barony, H.R.H the Princess Pruvia-Horen or her Husband. The guard seemingly went off to verify my name, but it would not be needed. As I slumped down by the gate, aching a great deal from my wounds, a familiar figure approached the gate whilst holding a small parcel and parasol. The Princess had arrived. Leofrik showed her the formalities, but I was a little too weak from the war and the travelling to do her any decent justice. I made the introductions to her of Leofrik Farsight, who upon another light actually looked like a younger version of his father, before requesting some sanctuary in her Barony. She obliged without hesitation and showed us into the Grand Hall. Soaked through by the rain, she bid us stay close to the hearth and warm up, before set wandered off into the barony. Most likely to see the Lady Adrijana, who had been keeping residence here with her and her Husband. As we stood there by the fire, warming our cold bones, we began to talk again. This time about our families and our ambitions. Lord Owyn Amador had always seen us through, but now we entered into a realm of uncertainty. Leofrik mentioned that he had married a young girl called Kateri, during a secret wedding, which his sister Annabelle was none too fond of. In fact, she had spurned him and stated she never wanted to see him. Not only that, but he only managed to get his newly wed pregnant within a very short space of time, leading him to jest that Sandry claimed his family sperm was the best in Axios. That aside, Leofrik stated that his ambition would be to set up a nice little homestead for himself and Kateri to live in, away from the troubles of war and with enough land to keep themselves fed. He then flipped the question on me, what would I like to do? What would be my ambition, now everything had happened to us. I began to ponder this too, as my eyes drifted from the warmth of the fire, up towards the ceiling above. Despite everything that had happened to us, we had been somewhat blessed with a fresh slate, to do with what we pleased. . . I replied thusly to Leofrik: Leofrik didn't understand, bless him. He interpreted the words as me wanting to create a machine that would allow me to fly. Preposterous! What Balderdash and Piffle! No. I instructed him that me saying what I did was a Metaphor and used the example of himself. I posed to him, that he was as strong as stone, would that mean he would be made of stone? He looked to his hand, seemingly confused and sheepishly responding no. Indeed, No. For that was the metaphor, saying something is something that it isn't to add emphasis. He tested this out in his own theory, which proved to me correct. Smart cookie. As loyal as his father before him to Lord Owyn, but not nearly as swift and quick. May the Lord give Sandry Farsight Rest. Chapter 50: Temper Temper Aylwin Blaxton, "Sketch of Oan of Brevis, Lord of Ostwick" (1604) It was sometime after those events that I found myself in Ostwick, but with very few people around. Servants, cooks and cleaners were around the Barony, yes. . . But it seemed everyone else had gone for a walk about somewhere! So, I begun to explore this new home that I had come to adopt from my old one. I traced the footsteps I once trod back up to what was H.R.H King Tobias' Bedchamber, which was now being renovated, alongside several others in Ostwick. I also managed to discover the kitchens, a small library and a chapel. Good, a place I could pray at. Down below the main Throne room was a stairway to the Dungeons, which appeared to have an Old barracks, fighting pit and an office belonging to some Red Wizard. . . Never liked Dungeons. Claustrophobic. I took my leave of the dark place and instead went across the Courtyard and back to the Chapel, next to it was a halls of residence, which seemed to be somewhat abandoned. Not surprising, given that the Princess had only recently come into her barony. It would take time to fill these halls we people who would do her bidding, no different than how I or Leofrik would serve the Lord and Lady Amador. On the Opposite side to the Chapel was another residence, which headed up into a larger library and work space, which is where I now pen my memoirs to you. Formerly, I had written these memoirs within the Halls of Amador Manor or my own home in the Lumberyard. It felt nice to be settled enough to write again of my events. No sooner had I finished the penultimate chapter of this book, I decided to go down to the Throne room, to pray proper respects to H.R.H Princess Pruvia-Horen for allowing me into her home. However, my eyes were met, not with the sight of the Princess, but of Lady Adrijana. She was on the floor, convulsing, twitching and frothing at the mouth. A seizure had taken hold of her! Quickly, I dropped my books and went to her aid, moving her onto her side so that her saliva would not choke her, whilst attempting to prevent her from harming herself. My shouts gained the attention of Oan of Brevis, the Princess' Husband and Lord of the Barony. On our first mention of him, he fancied himself a wandering vagabond than a Lord, but he seemed noble of heart if nothing else. Once the seizure had subsided, he took great detail in making sure that she was safe and out of harm of herself. Using a clever contraption of glass and glowstone, he gazed into her eyes to check. . . something. Her Ladyship came around without much problem, stating that she had been suffering from stress some times prior to this, usually when she was anxious of Lord Owyn's whereabouts and safety. Lord Oan diagnosed her to be under-sleeping and under-eating, which didn't help her. Soon enough though, he helped her to her bedchamber with me. I noticed within these transactions, she began to refer to him as Papej and the Princess Pruvia-Horen as Mother-in-law. Perhaps relations had changed for the better whilst she had been here. I stood watch near her chamber that night. That night and some others. Read Book 1 Here! Read Book 4 Here! Book 6 is a W.I.P
  3. Willem Van Loden (MarquisAlex) signs the charter with a muddy, toddler's hand print.
  4. ========================================================================= Footsteps echoed from the stones below, onto the red stained clay of the chapel, found in the Barony of Ostwick. A lone man walked down the aisle, his hand holding onto a small hollow tube of parchment, as tears trickle to his bearded chin. Droplets fell onto the cold, unforgiving slabs beneath him, like the rains that had befallen the forests of Elba. A clutching grip tightened over the message as the man's knees buckled and followed those tears to the ground, gazing up towards the Cross. Towards the Light. Holding onto the words which filled his heavy heart, he rose his arms to the Canonic GOD's sign, his red-sore eyes weeping as he shouts a prayer to the heavens, feeling his faith slipping from within him. ========================================================================= With the sting of the sword through thine shoulder. (8) With the salt of the sea on thine wound. (7) Elohim, GOD on high (6) Can't you hear your people cry? (7) Help them now (3) This dark hour (3) Deliver them! (3) Hear my call, deliver them (6) Lord of all, remember them (7) There in the sun-scorched sea. (6) Deliver them! (3) So they that be free (5) Sacred Four, Prophets! Lo! (6) Will you hold such grievous blow? (7) Save their Souls (3) Nature's Wrath (3) Deliver them! (3) Hear my prayer, deliver them (6) Exalted Ones, rescue them (7) From tumultuous tides (6) Deliver them! (3) Be my People's Guides (5) Theodosius, Joren (6) Otto, Hark! Why do you run? (7) Shield them (3) Axios' Plight (3) Deliver them! (3) Hear my plea, deliver them (6) Heaven's Saints, please protect them (7) Hear my cry, O' divine ones (6) Deliver them! (3) There's a land been promised them! (8) Deliver them! (3) Deliver them! (3) So they that be free! (5) =========================================================================
  5. I apologise for the lateness for Books 4 & 5, but there was several things that prevented me from uploading until now: 1) Books 4 & 5 had some RPly controversial material. 2) I have had to deal with IRL commitments. 3) Roleplay on Aylwin has been a bit of a rollercoaster. With luck, we will now commence our regular uploads! Thank you for the support!
