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About MarquisAlex

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    Cornwall, UK
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    Get to know me a bit better, and I may tell you. :)
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    Aylwin Blaxton

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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. The Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton - Book 3 ========================================================================== 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! Book 4 is a W.I.P
  4. Aylwin Blaxton salutes the couple on their marriage Vows. "From Ashes, We Rise." He'd proclaim.
  5. ((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))
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. The Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton - Book 2 ========================================================================== 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!
  9. Aylwin Blaxton, a former diplomat to Lotharingia and current soldier of Hanseti-Ruska, looks over the pact and its terms. A small smile lines his lips as he silently says: "It is good to know that H.R.H King Philip avails himself of such prudent measures with the Westerlands. In time, after the blood has been spilt over, we may all see the appeal of the treaty table... To bring the dawn of a new, more peaceful, Tahn in our time." With that said, Aylwin returns to his work.
  10. I. Name: Aylwin Blaxton II. Age: 29 IIa. Date of Birth [If Known]: 10th Snow Maiden, 1572 IIb. Location of Birth [If Known]: Mondstadt III. Race [Human/Elf]: Human IIIa. Culture [Heartlander, Highlander, Wood Elf, etc.]: Highlander IV. Status of Blood [Nobility, Gentry, Commoner, Former Nobility, etc.]: Commoner V. Place of Residence: Mondstadt VI. Martial Knowledge [Trained in Weaponry, Archer, etc.]: Men-At-Arms for Mondstadt, Decent Archer. VII. Skilled Labor [Farmer, Lumberjack, etc.]: Veteran Miner and Fair Leatherworker. OOC MC Name: MarquisAlex Skype ID: u have it
  11. =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+= Dies irae, dies illa Solvet saeclum in favilla Godwin, et cum concursus Joren Quantus tremor est futurus Quando Judex est venturus Day of Wrath, that day Shall Consume the World in Ashes When Godwin and Joren Melee When the Judge is Come What Trembling is to be. =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+= A Short Poem by Aylwin Blaxton, In honour of H.H Daniel IV. Canonist and Proud.
  12. ========================================= A depiction by mummers of the current orations in the Kingdom of Courland & the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska =========================================
  13. The Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton - Book 1 "The convictions of my education shall carry me forward" Redacted Artist, "The view of the Greyspine Mountains, from the forest road below." c.1595. ========================================================================== Chapter 1: From the nest. ========================================================================== The soft winter snows of the Haense slowly cascade from the sky as a young man exits the Church of St.Karlsburg, the silken snowflakes catching to his curly brown locks and bushy brown beard, whilst the doors of God's house squeamishly close behind him. alma mater. For three years now, Aylwin Blaxton has been studying within the strong walls of Karlburg, seat of the infant Marius I Barnabov. His education, under the tutelage of the church, has been concerned with the politics of the realms of men; the faction squabbles that attempt to convince and coerce those that hold power, the influences of the 'higher beings' to preserve the virtues of this world within the context of the saints and other-worldly beings, as well as the nature of feudalism as a conduit for maintaining and securing power. Yet for all his knowledge of the politics of the human world, for all the lessons he had learned during his Artium Baccalaureus, it would not have prepared him for the news he would receive. Father, Mother, both of them dead at the hands of bandits. Lawless raiders, who had slain the good townsfolk of Mondstadt for the riches and resources that it had to offer, before rolling back into the forests and out of the sights of the military. Such was the case of late, with rumours circulating that the young Baron Owyn Amador was taken into the House of Barnabov, for his own safety. Father was a travelling merchant of Amador, whilst his mother was a simple serf, working the lands of the Baron. It was now Alywin's job to collect the meagre hundred-minas that was left for him by his father, the rest stolen by those raiders, who now had the blood on their hands of innocents. He travelled to the keep of Barnabov and there met the Baron Amador, requesting his inheritance and a house within the walls of Mondstadt to call his own, which was duly granted to him because of the circumstances he found himself in. On the way from Karlsburg to Mondstadt, the infant Baron enquired to the education that Aylwin received under the church, to which Aylwin replied honestly and humbly. With an interest in the answer he received, the Lord Amador offered to bring this young student, who was only a decade his elder, to the courts of Kings and Nobility. How could such a possibility be refused? It could not, alia iacta est, carpe diem. This was how a recent graduate from St.Karlburg, with no wealth or high social status, was given the opportunity to meet those he had written of in his works, dei gratia. ========================================================================== Chapter 