  6. The Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton - Book 4 Warning: NO META - These memoirs are OOC information until Aylwin Blaxton dies, then they will become common knowledge IC. ========================================================================== Chapter 31: A Gryphon under the Blue and White. Redacted Artist, "Count Owyn Amador and Lady Adrijana Amador in the Stained Glass of Amador Manor" (1603). ========================================================================== The marriage between Lord Owyn Amador and the Lady Adrijana Kovachev, daughter of the former Duke Henry of Carnatia and sister to the reigning Duke Sergius II, had been an event that left me very anxious. By past experienced, I had rarely done well with strong-minded women, who knew their own minds and unexplained tempers. By nature, the House of Kovachev (though famous and adored by the common folk of the Dual Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska), had been a House of unbridled tempers. One would only need to look at some, like the reigning Duke or Ser Viktor Kovachev to know, they were people of such emotions. Upon my first meeting with the Lady Adrijana, I was pleasantly surprised by what I observed: a demure young lady, classed in the arts of music and poetry, with a fondness for her Husband. I had entered the Amador Manor, on that brisk and windy night, to give to the newly weds their belated wedding present: a bottle of Vodka. A modest gift from a man of modest means. As I did so, I found the Lady over by the Lord's Piano, playing a sweet tune as she hummed to herself. Despite interrupting her practice, she was welcoming and invited me over to listen to her compositions, which made me envisage the snows of the Haense. A small smile gleamed over her lips as I passed over the bottle of vodka, uncorking it without much problem and taking a generous sip, before continuing with her music. She bid me drink also, to which I pulled out another bottle, this one filled with a Lotharingian Rum. That night was spent with her working a magic on the piano, creating sweet music from the strings insides, whilst we conversed of her Husband. It was spent talking of his relationship with his Mother and Sisters, of the family as a whole. As I did so, the music turned less. . . Happy, before it soon stopped. It was then that the Lady made it clear, she'd look after Owyn. I could tell, by the fierceness in her eyes, that familiar fire that I had also saw in the Princess Anna-Sophia and Lady Alyssa. She meant what she said. From her previous talk with H.R.H Anna-Sophia, Lady Adrijana made it known to me that she did not have a high opinion of the mother, calling her a neglectful and selfish woman when they met at Metz. A lightness fluttered over me, a small smile hidden behind my thick beard, as she described the interactions between them as I slept beneath the Castle Garden's Tree. Perhaps she would be a good wife to him, if given the chance. Unfortunately, War was upon us. Soon the drums of War would sound in forests of Elba. ========================================================================== Chapter 32: First Blood Redacted Artist, "The Soaked Forest of Elba" (1604) ========================================================================== The rains fell over the pine tress that littered the forests of Elba, the wadis surrounding the roots being swollen with the deluge. A battlefield that was caked with mud. A man could not walk far without suddenly sinking to his knees in the stuff. It was this setting to the north-west of the Valley of the Emperors that the first few skirmishes against the Courlandic Army took place. I was stationed within the wooden camp, along with the majority of the Hanseti-Ruskan Army, a Man-at-Arms under the Command of Richard Allen Horen. I knew very little of the man who would come to command the majority of the Army, only his family name, but he seemed more than capable to lead us. In these first skirmishes, we managed to push the Courlandic Army back successfully. First to the ruined church, where the doors hung from the hinges and a dirt redoubt built around the entrance, providing decent cover for our archers. The wadis to the side created a thick and foul-smelling swamp that was avoided by most of the troops. Myself included. A single pine tree had fell from this scene, which created a breach in the redoubt, but nothing that could not be dealt with by the men. Soon enough, the army marched forward and held onto a nearby "Fort". "Fort" is a strong word for what it actually was. The structure that we and the Courlanders were forced to fortify in the valley, which is truly an oddity in our continent of Tahn, was the statue of a Duck. Yes, you read that right. A duck. A formidable stone statue that was layered with timber and iron, which surprising provided us and our enemies with decent cover from attacks. Unfortunately for the heretic forces of Courland, they were not able to hold onto the structure and it was soon held by the forces of the Canonist Church and their allies of the faith. Raiding parties were sent frequently to the Courlandic camp and victory seemed assured. At this point, I had received a bird in the battlefield, from my Lady. With the skirmish seen as won, I was given leave to find out what was required of me by Adrijana. Leaving the main cohort of the army and taking a horse from the camp, making way to Mondstadt. A smile crossed my lips, it seemed such an easy victory and I was hopeful the war would be won soon if the battles were to take place the same way. As I reach Mondstadt and strode to the Manor of the Amadors, I found that the Lady Adrijana had been in a bit of a flurry. She was feeling sick and had begun to feel faint, so I had her moved to her chambers, still clad in blood-and-mud soaked armour. Whilst in the bed chambers, the lady Adrijana started to complain of feeling woozy and had been sick most mornings. . . A familiar tale among prospective mothers-to-be, which I said so. A soft and fluffy pillow that had laid next to Lady Adrijana in the bed soon found itself bouncing off my dirt-ridden face and onto the floor, among with brief utterances of disbelief from the Lady. She was pregnant. Tears strewn down her face, afraid of what may happen and what may be, imploring me to not tell his Lordship. I kept that promise, but on the understanding she would break the silence. It was bad luck on this occasion that the Lord Owyn then entered the Chamber! There's me, alone with the Lady, in Bloody Armour. . . What a sight it must have been. . . I was soon dismissed from the room. The Lord and Lady both conversed in the following hours and I returned home to clean my armour for the next days battle. No sooner had I placed a wet cloth to the armour, to scrub the blood and mud out, did I hear horrid word. By ambush, the Courlandic forces routed the Hanseti-Ruskan Army back to their camp. The day had been lost to the Banners of Green and Grey. ========================================================================== Chapter 33: Demon Jester of Courland Giovanni de Felsen, "Clives the Jester" (1599) ========================================================================== The Hanseti-Ruskan army had retreated back to their fortified wooden palisade in the northern stretches of the forest by the time I had rejoined the cohort, the rain still continuously pouring over the forests, turning it more and more into an unforgiving wasteland. I'd thought the only foul beasts that could ever inhabit such a terrible place would now be vicious boars, savage crocodiles or even carrion birds that would wait for the corpses of men. . . Oh how I would be so wrong, for no beasts could inhabit this land, not yet. But something was in those terrible swamps, worse than all three. The army had been commanded to defend the wooden palisade that we had come to call a camp, for the Courlandic Army had been raiding the camp in the last several attempts, trying to whittle down the Hanseti-Ruskan forces down before we could arrange any suitable strike against them. Indeed, it was a good strategy, forcing us to defend tight quarters from arrow fire. After the third attempt at our gates, the commanders decided to create a sally against the raiding army of Courland, in hopes of breaking their ranks and pushing them back. Initially, this tactic was successful, pushing the Courlanders back to the Church, then to the Statue. The Courlandic forces were in retreat as we secured the location, but not before the routed forces suddenly turned around. At it's head, the most terrifying beast in the forests. . . A Madman, Cackling with sadistic glee over his green war-painted face, twirling a Carbanum-tipped spear. With frightening precision, he slew two men before turning to concentrate blows upon me. The spear, much swifter than my axe, found blow after blow against my shield or armour. The fool's sniggers and jibes stung just as harsh as the tip of his weapon, as strike after strike slide beneath my armour and pierced the skin. Blood dripped from me as the Courlandic forces sweeped into the grounds surrounding the statue, forcing the Hanseti-Ruskan forces to the crumbling church. I fled alongside them, clutching my wounds as we locked the gates behind us and fortified it. Unfortunately, GOD was not with us, and a wave of Courlandic troops washed over the dirt redoubt and into the church. Again forcing us into a humiliating defeat. Back upon my horse at the camp, I swiftly made my way back to Mondstadt, in search of a medic. ========================================================================== Chapter 34: A Mother's Touch Redacted Artist, "Lady Adrijana Amador" (1603) ========================================================================== I stumbled from my horse as I entered through the gates of Mondstadt, blood seeped like tree resin from the bark of a great oak, down my armour and tabbard. Holding onto my wounds with a gloved gauntlet, I stepped towards the Amador Manor, where I may be able to find materials to clean my wounds and seal them with needle & thread. As the wind threw me into the doors, I stepped inside and pushed them shut behind me, into the view of the Lady of the Household. Lady Adrijana had been spending time reading poetry within her chair as I clambered into the hall. She looked astonished as I unclipped my armour in front of her, unveiling many stab wounds on my person, dabbing them with a cloth damped by vodka bottle from my satchel. She quickly rose from her seat and gathered a thread and needle at my best behest, taking it upon herself to seal some of the wounds. Of course, I protested. A Lady of noble birth should not have to worry about the wounds of the commoners, but she insisted nonetheless. With the more serious wounds, I made sure to clean them out, cursing the foul creature who slashed me with his spear. Outside of her view, I would take the iron from the hearth and cauterised the rest of the wounds, gritting down on a stick as I did so. Oh hell did that hurt, I tell you! She seemed oblivious of the matter, even though the smell of burnt flesh seemed prominent in the room at the time, perhaps she was trying to be polite. . . At this time, the Lord Owyn had arrive, placing himself in his throne as myself and the Lady Adrijana paid due respect. His brow had furrowed. But it did not seem to be placed upon myself being alone with the Lady, but rather on the events of the Battle. The Lady Adrijana bid me leave as she tended to her husband, to which I oblidged, going off to rest off the wounds. The wounds were sore and made me honestly feel so ill that I felt like I could have ended up in the snow without much care in the world. I went to my home, passed the wooden gate to the Lumber Yard, and passed through the door. With the fire on a soft glow, my feet dragged themselves to the bed, throwing my armour to the floor and laying down to rest. Another bad day. ========================================================================== Chapter 35: Burning Wood. Redacted Artist, "Sketch of the Dwarven Senators" (1555) ========================================================================== Recovering from my wounds, I was unable to join my comrades in the Army to the battlefield in the forests of Elba, held back by the commanding officer and my Lord. So, I was forced to stay at home. I slouched myself in my chair as I stared at the glowing embers of the fireplace, watching the embers dance over the small hearth I owned and over my person with small licks of light. I looked over the tracts and writs that I had created in the pursuit of peace and prosperity for the House Amador, gazing over the parchments of my bookcase and wondered: Was this all for nought? We were at War, but what would come at the end of that war? Rumours were abound as to H.R.H King Tobias Staunton's intentions, ranging from an outright annihilation of the Highlander Culture, to the forced conversion of all Highlanders to a false religion. How the babes would be stripped from their mothers, whilst they themselves would be forced to suffer every form of humiliation by the Courlandic soldiers. These rumours were only given more tinder when whispers of some Dwarven clans joining the Kingdom of Courland, despite a Vote within their Senate against such action. Even more concerning, the Kingdoms of Lotharingia and the Westerlands had previously declared their intent to prevent the creation of an Empire from either Courland or Haense. Which was soon re-asserted by both Kingdoms. We were alone in the world. It would seem that none were ready to come to our aid. The Uruks were busy with their own disputes, the elves wished to remain fairly passive, with the only exception of the snow elves who were rumoured to have joined the enemy. Diplomacy did not seem to have been operated by the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, not even documented attempts to prevent Courland's reach from extending too far into the Haense. The only one who seemed to be as a similar opinion as we were the Duke of Mardon, who had declared independence from the Kingdom of Courland. But even this was left with no effort to bring them into a concerted effort against Courland. I sighed as I stared into the flames, with a knock heard at the door, I waved a hand for them to enter. News was brought to me that, like the two skirmishes beforehand, the Courlandic forces had again smashed the Army of Hanseti-Ruska. Lord Owyn Amador had returned, injured. We were now losing ground to the Courlandic heretics, who would now have pushed our men back to the Greyspine Mountains to the Ruthern-held castle of Metterden, forcing us to hold our lands like a turtle who would shrug into its shell. A bird then arrived at my window, knocking on the glass for entry. I let the bird in and read the message, a request to go to the Van Loden Lands by Erin. I didn't hesitate to take a staff as a make-shift walking stick, taking a walk from Mondstadt to Laurenstadt, to see what my friend wished of me... ========================================================================== Chapter 36: Shield of Blaxton Aylwin Blaxton, "Sheild Necklace drawing" (1604) ========================================================================== I arrived at Laurenstadt with a cloak around me and holding a staff for my own balance. Though I had been doing well in my healing, without any sign of outward infection, I wasn't going to push myself. Laurenstadt seemed as peaceful as it always was. I truly loved this little piece of the Kingdom. It was a truly peaceful and tranquil setting, with the high fountain in its centre. Wooden buildings and a large mill surrounded it as the marketplace was becoming stocked with all manner of goods and wares. No doubt that it would be financed by Erin Van Loden nee Lockley. As I strode up to the Windmill, I noticed. . . Something wasn't quite right. I knocked on the door and called Erin's name. She answered shyly, making sure I was who I was before pulling me inside. It would have appeared that Courlandic Raiders were able to somehow summit the mountains during the winter and terrorised some of the commonfolk under House Van Loden. A young babe would be rested within Erin's arms, a boy called Willem Van Loden, hers and Johan Van Loden's first born son. I congratulated the pair and offered a small, belated wedding gift: A diamond from the mines of Mondstadt. It was on this note that the Erin passed a present to me, something she had been meaning to give me since the first skirmishes at Elba. It was a steel necklace, designed like a shield with the crest of a great tree in the middle. On the back was an inscription: To my dear friend Aylwin, may this protect you from harm - Erin. It was a touching gift, which I place around my neck and tucked under the simple linen shirt I wore that day. With our gifts being given, I gave a hug to Erin and bid her to look to her own. This war, it was a terrible thing that could separate friend from friend. Mother from child. Brother from brother. So in that moment, I asked Erin to seriously consider her life and the lives of those closest to her. If the conflict would continue on its present path, it would likely engulf her in the flames, just as surely as it could me. Erin was a resourceful individual, who had her fingers in many pies, some of her friends may have been able to offer her and her child shelter from the coming wars. I know it would have hurt Johan, and Erin too, but at least they would be safe. With a final hug, I bid her goodbye and set off back to Mondstadt, groaning in the winter snows as the aches of my wounds took hold on the walk ahead. ========================================================================== Chapter 37: With the Fog Redacted Artist, "Diplomacy Among Kings" (1501) ========================================================================== No sooner had I entered the gates of Mondstadt and turned from the hewn logs of spruce did I receive word of a development in the war. An "Olive Branch" peace deal had been proposed by H.R.H King Tobias Staunton. It demanded a sum of mina, which the Amadors alone could have footed, by the Kingdom. It also demanded the fiefdoms of Metterden and Vasiland, along with the cap of the Hetman, what can be described as a Prince's Crown to the Raevir. The Duke Sergius II Kovachev was also to be handed over to the Courlanders, the Lady Amador's Brother. Prudent demands coming from the Kingdom who had already displayed a sum of power on the battlefield: Harsh terms, but potentially fairer than what would come. With the news in hand, I decided to go over to Amador Manor and discuss it with his Lordship, for there no doubt he too would have received it the same as I. As I entered the hall, indeed he was sat in his throne reading the piece of parchment which bore H.R.H King Tobias' demands from the Haense. The slip of parchment was left to hover over the the chair beside him as he seemed deep in though, until I decided to interrupt it. The Lord Owyn came to the same conclusion as I, the terms were too harsh for the Kingdom to consider a peace negotiation, even if only one true battle had been fought thus far. Shouts then descended down the wooden staircase, down into the hall. The familiar voice of her Ladyship, Adrijana. She howled for Lord Owyn's attentions, which led both him and I to walk up the stairs to the Lady's aid. As I had previously thought, she had been pregnant and was now baring child within her womb, making her rather hefty and unwieldy to motion up and down staircases alone. With a joint effort, we managed to carry her down the stairs and to the Hall, where she would have a front row to the discussion Lord Owyn and I were having. We were discussing, as we usually were, the politics of the realm. The war had covered the majority of the discussion, alongside some of the minor details of a party in Laurenstadt and the creation of more arms in the town. It was then that his Lordship looked to his wife, a form of sadness came over him, that seemed reinforced by an armoured exterior of duty. At the time, I could not discern what he would be about to say, though from the look of his eyes. . . those cold grey eyes. . . It was clear that he had designs on the Lady Adrijana and his future child. ========================================================================== Chapter 38: A Ruler's Measure. Redacted Artist, "Barony of Ostwick" (1579) ========================================================================== There was much protesting and tears this night. For as the Lord turned to his Wife with a silentness that was unbecoming of his lordship, he soon made known his intention to move the Lady Adrijana to a move safe location: Ostwick. The Barony of Ostwick had recently been awarded to H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia and her husband, as was discovered during our trip to Metz. Lord Owyn did as what any other prudent ruler of his times would have done; he ordered his wife to move to Ostwick for the safety of her Ladyship, the future heir and of the House. Lady Adrijana did not take kindly to this. . . Indeed she protested a great deal and cried into the shoulder of the Lord, whilst I attempted to convince her that it was the right thing to do. Should the Courlandic troops raid Mondstadt, they would likely kill her Ladyship and perform a terrible misdeed on the House, leaving us all devastated. Such events were not outside the realms of possibility, considering the recent raid on Laurenstadt. Clearly, raiders were in the area and baying for blood. The Lady Adrijana's tears moved me emotionally, every tear could have turned the Mondstadt mill three times over. But, after crying her fill, she reluctantly agreed to the Lord's wishes. He promised he would see her again soon and that he would keep up regular contact with her, whilst I waited outside to prepare suitable carriages to lead her out of Haense, as there was still time until the Staunton reach would have extended too far to prevent such an action. With a white-face bay and a chestnut strapped to the carriage, we made way to Metz. I was in fit enough condition to escort her Ladyship to the Kingdom of Lotharingia, see her safe, then return to the battles ahead. As our carriages arrived in Metz, H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia greeted us both in the Castle of King Lothar. It was a bit of a frosty reception between the H.R.H and Her Ladyship, but she was kind enough to try and find her accommodation in either the castle or in Ostwick. Unsuited to the life in a Lotharingian Court, Lady Adrijana made her wish clear that she wanted to be in Ostwick, to which H.R.H Anna-Sophia oblidged. Carriages were again set up and we were taken a short trip to the Ostwick Lands. These lands had formerly been the place of much prize in Axios, so it was pleasing to see that the Mother of my Lord was doing so well in acquiring them. After meeting the self-styled "Vagabond" of the Household, Oan of Brevis, within the throne room at Ostwick, I enlightened him on the current situation. He pitied the Lady Adrijana's position, but was nonetheless understanding. The Princess had made a fine choice for a Husband, in my own opinion. Lady Adrijana had been sped off to her Quarters by H.R.H Anna-Sophia whilst I talked with the Lord Oan, but I soon made my way up to find an argument between the pair. Try as I did, I couldn't really get them to stop arguing over the treatment of Lord Owyn. Lord Oan was far more successful in this regard, a capable man, I say. With tensions finished, I wished both Her Ladyship and her Hosts a farewell, with intention to return to the fighting. Both women persisted that I should return alive. This is war. In war, Men die. Women die. Innocents die. I told them such as I resigned myself to what most were already feeling, the fall of Haense hung on a knife's edge, and Jacque de Felsen was the Carver. ========================================================================== Chapter 39: Hammers of Haense Redacted Artist, "An engraving of the 'Grind'" (N.A) ========================================================================== As I returned to Mondstadt after escorting the Lady Amador safely to Mondstadt, I had heard that the Lord Owyn had gone to the Cloud Temple for a meeting with an unknown individual, most likely some small errand concerning the welfare of the County. But in his absence, I noticed that Mondstadt was a hive of activity. Blacksmiths, Leatherworkers, Woodworkers and Lumberjacks. . . Among men of many more professions were busily creating Weapons, Armour, Food and all forms of things for the war effort. Mondstadt had been turned into a Workshop of Hanseti-Ruskan production. Trees from the great spruce forest were being chopped down and brought within the County limits to turn into large ballista - a heavy missile launcher which can do considerable damage to enemy siege equipment. The ropes for them were contorted in such a fashion that three men could load a missile into the apparatus and send it flying for some measure of distance. Armour, freshly made by Annabelle Farsight, amongst others, was being smithed by Iron brought in by a miner named Roman. A wood carver named Edward Delaney was using his knife aptly to create bows and arrows for the archers in our ranks, whilst an elf was busily turning the lumber from the forests into useful timber. But the biggest surprise came from a creepy little chemist called Jon Deacon that had begun to scavenge the landscape to gather various ingredients to create potions for the war-effort; one of which was Alchemist's Fire. Bloody stuff. . . My hand was still scarred from the damage that hell could wrought, imagine what it could do to the enemy! Soon we all heard word. The King of Courland had made use of some of his Dwarven allies to gain passage through the mountains, to the southern reaches of Vasiland, in Ruska. He intended to win a quick victory by taking the castle of Vasiland, as per the demands of the Olive branch Peace deal, which he most likely intended to give to the next Crown Prince of the Raevir. No time was wasted. The supplies created in Mondstadt were moved to the border, to Serpentstone, where we would hope to keep the Courlanders back from what would most likely be a devastating siege. ========================================================================== Chapter 40: To the Gates! Redacted Artist, "Skirmishes" (N.A) ========================================================================== The aforementioned siege of Vasiland and Serpentstone would actually start as several skirmishes down the Curon Coast, where small palisades had been built on both sides of the war, with a deadly no-man's land in the middle. The Army of Hanseti-Ruska spent little time at waste as it prepared a preemptive strike against the Courlandic Army. So successful was this that the Courlandic scouts were slain with little sound from our ambushes and with very little interference from rival raiding parties. Soon, we had pushed towards the palisades of their camp, but pulled back soon after to prepare our own fortifications. Hiding behind rocks and other outcrops, the Hanseti-Ruskan army performed various ambushes on the different Courlandic groups aiming to do us harm, but were called back. To what rhyme or reason still confuses me, but it was not my place to question the Commanders. I, therefore, took up a position next to the gate of the palisade and operated the mechanism, for fellow soldiers to dive in and out of the fortification. The tactic was similar to how fishes would catch flies on the surface of the water, leaping out on the pray before hiding back in the cover. For the most part, this too was fairly successful, until the Courlandic Horde approached. There were just so many men who were carrying arms for the King of Courland. Some Hanseti-soldiers argued, whilst hiding from the arrow-fire, that some were not Human. Dwarves, Snow Elves, even the Undead! Considering the odds we were facing, I would not have been surprised if what they saw was the truth. Nonetheless, it didn't help the present situation, as Jacque de Felsen and others in the Courlandic horde were sweeping in to slay man after man that stood before them. Soon enough, the tides of the enemy were too much for the Army too handle, breaking through the gates and streaming down the cliff-side, forcing the Army to retreat back to the safety of Serpentstone. Traditional seat of House Vanir, whom I known as Loyal Ruskan men of value who had married into the Royal Household, it felt that soon this fiefdom would end up in the hands of the Courlanders. It placed a feeling of dread in myself. Indeed in all of us. We could not hold them back much longer. Soon they would be in the mainland and we would have nothing much to defend ourselves with. The Grand Marshal of Courland seized upon this feeling of uncertainty with a clear message for the Hanseti-Ruskan lords: Lay down your arms and you will be spared. ========================================================================== Read Book 1 Here! Read Book 3 Here! Read Book 5 Here!