2: The first task. Redacted Artist, "Dorm Amador, Steward of Mondstadt" c.1593. ========================================================================== Mondstadt was an interesting barony, with stone walls that protected the homes and municipal industries that swerved down the street, like the sea shells that could be found on the Hanseti-Coast. At the centre of the shell that was Mondstadt, sat a large wooden manor with blue and white banners flying from the walls and windows, the Amador Manor. With a gracious greeting from the townsfolk of Mondstadt, alongside provisions and his old family home, I summoned to this manor. Inside, the old stone hearth flickered with wisps of flame dancing shadows over the wooden beams of the halls, whilst the shadowy figures stood in the court of the Baron. The first, and most obvious, was the Baron himself. Baron Owyn Amador, a child who had not yet seen his fourteenth winter in this world, yet attempted to be the Baron that the peasantry and low-borns like myself looked up to for protection. Stood opposite him were two individuals: Sandry Farsight and his young daughter, Annebelle Farsight. Sandry was a gruff individual, with a scar down the left-hand side of his face, barely missing his eye as it reached down into a small beard. He donned the Tabbard of House Amador, for whom he worked as the principle commander of the Amador forces. The shadow that was curled up next to him, clinging that tabbard was Annebelle, a Young Highlander beauty with long strands of dark hair and large eyes that took in all that was around her. After making formal introductions, the Baron sat himself on the central throne of the Court, whilst the Farsights took up a nearby bench. It was the Lord Baron's wish that I be sent off outside the realms of this Kingdom, in search of a potential love-match for himself, to continue House Amador's noble lineage. And while I was at it, attempt to find a potential love match for Dorm Amador also, whose recent attempts failed. At this time, the Holy Orenian Empire was no longer an aspect of this Axios. Johannsburg, once the seat of Imperium for the human races of Tahn, was now a ruin. The air around it was thick with a dark blue mist, which was blisteringly cold to inhale and was said to could cause insanity or death to those who ventured too close. This capital sat in the middle of the Valley of the Emperors, past the Greyspine Mountains. Since the death of that Empire, the Realms of the Horen had undergone a mass balkanization in, where the ducal seats of the former empire transformed into the Kingdoms of Hanseti-Ruska, Courland, Lotharingia, Norland and the Westerlands. I was thus sent first to speak to the nobles of the Kingdom of Lotharingia, once the ducal realm of Lorraine-Savoy, seat of House d'Amaury. It was, thus, that I mounted the courser-horse that was granted to me with a Diplomatic writ, before speeding beyond the Valley of the Emperors to the vast savannah beyond, towards Ponce. ========================================================================== Chapter 3: Architect of Bridges. Redacted Artist, "A Noble Marriage" c.1597. ========================================================================== The mission to the Kingdom of Lotharingia had took me to see many of the surrounding fiefdoms which dotted the Lorraine-Savoy landscape. Places such as the Barony of Ponce, the County of Cleves, the Ruins of the Chancellery and Amien. All places which ignited my imagination of the glory that was the Kingdom of Lotharingia. The King of Lotharingia, John d'Amaury, had recently died. He had left his wife ruling as the regent of the Kingdom, with the help of the lords of the land, in the stead of the new heir to the Throne, Lothar d'Amaury. It was my mission to talk to the Queen-Regent Charlotte and her court, to look for potential love matches for the Lord-Baron Owyn Amador. Clutching my diplomatic writ, I arrived at Metz, the Captital of the Kingdom of Lotharingia. Riding up the steps on my horse, I travelled towards the Keep, where the knights of the holy order of St.Lother were guarding and patrolling. Presenting my writ, I was taken into the Court. I found myself stunned to find the Young heir to the throne in the court of the Kingdom, instead of his Mother or his lords. Whilst attempting to maintain a level of dignity and humility before the young King-to-Be, I present my diplomatic writ, explaining my travel in these lands. I made it a matter of professional principle to carry these diplomatic writs with me throughout any of the realms that I travelled to, as to ensure the protection of myself and any entourage, and to assure the men of the court that I was no enemy to fear. Lothar d'Amaury took well to my travel and allowed me then to seek the Lords of his realm, so that I may ask for potential love matches. With two steps back in a low bow, before turning on the heel towards the door, I thanked the King-to-be for his time and made my way to his Vassals. The first of which was the Lord-Despot of Nicaea, Constantinos Palaiologos. He was a lively fellow, with a large, bushy beard as mine. He welcomed me into his Court and stated that he did have a daughter that he wished to marry off, which I made quick work to note down. Thanking him for his time, I offered that myself and the Baron Amador arrive some time in the future to discuss the detail, to which he agreed. I made my way through the various different vassal-lands of Lotharingia to no avail of a bride, thus taking my results to Mondstadt. The Baron was pleased with the result and made haste his visit to the Despotate of Nicaea, wishing to not waste time with such a potential match. However, once