  7. An open letter to the player-base on this thread. I'm sorry. I am with Aelsioln, counterfactual, Jaeden & Taketheshot on this one. But Sky does make some good points also, the ETs should not be constrained by the Region Owner. As much as dynamic RP needs to always be an aspect we strive towards, such things as these need to be ever so carefully dealt with, to satisfy those players who are not out for the shits and giggles of destruction RP. It takes SOOOOO LONG to make a beautiful build on any server. It takes time and effort from the individual(s) building it, which they then use alongside other players, to enjoy their time on the server. For the casual RPer, such things are taken in with every breathe. Now, Sky's suggestion is that we have the GM's use their common sense to prevent destruction from getting too out of hand, however these things can't be put down to a handbook. If you get raided, you'll have your houses burned. Again. And again. And again. and again. This will happen, and as to a limit on GM's common sense. . . No offence to our admirable GM team, but such a thing is down to opinion, where even the GMs may disagree on what is suitable destruction. So, what do we do? I hear you cry. Personally, I admire Sky's suggestion, and to some extent agree with it. More stuff does need to happen, however it needs to be carefully managed, so the region owner doesn't act like a computer from Little Britain. I, therefore, endorse several of the ideas that have been mentioned within this thread: First, as Taketheshot pointed out, you can bring back Destruction apps. I think this is a good idea, but then gets bogged down in some really tedious bureaucracy that we just don't wanna do, however it does minimise the extent of the damage caused by a suitable team of GMs. Modreq'ing a GM is much swifter. Second, there is the idea posed by Aelsioln, "Wanna break it, fix it." I love this piece. Made me Grin. However, such a plan is completely useless. The edgelords in question who want the destruction would likely never be able to match the same level of detail found in some builds, much to the irritation of the settlement's RP community. However, similar to what we did in Legends of Aelryth, a GM could use World Edit to copy and paste the effected area into a Creative world. This would preserve the build and give the region owner a way to rebuild, perhaps in the way of RP Labour or (if you are really lazy) minas. Lastly, we can give some form of "Destruction cooldowns", which was posed by Jaeden. This would prevent some players from going Sephiroth on us all as he bathes in the flames of the havoc he's wrought. But this does not really provide any real safety net the Region Owners could use, in fact, it could make a settlement completely useless if you happen to piss off a druid enough. 3 days would give a druid 10 chances a month to wreck your ****. And if he's pissed off enough, he will. What then do I think? I follow my own road of cobblestone, a path that all three laid in dirt. Modreq a GM, C/P an area to the Creative world, Have Your Moment of Havoc before the Region owner has some RP to attempt some repair. With Love, Alex.
  8. I honestly cannot thank everyone enough for the support I am getting for my Memoirs. I have received a ton of messages from you, asking if you may become a part. YES, YOU CAN! All you need to be a part of this is come into contact with me in RP, so I RPly know your name, then be a part of an RP that I will remember come publishing the week's events! As always, THANK YOU! <3
  9. The Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton - Book 3 Warning: NO META - These memoirs are OOC information until Aylwin Blaxton dies, then they will become common knowledge IC. ========================================================================== Chapter 21: Succession Redacted Artist, "A White Feather" (1595) ========================================================================== The snows slowly cascaded down the sky as the wind whistled and whirled down the Greyspine mountains. Much like the mood at Mondstadt as of late, cold and uncertain, ever since we had returned from Metz. The Count Amador had shut himself in his in manor for some days now, unwilling to speak to most people, if it wasn't official business with the Kingdom or the County. Before leaving Metz on that day, H.R.H the Princess of Pruvia had bid me to protect him and watch over him, so I tried. I travelled up to the manor to find the Lord slumped in his throne, his hand idly stroking the lazy direwolf of his: Winter. His eyes gazed upon me before looking back at something intangible and distant. I asked my Lord what troubled him so, to which he replied with a lengthy and heartfelt monologue. My heart felt heavy with my own Liege's plight, for he was right, of course. Up until this point, the Lord was unable to find a potential bride from the few noble females available, nor was he able to convince his Mother or Sister to return home to the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska. However, I could no longer let him wallow in such a depressive state, especially with War close upon us. Striding over to the Count of Mondstadt, I placed my gloved hands upon his shoulders, gazing into his grey eyes as I spoke to him of our previous lessons. I urged him to listen to my words as I stated that, by no means, did these events mean he was a failure. The world we live in, it is one that is nasty, brutish and undeniably harsh. But that does not mean that we should not remain optimistic and pragmatic in the face of adversity. I would not know how true those words were. The Count of Mondstadt seemed to find some warmth in my words, however, sitting up in the chair. He decided that it would then be best to discuss his succession with me, in the unfortunate case that he should die on the battlefield, for his County and his King. At length, we discussed the several potential candidates for the County's succession. To start, we discussed whether any of his immediate family could inherit: His Mother H.R.H Anna-Sophia and his sisters, Aylssa Adelheid or Julia Katherine. There was also the Line of Markus Amador, Lord Owyn's Great Great Great Great Great Grandmother's Brother, who included his "Uncle" Dorm and his distant cousin, Jack. There was also the line of Lydia Amador, Markus Amador's sister, who had a surviving member in Christopher Amador. The Count stated simply that he would take thought to these words and write down his successor in a Will. To this day, I do not know where this will is. ========================================================================== Chapter 22: Answering a Summons Redacted Artist, "Answering the Call" (N.D) ========================================================================== It was after this occasion that I would receive a strange missive that I did not expect. The messenger, dressed in the attire of some church administrator, passed over the letter with the Seal of the Canonic Church. With a raised eyebrow, I broke the seal with a small snap and rolled out the parchment, a document signed by none other than the High Pontiff, His Holiness Daniel IV! The missive in question stated that the High Pontiff had read my works and was most intrigued by the Journey that I had travelled thus far, touched by the zealous nature of my faith, which I had shown in my former chapter on the schism of Humanity's churches. Particularly where I mentioned I was willing to fight for the Canonic church. He therefore requested my presence at the Three Saints Ruskan Canonist Cathedral. Hark! The High Pontiff wanted to meet me? A Commoner? It was a rare enough occasion when a Noble has the privilege of meeting His Holiness! Without any time to lose, I got my Courser Horse and travelled to St. Karlsburg's Cathedral. I tried to calm down the excitement of such a prospect within myself, attempting to appear much more demure and humble, before I would meet the His Holiness. As I did so, I entered the city limits and found my brother, Ayldan Blaxton. He had been somewhat left in a limbo of the Army after the Count Boris Ruthern had died, meaning that he would not be welcome back in Mondstadt and was no longer required to protect the Lady Annebelle, so he spent his time now patrolling the city. I invited him to pray with me as we waited at the pews of the Cathedral. Soon enough, his Holiness entered the Cathedral, where he saw myself and my brother praying at the pews. Personally, I was praying that my heart would stop racing in my chest, whilst also praying for GOD's Wisdom in talking to his Holiness. As we knelt down before the High Pontiff, his Holiness placed his hand on our head separately, making a silent prayer to each of us before we were allowed to rise. We both answered to a Mister Blaxton soon after, which I am sure threw off His Holiness, but it was soon alleviated when he said that he had read my works. In that time, he blessed my brother and mine's weapons and was willing to answer my questions. Before we left, he passed me a small pamphlet that I keep close to this day, on how best one should live. I wished my brother and the High Pontiff well before we left, remaining as stoic as usual before heading off to Mondstadt, where nothing would prepare me for what I would see. ========================================================================== Chapter 23: Wreck & Ruin Redacted Artist, "Hanseti-Ruskan Cavelry charge" (N.D) ========================================================================== Blood. Broken Boards. A Break-in. Such scene invited me as I rode up to Amador manor, the doors hanging from the hinges and a scene of ransacking inside. The signs of a struggle as a smudgy red liquid caked the floorboards and a furry cadaver of a direwolf, laying scarcely warm on the white and blue carpets, motionless as the winds blew in Leofrik Farsight. As he soaked in the scene, I brushed the fur of the Count Owyn's Direwolf on last time, a lazy but loyal pup that had clearly defended their owner in a time of need. I ordered Leofrik to check up around the Manor and County for any signs of life, before finding a shovel to bury a grave near the Amador crypts, where I might be able to bury Winter. With that duty done, it became clear that the Count of Mondstadt had been kidnapped, most likely by Courlandic raiders whom we were at war with. He was most likely already on a ship to the Isle of Asul by now, if not already inside a Courlandic Cell beneath Aleksandria. As the only representative of the House available in Mondstadt, I locked down the Barony and took Leofrik to St. Karlsburg, handed him a sum of two-hundred minae and asked of him to purchase and collect materials for a rescue mission. In the mean time, I went to find Ser Viktor Kovachev. The Knight Kovachev had a reputation of defending H.R.H King Marius I Barbanov, but had now been given the rank of 'Master at Arms' in the Royal Army, therefore being one of my superiors. As I explained the situation to him, whilst he was sat on horseback from a returning patrol, another young knight stepped forward. This was Ser Markus Brawm-Lothston, a strapping gentleman with an honourable deposition, who had fought most respectfully for the Crown despite the siege of Houndsden. He had come to inform us that the Count of Mondstadt was not the only one who was missing: the Princess Vanir-nee-Barbanov, the King's Aunt, was also missing. It had now become a serious abduction that would rival the situation that the Princess Annabel Staunton-Hearth once suffered with the Kovachevs. The Royal army now had no choice but to act and create a rescue mission, but not before we received a message from a distant land... ========================================================================== Chapter 24: Snorri's Strife Redacted Artist, "Paradise" (c.1525.) ========================================================================== We had received word that a oafish character named Baron Snorri, who wished to gather a band of adventurers to kill the undead which plagued his poor island barony, who had come from a fountain of blood. He got more than he bargained for! Not only did the Hanseti-Ruskan expeditionary force show up in numbers, but so did the Army of the Westerlands, commanded by none other than H.R.H Prince Caius Horen! This was also matched by an small cohort of the Urguan Grand Legion, led by H.R.H King Bastion Ireheart and band of Kharajyr! How else could this be topped? Why, by bringing H.H Daniel IV to bless Humanity's troops in the trial to come. The combined force that was then commanded in such separate units was staggering, with a force that I believe would have matched the stories that I heard from the Duke's War. Needless to say, the undead posed very little threat to the combined forces of Humanity, Dwarves and Kharajyr. From the fountain of blood from which they spilt, a giant spurred forth, hit from every angle and pushed towards the beach that the Hanseti-Ruskan forces held. The finishing blow was indeed ours, as the undead giant's blood congealed into bouncing balls of red slime, that would easily heat a man's weapons to the point of melting. But they proved easy to dispatch into the sea, most of them by H.H Daniel IV, who I would dub a secret warrior monk... Upon doing so, the tremors created by the fountain of blood revealed a hole in a mineshaft, which led down to a catacomb of blood runes and magical barriers. It took some time to get us through that, I tell you! As the magical forces within that room were dispelled, we were led down a weaving corridor, to a subterranean lake which housed a growing tree. The armies secured this tree from a spilling of undead zombies and skeletons, who dragged themselves from the vines and stone of the cavern walls. So much so, that they piled on top of one another and cushioned the falls of others, before turning hostile on any living being. The tree, which by some strange standard, held several trinkets that fell into the lake's waters. Soldiers picked up the spoils as the last of the undead were slain, before we took efforts to exit the caves below and back to the surface. Myself? I managed to grab an ancient Axios Coin... Probably from the forming of the First Empire.... I pocketed it and decided it would probably make a nice present. ========================================================================== Chapter 25: To Tackle an Burning Eagle Redacted Artist, "Aleksandria" (C.1599). ========================================================================== The success of the Hanseti-Ruskan expeditionary force embolded the soldiers in the Army as a whole. In such time as I returned with that force did Leofrik and my brother, Ayldan, find me in St.Karlsburg. Leofrik had spent his time lying low, so that he might obtain the ropes and other materials, which we might use for the rescue attempt. As these items were taken, Ayldan protested that enough time had been wasted on the problems of 'foreign' powers, referring to the Baron Snorri. He insisted that with each passing moment, the Count of Mondstadt's life was coming closer to an executioner's axe, such fervour I had not seen in him before, could he perhaps be regretting his own decision to abandon Mondstaft for Mettenden? Meanwhile, Ser Viktor Kovachev had been spending some of his time explaining the situation to the new Lord of Mettenden, Count Arik Ruthern. Count Ruthern, far from his predecessor, had spent his time rallying the Hanseti-Ruskan troops into a recovery party. With the consent of his own superiors, he led the foray against Aleksandria to save the Count Amador and the Princess. I liked this Count of Mettenden more than the previous one, but we must not speak ill of the dead, so the Seven Skies give Boris rest. But as we were ready to march off, I sent a courier with a letter to the Lord Owyn's Mother and Sister in Metz, to inform them of the situation. Count Arik Ruthern instructed us to mount the walls of Aleksandria and make our way to the Castle, where we forced our entry to the Halls in our attempt to locate the Dungeons. The city was, surprisingly, thinly defended. The Courlandic soldiers shouted empty insults from the walls, but sadly their arrows did not strike true, even with the help of Dwarven allies. As the gates swung open for them to rush in, they met a hail of arrows from our troops, whilst the Count Ruthern and an accomplice found the dungeons and freed Count Amador. I believe also that the Princess was also freed, though I did not have the honour of meeting her in this transaction. On our flight from the castle was a rushed one, with the Courlandic troops at our heels. It was when we reached some of the higher reaches of the castle that a blaze of golden flame suddenly burst forth to us. Alchemist's Fire. The PAIN was horrendous, as the foul liquids consumed my right hand, searing the fabric I had for gloves so quick that it might as well have been straw. The flames whipped over my fingers with a fury, and in such a blind panic, I fell from the parapets... hitting the moat below. The current of the moat was sickening to me as I rolled around, attempting to unstrap my armour before drowning... Soon enough I found myself by the farms outside of Aleksandria. Seperated. I made my way to Haria on foot and took a ship back to Home... cradling my scorched hand beneath my arm. ========================================================================== Chapter 26: A brief encounter Redacted Artist, "Ottograd Castle" (c.1585.) ========================================================================== Lord Owyn Amador was back home, but unfortunately, not as whole as I or the others in the Hanseti-Ruskan Court would have liked. As he was led out of his captivity, it became clear to us that he had lost his right-hand, which was now wrapped in a rather filthy looking bandage. His clothes were torn to pieces, tatters that clung to his body from his own sweat and heaven knows what else! His face was covered in bruises and cuts, clearly from when he was captured back at Amador Manor in Mondstadt. As he was hurried into Ottograd Castle in St.Karlsburg, Lord Owyn Amador thanked the Army and those involved for freeing him and told us of his side of the story. According to the Lord, the Princess Vanir-nee-Barbanov had come over for a visit, when Courlandic raiders attacked Mondstadt. They kidnapped the Princess before turning their attention to wrecking the Amador Manor and foully attacking his person. As he was pushed down onto the floor, one of those raiders raised their axe to sever the Lord from his hand, which they mockingly placed in his pocket as they bound him for transport. The Lord's direwolf, Winter, had attempted to intervene and rescue the Count. However, the Direwolf was put down in a grisly manner. The last the Count knew of it, he was being hurried into a Courlandic raider's hold and shipped off to Aleksandria. Whilst in his captivity, the Count of Mondstadt was apparently treated rather poorly by the soldiers at first, who mocked him and raised not a hand to help him with simple tasks. It was not until a familiar flower in the snow arrived to aid him. Yes. The Princess Annabel Staunton-Hearth, that kind and gentle girl whom I had previously watched over in her cell at Kovachev Keep. She tended to the Lord's wound and stitched him back up, gave him food and drink to nourish him and apparently gave him the honour of her company whilst in confinement. May GOD bless her kind soul, for if there was ever a person who deserved to be beatified for her deeds, it would be her. H.R.H King Tobias Staunton, whilst knowing of the Lord Amador's capture, did not seem to be all that interested in his incarceration. Indeed, it was not known by the Lord Amador what H.R.H had in store for the maimed Count of Mondstadt, but now nor did it matter. The soldiers of the Hanseti-Ruskan army returned to their usual routine, leaving only myself in the Hall with the Lord. In all this time, I had acquired some gloves to hide my own affliction, to deal with another time. Taking quill and parchment out to pen a letter to Metz, small footsteps soon entered the Hall, quiet and polite. As I turned my head, Lady Alyssa Adelheid Amador stood near the High Pontiff, before running to her brother. She combed his hair with her hands and embraced him softly, clearly having a moment with the brother she almost lost, as such I tried to leave. ========================================================================== Chapter 27: A Fire in the Eyes Redacted Artist, "Gardens of Metz" (c.1596). ========================================================================== Tried to leave. Heh. From Lady Alyssa Amador? Oh no. For her hearing was as sharp as the bird, as her head spun around to gaze upon me with a small sharp snap of her fingers. I froze. What now? I thought, fearing that I had displeased the Ladyship in some way, and now would soon face some of the harsh punishment she once threatened me with. Instead, she ordered that the Count Owyn Amador be tended to by Maids, to be given a bath and have a new suit made for him by an experienced tailor. You would not believe the sudden wave of relief I felt over my person as I heard these demands being made. quick to ensure that her orders were done, despite the Count's insistence that it was not necessary. Regardless, Lord Amador was swiftly taken home, under the watchful gaze of Ser Markus Lothston. I trusted he would help to see that Lady Alyssa's wishes were carried out, and if not he, then the maids would out of instinct. Before I left however, I heard footsteps from above in Ottograd and as I went to search for them, I discovered the body of a Castle maid, along with a note from the Crimson Cult... Crimson cult? What manner of sick and twisted hell was this? Murder. That's all it was. Cruel and sadistic murder before a trinket alter. The Guards were thus informed as a small shadow bounced over the Houses of