we got there with our small entourage, we found the gates shut and the Despot talking with some of the men of Lotharingia. After they had concluded their business, which was not to be expected, we were permitted into the hold. The Despot Constantinos had the company of whom I believe to have been his nephew, as well as the Lord De Bar, who had been a thorn in my side concerning diplomatic affairs. He had taken to insulting the Lord Amador, but was soon on his way as the arrangements for a betrothal were finalised. I felt so alive with the results I was able to get for the Baron, so pleased... That was until the said Constantinos decided to then leave the regency council of Lotharingia and flee to Courland. Lord Amador was leniant, pleased with the result despite the now lack of a bride, a promising start to the long road ahead. ========================================================================== Chapter 4: Trade of Barons. Redacted Artist, "A Sutican Weavery." c.1590. ========================================================================== It has been known since as long as there has been men on Tahn that would grant the ennoblement of some families over others: House Amador makes it's money as merchants with the Realms of Men. The same was no different within this new regime of which I found myself in. After the sad dismissal of the Despot Constantinos Palaiologos from the Regency Council of Lotharingia, which left him seeking aid from the Kingdom of Courland, the Baron decided to take matters into his own hands with the matter of finding a bride. In the mean time, I was dispatched to the Trade Federation of Sutica, to attempt to garner friendly relations as I had done in Lotharingia. With quill, ink and parchment, I created the diplomatic writ and began to book sea-passage to the Isle of Sutica. Sutica was off the coast of the continent of Tahn and counted as a continent in it's own right, just like the Realm of Haria. Sutica had run on the basis of a meritocracy and republic, which was spear-headed by a Trade-Princess. It was my mission to talk to the Trade Princess and her ministers and ingratiate myself with them and their culture. Knowing next to nothing of the place or the people, I enquired around Mondstadt and found that the Young Annebelle Farsight had once lived in Sutica as a child. In exchange for teaching her some practice in the art of Diplomacy, I offered to allow her to tag along as my guide, an offer she took up with some fervour. It was on this travel with Annebelle that I learned a great deal about her: she was in love with the Lord Boris Ruthern, Count of Mettenden and Guardian of the Greyspine pass out of the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska. At first, I placed this down to some childish fantasy. A low-born daughter of a Barony's Military commander, to wed a Count? But as the details grew and grew, I sensed that there was probably a lot of truth to the tale, endeavouring to do my best for the young girl. She also happened to have been a childhood friend of the Baron for as long as she could remember, but was constantly scared of being seen with the Count, for fear that the Baron would disapprove of the match. After this long conversation on the roads and seas, we reach Sutica, where I happened to learn some of the exotic creatures that dwelled within this fine world that GOD had created for us. The Trade-Princess and her Husband, who was the acting Trade minister, received the diplomatic writ signed by Lord Amador without hesitation. A smile cracked on the lips of the Princess, as she realised the prim and proper attitude that was carried forward by myself in such transactions. I admit myself hot-under-the-collar and flustered by her response, but nonetheless attempted to treat her and her husband with the respect they deserved. I spent some time conversing with them and their subject, building the networking lanes that would no doubt prove useful in the future. It was then that the Lord Baron Owyn showed up, carrying in his hand an edict from the King of Haense. ========================================================================== Chapter 5: Resolute Realm. Redacted Artist, "Target Practice" 1596. ========================================================================== On 14th of Malin’s Welcome, 1598, H.R.H King Marius I Barbanov made a proclamation of a 'Resolute Realm'. Within the document, he asked for the Highlander people to maintain their zealous camaraderie and commitment to the Dual-Monarchy, alongside three virtues of the state: Unity, Honour & Respect. After this, H.R.H King Marius mentioned that a set of new edicts would be coming forward to make this 'Resolute Realm' a reality. I could tell from the wording that this could only spell trouble for House Amador. The proclamation was too nicely worded and hinted at further edicts, which in turn must have meant that these edicts to come were going to be rather unpopular with some level of society, my own thoughts being on the Barony. With a word from the Baron, I set off back to Mondstadt to measure the Barony, but not before the Baron received a Royal Summons to the King's Court. Naturally, the Young Baron asked of me to attend the meeting, to help mediate what may occur. Once in St. Karlsburg, H.R.H King Marius met us inside his keep and quickly shuffled us to a meeting table, as the Queen-Mother organised a meal for our discussion. It would have appeared that the King had been seeing the Lords of the Realm and requested a one-time payment to help with the resolute realm. The Baron Amador decided to pay an amount over the request value, to which the King and Lord Maer Lucas Vanir were most pleased, deciding to dedicate a new library to