St.Karlsburg. I am sure I will come to some meeting with these foul men again. A few days would pass, and Lord Owyn confined himself again to Amador Manor, with Ser Lothston still keeping watch. "Nasty, Brutish and Harsh" I once said... How right I was. I was given no immediate order from neither my Lord or my Commanders in the Army, so thus I spent much of my time guarding Mondstadt, until a courier arrived for me, bearing the Seal of Pruvia-Horen. A small feeling of dread coiled in my gut as I broke the seal and read the parchment. A summons by H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia Pruvia-Horen; come to Metz immediately. Naturally, I was bound by duty to oblige this request from the Princess and made my way to Metz. Upon reaching Metz, I was swiftly permitted entry to the King's Court, which was currently in recess. Lady Alyssa and a jubilent Princess Anna-Sophia were waiting for me. My coil of fear within me turned into genuine confusion, but soon given the knowledge that the Princess had come into a recent acquisition: the Barony of Ostwick, former seat of House de Felsen and spark-point of the Imperial Rebellion against the Holy Orenian Empire. Naturally I congratulated her for the acquisition, but nonetheless confirmed that it was no longer Felsen land. I was informed to let the Count know... I was confused to say the least! Did she not know of her son? Of what had happened? Naively, I asked... The Lady Alyssa had not told her Mother... I started to back up as the Lady Alyssa recounted the tale and of Owyn's lost hand. I was queried on how long ago this was by the Princess, to which I bumbled a response and told her of Winter's Death when the fires of a dragon lit up in the Mother's eyes. ========================================================================== Chapter 28: The Dragon & The Gryphon Redacted Artist, "Marriage between Count Owyn Amador and Lady Adrijana Kovachev" (1602) ========================================================================== Naturally, I did have an excuse! Answering a Missive from his Holiness, Daniel IV in the Cathedral at St.Karlsburg. But these words fell upon deaf ears as H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia Pruvia-Horen slowly advanced towards me, an anger within her complexion that would have given even the bravest man cause for concern. I rose my palms up in a defensive manner, worried of some strike against my person. Again she repeated her query to me as I pleaded for her to know the reason of my absence. A chill descended over my spine as she came within a mere step of my person, until a lively courier entered, bearing a parchment with the Seal of House Amador. I froze once more as H.R.H read the document and penned a quick response: The Count would be arriving soon with his new betrothed. Betrothed?! Anna-Sophia's eyes glanced back to me as she smoothed her bodice. It was at this moment, an unfamiliar Ally came to my aid somewhat: Robert de Anjou, a former commoner who had risen to the nobility of Lotharingia. I had once met him on my first few diplomatic missions to Metz. At the time, I was explaining to the Princess of the Count's direwolf, Winter. She mused that he had owned a direwolf, likening his interest to hers and Alyssa's. Lord de Anjou, on the other hand, was not a man fooled easily. He noted the worry and stutter in my voice in front of the Ladies and came to ask why there was tension. As the situation was explained, he understood. It was at this strange moment I found myself in as a Young Man, withered by the disease that once left him bedridden, walked into the Court: H.R.H King Lothar Augustus of Lotharingia. Everyone bowed courteously, but all of us amazed. The nobility flocked around him and discussing business of state with him. In truth, I was glad for his arrival, as the limelight had shifted to give me a breather. Soon enough, Court was adjourned and the Count of Mondstadt arrived with two women: Adrijana Kovachev, his betrothed and Julia Adelheid. Both were greeted and the young couple were soon led into the Gardens by the Princess. In truth, at this juncture, I found myself overcome by the pain of my hand and fatigue of all this attention. So within that Garden in Metz, I rested beneath a tree as the Lord and Ladies talked. However, when I awoke from that slumber, I found that the Lady Kovachev and Lord Amador were ready to depart. I readied myself before being stopped by H.R.H the Princess Pruvia-Horen. She asked me what I knew of Adrijana, which I answered sincerely, being met with warning of a controlling wife. She instructed me to watch over the couple, and ensure that the Count Owyn did not become a leash puppy to a Kovachev, for he was blood of Horen and I seemed the only one trustworthy to do the task. Taking those orders, I departed with my Lord. Soon enough, the couple were married and that seemed to be that. ========================================================================== Chapter 29: Wonder of Runes Redacted Artist, "Storms ahead" (N.D) ========================================================================== Lord Owyn Amador's missing right-hand had been a significant problem that needed to be tackled in the months that followed his captivity. Being his dominant hand, the Lord was restricted in his usual activities, which he found the most enjoyment in: Hunting, Sparing, even writing his own documents. Instead, he was often confined to his hall, leaving me to transcribe at his meetings and watching others use their hands. But he was an Amador, if anyone could pay for a replacement, he could. But how? Of these details, I know very little. For I spent most of my own spare time attempting to find peace in the quietness of Laurenstadt, the Van Loden Lands. There, I spoke little and often with Johan's now-Wife, Erin. Erin had become increasingly concerned for the hand that I had kept constantly washed, trying to let the scorched hand of mine a chance to recover, but to no avail. Whilst on a trip into St.Karlsburg, as she had to make a delivery to one of her many merchant stalls, Erin offered to travel to some of her contacts to see if she might be able to come across a cure for my burns. An offer I, of course, accepted. The time had left my hand a leathery looking mess, which now and again excreted a terrible pustular slime that stuck to my gloves, terrible for having to peel the gloves off. I offered her minae in exchange, but she would hear none of it and bid me return to my Lord. As I did so, I noticed that the Count had an unfamiliar guest withing the County of Mondstadt, a Dwarf. I did not catch this dwarf's name, nor did I really wish to, but he came across as a decent enough fellow. He had been instructed to use the mechanics that would be found in Dwarven golems to create a new hand for the Lord... Such a prospect sounded revolutionary to me. But in order to do so, the dwarf requested assistance from my person, as the procedure would likely be painful. Thus, I held onto the Count as he suffered the integration of this new golem hand to his stump, with careful knife incisions made by the dwarf. Soon enough, he was wearing a full metal gauntlet, as if he were wearing armour. I didn't take up the offer to shake the new hand. Instead, we bid the dwarf dravo and went up to the Manor, where we discussed our stories so far to the sound of me playing the piano one-handed. He reimbursed me for the funds I had injected into the cause of rescuing him and favourably praised me for the handling of the situation, though it did grieve him to see the grave of his pet. Soon enough though, he was back in his chair and administering the King's law as before. It was good to have him back. ========================================================================== Chapter 30: Dealing with the Pain Redacted Artist, "Southern Physician" (c.1581) ========================================================================== The Lord's hand may have been replaced, but mine had yet not been. I had taken it as a sign from GOD that, actually, the Alchemist's Fire that caught me on the day of the rescue was Divine Punishment. Da, Punishment. Punishment for not being there to defend my Lord when he most needed me, after I had sworn to H.R.H Princess Anna-Sophia that I would do everything in my power to keep him safe, indeed it was punishment to endure the pain day in and day out. I wandered over to the peaceful barony of Laurenstadt once more, to take in the peaceful tranquillity of the Van Loden lands, escaping the cares of the feudal world and it's duties. Erin had recently returned and spent her time setting up a new stall in the barony. Upon seeing me, she soon ushered me into the nearby Windmill, in which she had an extension for an office. Within that room, she had me sit down and explain in some detail that she had been able to acquire two peculiar remedies for my scorched hand. The first being some form of numbing agent, which to this day I would not be able to describe to you in any meaningful fashion. Only that it left my hand feeling as if it were detached from my body, and the only feeling from it would be the pressures that I would place upon it myself. The scent of honey waved over the office as Erin applied the treatment. According to her source, it was a cream to be used lightly. The second bottle of a strange cream seemed very similar from the first, again the strange smell of honey... except this time, I was informed by Erin that this cream had some extract of Mandragora. What that is, what it does, I can't say. All I know is that it apparently would help with the leathery-dead-skin being removed and would likely accelerate the healing process. Awesome. I would have my hand back soon, I hoped. Erin then gave me some cloth in which I may be able to bind the hand until it was healed, before offering me some Prime Rib Steak and Orange Juice. She was such a good friend, none could have done more for me that she did. And so I decided to repay her. Using my left hand to dig into my satchel, I picked out the Ancient coin I obtained from the caves beneath Snorri's Barony, presenting the collector's item to her. She seemed so happy with something so small, on the notion that it was a GIFT and not payment. She marvelled at the piece as I washed my gloves in her washing basin and dried them over a small fire, finishing off the meal that she had prepared for me. Once all this was done, she showed me out of the office and told me to inform her if the treatment was not going well. I was sure that it would. She'd gone to the ends of Axios to try and make sure I would not be in pain, I trusted she found the right druid to help. GOD bless Erin like I would wish from the Princess Staunton-Hearth, indeed those women with care in their hearts for Humanity. With gloves back on, I rode back to Mondstadt, to hear the whim of my Lord. ========================================================================== Read Book 1 Here! Read Book 2 Here! Read Book 4 Here!
  10. Aylwin Blaxton salutes the couple on their marriage Vows. "From Ashes, We Rise." He'd proclaim.
  11. ((Whilst my character appreciates this great piece of RP, OOCly, I have found this blockade completely unenforced... If there is a blockade, then the ships going to Asul from the Human hub need to be temporarily closed, otherwise we are RPing as if nothing is happening. I would politely ask the GM team if they have put some restrictions in place, and if so, please post them in here))
  12. Aylwin cried as he wrote this particular passage, remembering his old friend who he had to give a warrior's death. The tears trickled down his cheeks and beard, before finally dropping onto the ink, smudging it.
  13. I have received so much positive feedback from the first book! Thank you so much! :D So, as I cannot leave you without more to read, Book 2 is now available! A Link is provided at the bottom of Book 1. Enjoy! <3
  14. The Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton - Book 2 Warning: NO META - These memoirs are OOC information until Aylwin Blaxton dies, then they will become common knowledge IC. ========================================================================== Chapter 11: A Soldier's Life. Redacted Artist, "Lord Owyn Amador and his Wardens meet Lady Amelie Van Loden" (c.1600) ========================================================================== Prince Meric Staunton-Hearth's death had caused great uncertainty between the Kingdoms of Courland and Hanseti-Ruska, so much so that each side was suspected of already beginning to make way for the black clouds of war, by beginning to gather supplies and muster troops. In these dark hours that I too found myself, I hoped that some peaceful resolution could be found between the Houses of Staunton and Barbanov, that some means of peace could be utilised by either side, however the Missives between H.R.H King Marius I & H.R.H King Tobias seemed to only cause more distrust. With this being the case, I thought it best to sign myself up to Lord Amador's Levy, after he had been proclaimed a Count by the Royal letters of H.R.H King Marius I. I had failed at being a diplomat, much to my great shame, but in the art of war I may be able to distinguish myself somewhat. Ayldan, my dear brother, had always been the more martial of the pair of us... Nonetheless, as he had gone to protect the Lady Annebelle Farsight in Mettenden, I deemed it the best course of action. I joined Count Owyn Amador's Levy and was soon promoted to the rank of Footman, after several nights of training, hunting and war games. The Count seemed pleased that I had made myself useful once more, and was willing to hear me when it came to the work on increasing the size of the Amadorian coffers, which had slowly been declining since Lord Owyn had came into his title as Baron. The Lottery would be moved to Karlsburg and I would be there to push the offer to the general populace, it was hoped that the generosity of House Amador would help Lord Owyn gain favour again since the trial, whilst potentially making a tidy profit if enough people subscribed. ========================================================================== Chapter 12: Pilgrimage to Metz. Redacted Artist, "Two Pilgrims" (c.1400.) ========================================================================== It was during this time, whilst I was working in Karlsburg, that the strangest occurrence then happened to me. Whilst talking with my Brother, Ayldan, a stranger walked up to me. He called me 'Ser' and addressed me with an esteem that, I admit, was completely lost on me. He had said that he had come searching for me, because I was a man of distinguished nature and character, a person whom his own superior would like to meet and talk with. Of course, at first, I was naturally reluctant. But I decided to follow him, if not for my own interest in the intrigues behind me. The nameless subordinate took me on a long walk, all the way to Metz. We passed the Ruins of Johannsburg and down the savannah... speaking constantly of our views on Religion, God, Duty And War. It was clear to me that we were not exactly singing from the same hymn sheet. Regardless, he eventually took me to the Castle of Metz, where one Ser Aurelius was waiting in the throne room. The subordinate claimed to have brought me forward to join the Knights of St. Lothar as a member of the Holy Order. Now, I am a reasonable man, but I am also a devout believer in the Canonist Church in Haense. I was stunned to say the least at these bold claims, indeed I think the Grandmaster too was also stunned, as we had previously met whilst I was working as a diplomat in H.R.H King Lothar's Court. The Grandmaster was polite and eloquent, but did not persuade me to the cause, as I would feel uncomfortable joining a Holy Order of Knights whilst being in my Lord's retinue. Therefore, I respectfully declined and went on my way. ========================================================================== Chapter 13: Working Man's Chains. Redacted Artist, "Market of St.Karlsburg" (c.1550.) ========================================================================== Returning back to St. Karlsburg, I started up the stall to host the lottery and indeed worked hard to push the first batch of lotto-stones for the lottery, many were inclined to join into the lottery and it proved to be a phenomenal success. There were several issues that plagued the city whilst I did so, sadly. Big, bullishness men known as the Brawms, who had begun to raid the outlaying city limits after they proclaimed an independence from the Haense. All during a time of political uncertainty in Tahn. Naturally, H.R.H King Marius could not take this affront to his state, this insubordination that could weaken the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska when there was potential for war with Courland. Within these raids, which the Brawms ravished over the countryside and fiefdoms of the Dual-Kingdom, it was suspected that Heartlanders and Courlanders were aiding the insurrection against the Crown. Ser Viktor of the King's Guard suspected as much many times to me whilst I was selling my Lord's wares at the stall. It was not long after this that the Gryphon and the Hounds were found fighting in the streets of St.Karlsburg. Lord Henrick Kovachev, Duke of Carnatia and Loyal servant of H.R.H King Marius I, was caught in a bitter struggle within one of the back alleys of the City. An encounter which would cost him his life and raise the tempers of all loyal Highlanders within the Kingdom. The Kovachevs called that the blood of their Duke could only be paid back by the blood of slain dogs....the corpses of the Brawms. War, at this point, had begun. ========================================================================== Chapter 14: Putting down a Mad Dog Redacted Artist, "Siege of Houndsden" (11th of the Grand Harvest, 1600). ========================================================================== Volleys of Stones flew through the air, whipping across the cloudy skies above the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, smashing into the stone parapets that lined the walls of the Keep at Houndsden. The ropes swiped over the timber which clung to the monstrous trebuchets, causing the terrible creeking of wood and the snapping of cords, with each new stone being flung to the enemy keep. As part of the Amador Levy, I was placed on such a trebuchet, with Sandry Farsight and Wulfrey working in pace with me to keep up the assault. The Lord Amador had been positioned with some of the other Lords of the Kingdom, whilst they received scouts reports and changed our targets accordingly, all behind a large wooden palisade that surrounded us all. Several waves of brave men attempted to kill the defenders inside, sending waves of arrows against them like the tidal waves smash against the coast, with many of them gaining their own distinctions in the art of war. My own Brother, Ayldan, was positioned on a trebuchet near our position. That was until we were called into a final charge which occupied Houndsden. After that battle, which I recall favourably, Ser Viktor Kovachev placed a Staunton Banner at the feet of myself and the Lord Maer Floris Van Loden. They had been supported. This was carried forward with the peasantry and stragglers of the siege committing themselves to more lawless raids, instead of retiring to some hovel to live out the rest of their lives. Nonetheless, whilst we had been dispatching of traitors, the political theatre worsened. The Princess Annabel Staunton-Hearth, niece of H.R.H King Tobias and sister of the deceased Prince Meric was captured in the streets, whilst Count Boris Ruthern of Mettenden sued for peace with the Kingdom of Courland. His efforts left him cut down by men in Alexandria. H.R.H King Marius I Barbarnov sent an Ultimatum to H.R.H King Tobias of Courland, but was rejected. Houndsden was just a warm-up. Now Real War had come. ========================================================================== Chapter 15: War. Redacted Artist, "Stormclouds in the Valley of the Emperors" (c.1580.) ========================================================================== I find myself, on this day, within my stone house in Mondstadt. I gaze at the bed of wool and cloth, to the bookcases dotting my many diplomatic writs, and to my warm hearth. Should I have put myself forward as a candidate to halt this terrible madness which had pitted Man against Man? I, a commoner by birth, who could perhaps reach some accordance with H.R.H King Tobias on H.R.H King Marius I's whim. Should I have die, my blood split on the stones of some hall and it would matter little. I found myself questioning everything that had been leading up to this point. I concluded with myself, there and then, that the Death of the Prince Meric Staunton-Hearth was the greatest seminal tragedy that had befallen mankind since the destruction of Johannsburg. A simple event where one man, who if he shalt have lived, would have prevented this awful drama that we now saw all of us in, a play that would see many men dead... women raped... children murdered. If only then that we had prevented his death and we would not see the horrors that are to come. With such horrors came renewed raids, but this time from Courlandic troops, attacking every fiefdom within the Kingdom and the black clouds of war sprawled over the Greyspine Pass. ========================================================================== Chapter 16: A Flower in the Snow. Redacted Artist, "Hostage: Annabel Staunton" (c.1601). ========================================================================== It was in strange circumstance that I would find myself to behold one of the most regal and dignified noble women of our time. Indeed, as I was beginning to stop the sale of the Lotto-stone for the Amador Lottery, due to the wartimes ahead, I was ushered by a Kovachev Soldier. Scouts had reported that a large raiding party would soon enter through the Greyspine pass and spill into the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska. I was bid to play a role in securing the nearby Duchy of Carnatia, which held a most prized possession. Upon entering the Castle, the Hanseti forces were securing the keep and I was asked to aid a man named Ivanovich escort a prisoner to a more secure location. The hostage of value was blindfolded, wearing a simple garment and had her hands tied behind her back. Soldiers cajoled her and threatened her with every indescribable act, that it brings me pain in writing this down as I think back upon it. The new Duke, Sergei Kovachev, bid me to guard the hostage, as his men attempted to hold off the raiders. I did so, and within that secure location, we sat upon chairs of mahogany at a table. I was quick to make conversation with this woman, who had seemed to be the cause of so much trouble; She was demure, dignified, if not slightly confused. With wrists bound and blindfold over her eyes, we conversed at some length until the raid was over. I cannot tell you what possessed me that day, but I felt that this young girl of only twenty winters had to be protected, given her status as a high-born princess... She should not have to suffer the threats nor lewd approached of the soldiers. So protect her I did, escorting her to her cell and cutting off those ropes that held her and that fold that blinded her, where I gazed upon a Princess' flickering eyes... I told her there I would keep her safe, and in this new aura of safety, she seemed to drift into an easy sleep. After being relieved of my duty to guard her, I heard tell that two Courlandic Men infiltrated the Carnatian Keep, rescuing the Princess Annabel. It gave me a mixed feeling, where on the one hand she was a valuable asset to the Kingdom that we had now lost, but on the other hand, she was a young girl who was made to suffer for her name. Such an image still hurts me, but I shall never forget how dignified she was in handling it. I pray I see her again, hopefully in the Halls of her Uncle. ========================================================================== Chapter 17: Schism. Redacted Canonist Artist, "Pontiff Daniel IV" (C.1598). ========================================================================== Whilst I was busied by different tasks here and there across the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, the situation had transcended the political realm and had indeed turned into a 'War of Religion'. It is important to note that, whilst Heartlanders and Highlanders are Human and share a faith, their faith is split into two Churches: Cannonist & 'True Faith'. As I understand it, this schism between the churches had it's roots in the Duke's War and the fall of the Holy Orenian Empire, myself being a faithful Canonist of Hanseti-Ruska. The Courlandic Church of the True Faith declared a Crusade against the Canonists and Old Believers of the Church in the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, declaring those that did not follow there interpretation of the faith Heretics and Heathens, with the expectation of those condemned would kneel before their church and GOD to give up their ways. My emotions FLARED at such a condemnation in the Faith. Until now, I was a man who was wholly devoted to peace, I did not stray from that ideal until here and now. To call the Canonist Church a Heretic Religion was to place into question my own Oath of Celibacy before men & GOD. My Oath hold me to my word no tighter than the ropes that clung to the wrists of Princess Annabel Staunton-Hearth. As such, my words will carry meaning and gravitas as I speak, especially within the political sphere that I wished to work in. A Diplomat's words that are not bound by Virtue, Faith or Honour are worthless words, suitable only for the scumish slander of soldiers. When the Pontiff Daniel IV rebuffed such an act from the Courlandic Church as an attempt to mutate and schism the faith of Men, I was jubilent. So much so that I wrote a poem to commemorate the Pontiff and his act, for he had stood up against the mindless nature of such an action and, in turn condemned their episcopal council. A Council that had worked to push the Kingdoms of Lotharingia and the Westerlands into the Fires of War with us, by domination of faith. Such actions I will not stand for, giving me my own reason to fight in this war. ========================================================================== Chapter 18: Winter-Hinterlands. Redacted Artist, "The Northern Hinterlands" (N.D) ========================================================================== I was so fired up and hot-tempered by the gall of the Episcopal Council in Courland that I deemed it necessary for me to go out into the snowy weather at Mondstadt to cool myself. How dare they! How dare they! To fragment men by political and cultural boundaries had been the norm for the Balkanization of Tahn since the end of the Holy Orenian Empire, but to split them amongst Religious lines was unheard of! There had not been a Crusade since the march of the Urguan some decades ago! In this tumultuous mood, a strangling soldier came limping forward, his hand over his mouth as red-hot blood trickled down into the snow. Help me. Sandry Farsight cried as he coughed up more of the stick liquid. With haste I led him into the Amador Manor and rested him on the nearby bench, his eyes filled with a fear that still makes me shudder. In his career as Commander, he had once been shot by a stray arrow, piercing under one lung... or so he told me that night. A rupture in him was causing that old wound to slowly build up blood in his breathing. He was Dying. What was I to do? There was not a Doctor for Leagues away... No way to cure him. With one hand I cupped his blood-covered cheek and uncorked a small bottle of Opiate, in the hopes that the strong drug would dull his pain and pass him sooner into the next plane. He drank and asked me to give him a Warrior's death... I oblidged by... *The wording is smudged here...* He fell down onto the floor as Wulfrey entered the Hall, where he said he'd take the responsibility, so that the Lady Annebelle, already wrought with grief from the death of her betrothed would not blame me for her Father's death. With such actions having been taken, we informed the Lady Annebelle and the people of the Kingdom of the Commander's death, holding a pyre out the back gates of the County. With his body laid on the Dark Oak Timber and straw beneath to light, four men with torches, myself included, lit the pyre. I don't remember much that night... only muttering the House Words. "From Ashes, We Rise." Until the pyre's flames turned to embers, and the whistling winter winds carried Sandry's Soul to the Seven Skies. ========================================================================== Chapter 19: Journey to the Lands of the West Redacted Artist, "Sketch of Bastion" (N.D) ========================================================================== Sometime later, Wulfrey would be promoted to Commander, and I to the position of Man-at-Arms. I didn't care much for it, nor should I, since the Crown soon centralised the Army into a single fighting force. Wulfrey, with no connection with the Wardens anymore, chose to leave for the Hinterlands. Count Owyn, Adrian, Myself and Sandry's only surviving son would join the new military as a division of Amador soldiers from Mondstadt. I welcomed time away from Mondstadt, within the Van Loden Fiefdoms, conversing with Erin Lockley, Johen and Floris Van Loden. But not long after I had been given time with my thoughts, to get over the death of Sandry, whom I considered a mentor and friend, I was summoned back to Mondstadt. I was given an assignment by my Lord to travel to the Kingdom of the Westerlands, where H.R.H King Leopold Francis I Horen reigned, to find a potential betrothal match for the young Lord. I was naturally happy to take up the roll, writing up the diplomatic writ for the Count to sign before heading off. The Count added that, after, I was to travel to Metz. It was when I arrived that I met an unexpected ally, the Lady Aylssa Adelheid Amador, Count Owyn's Twin sister. She was a young women whom I had only met once before, but not to speak to each other, only to gaze under the roof of the Amador Manor. She was fair of skin and temperament when I showed her the Writ. She earnestly aided me and gained me access to the Keep, where H.R.H Queen Annebel Victoria greeted us with her Daughter-in-Law. The Queen was a splendid women, who appeared to be everything that a Queen should be. Even-tempered, firm and decisive. As I passed the diplomatic writ to her, a soldier came up and requested my arms. To prove I was not an enemy, I surrendered my axe without opposition. H.R.H Queen Annebel read the writ with her daughter-in-law before regretfully informing me that there were no eligible noble ladies avaliable for the Count. This spurred an insult from the soldier who took my axe, which I quickly rebuffed. A mistake on my part, as soon the whole Court of the Westerlands were soon berating me. As much as I tried to apologise, I saw the Lady Aylssa fuming with this humiliation and she requested the Queen's pardon. The Queen was receptive, but requested we leave the Hall. So we did. Outside, the Lady Aylssa made no qualms of reminding me of my social status and place. Despite her eye-line having to gaze up to me, she threatened to place my head on a pike if I should ever to humiliate her in such a fashion again, which did fill me with trepidation and humiliation myself at such a botched act of diplomacy. Without much in the way of conversation, we both made our way to Metz, though I feel the acts in the court were too much for her to bare company with me. Thus, she travelled on her own, some league or so behind me. ========================================================================== Chapter 20: An Amadorian Assembly Redacted Artist, "Princess Anna-Sophia Pruvia-Horen" (c.1581) ========================================================================== That was probably the longest, most depressing march in my entire life. Travelling from Bastion in the Westerlands to Metz in Lotharingia gave me pause for thought in the actions that happened the nights prior. Had my mistakes been the result of a culture clash perhaps? I remembered distinctly that H.R.H Queen Annebel Victoria stated: I didn't really perceive nor understand the meaning of these words, but it did make me come to the realisation that there may have definitely been a culture clash between myself and the soldiers of the Westerlands. In this case or not, it had proven clear to me that, whilst I had attempted to defend the honour of House Amador, I had caused a significant rift. A rift that I would have to apologise for and attempt to close in the future, should the opportunity allow it. Once in Metz, I rendezvoused with Count Amador and the new King of Lotharingia, H.R.H King Philip I Owyn d'Amaury. We were greeted inside the Castle as the Mother of the Count arrived: the Princess Anna-Sophia Pruvia Horen, the woman that I had spent so long prior trying to locate and find some years before. She was admitted into the Hall where herself and the Lord conversed, until a stranger from another realm came to speak with the King. We were graciously asked to move to the Gardens, and did so. Soon after, screams and yelling came from the Gates. A familiar voice which made me shudder...The Lady Aylssa had arrived. But, no sooner was she in the arms of her mother and brother, embracing them, raiders attacked the Keep. Storming in through the front gate, they made loud demands for Gold, Minae and Weapons from H.R.H King Philip & his servant Mr.Burke. Anna-Sophia strove into action to hide her children in an upstairs room, ordering me to guard them with my life, lest I wished my manhood to be cut and shoved in my mouth as my throat was slit. Amador women... Heh... They have a way of pitting the demons against your back. Needless to say, Anna-Sophia was a woman of great beauty and intellect, but sharp-tongued and firm, like many a noble lady. Aylssa's virtues and vices shone through like a mirror onto the Princess of Pruvia. She managed to secure the safety of Mr.Burke until the raiders had been suspected of departing. I offered to search the area to confirm this, whilst the Amadors held a small assembly in that one, small room. I do not know to this day what conversations transpired in there... But whatever happened, it left Lady Aylssa with her Mother in Lotharingia, and the Lord Amador sullen and depressed for several days. Before I left, I made a heartfelt apology to the Lady Aylssa for the trouble in Bastion, which she seemed to accept. It was met with a single order from the Princess Pruvia: to watch over my Lord and Her Son. I bowed respectfully and swiftly departed. ========================================================================== Read Book 1 Here! Read Book 3 Here!