the Late Baron. I did not believe this to be a true exchange for the sum offered, so then I made a counter-suggestion, with the permission of my Lord. The King and the Maer, saddened that their offer did not seem to match the wishes of the House, agreed to my counter-offer. We left thus on reasonable terms, feeling a sense of accomplishment. Once the meeting was concluded and we were back in Mondstadt, I went into the Amador Office and began to write up a small plenary of the events thus far. The Baron Amador congratulated me on my work, but then passed unto me two new documents: The Vassal Ordinance Edict of 1598 & the Interior Edict of that same year. These two documents placed together allowed me then to see the full picture; The King planned to curb the the powers of the Nobility, by halting the construction of further edifices and limiting their land to a set amount of acres. It became clear to me that, should the Minister of the Interior wish, he would cut down Mondstadt's size considerably and we would be forced to demolish all that the Kingdom did not agree too. This included, though reasonably in my mind, the unfinished keep that Owyn's father had started before he passed away. It was a troubling pair of edicts, but with help from the Wardens of Mondstadt, we began to measure out the dimensions of the Barony to date. It was my hope to converse with the Minister of the Interior, to reach some mediation between House Amador and the Crown's Edicts, which would then make us seem less like reluctant participants. ========================================================================== Chapter 6: Interior issues. Redacted Artist, "The Crow Watches" 1598. ========================================================================== It was at this point in my youthful-diplomatic career that I gauged the waters that I was to swim were hazardous and likely to end with some trouble down the end of the road. After reading the edicts and measuring out Mondstadt, it became obvious that come clarification of the edicts would be required, for the land that Mondstadt took up was within the limits of set out by the Dual Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska. However, this would only be the case if the Interior minister did not wish to compact the Noble lands, for which he held sway now, into neatly organised boxes. Thus I arranged to meet with the Interior Minister, Diedrik Barrow, within the halls of the keep at St. Karlsburg. Diedrik Barrow was a man of short-temperament, quick lip, and ruthless agenda. Throughout his tenure as the Interior Minister for H.R.H King Marius, he had gained a reputation with the Lords of the Realm for being a man who would get his task done, no matter of the costs. At this meeting that I held with him, the initial clarification that I required of the edicts was answered in a short and sharp manner, befitting his prominence. It was his wish to have the Lords of Hanseti-Ruska allocated tidy plots of land, set within strict parameters and made measures to demolish any and all buildings that were surplus to this requirement. So then the second of the questions were thus to follow, requesting for the Minister to wait a while until such time as the Baron Amador may receive Royal Letters announcing his ascension to the title of 'Count'. For a while since these happenings of the state, the Baron Amador had been taking pains to improve his standing within the Kingdom and with the King, donating funds to a library project and being an erstwhile vassal to the Crown of the Dual Monarchy. It was hinted in various conversations that such an arrangement was due to take place. Needless to say, the Minister of the Interior did not take to this news lightly, having planned to march to Mondstadt and begin the demolition of any buildings he believed to be in breach of the Interior Edict. It was only by my persistent persuasion to stay his hand did he decide to do so, after several attempts to deflect such measures as insults to the wisdom of either H.R.H King Marius or the Interior Ministry, much to my frustration. The Minister of the Interior did eventually create an ultimatum, that he would speak to the King on this matter and he would act according to the King's wishes, after several attempts to push down his own ego to emphasise a joint-loyalty to the crown we knelt to. As I did not hear from him after this, I assumed the King took the side of Mondstadt over his Minister. It was then I recieved word from the Baron Amador, summoning me back to Mondstadt for a diplomatic assignment. ========================================================================== Chapter 7: When doe meets fawn. Redacted Artist, "Sketch: A Mother's Love" (N.D). ========================================================================== Before leaving for Mondstadt, I happened upon a rather young beauty in the streets of St.Karlsburg by the name of Erin Locksey, a steward for the city and merchant. She was a polite and gentle soul, who preferred to make coin in the markets and earn an honest living, rather than deal with the political squabbles of the Lords as I had to. This acquaintance that I had made soon flourished into a decent friendship as I began to talk to her, discovering that she was betrothed to one Johen Van Loden, brother of the now Acting Maer Floris Van Loden, both strapping young men who attempted to set up a Labour Guild in the streets of St.Karlsburg to stimulate the economy of the city. Floris was hit by a stray rock during my conversations with this merchant family, slashing open a segment of his skin on the shoulder, which I attended to with some limited medical knowledge. Fortunately, a doctor with a jungle-like appearance soon came forward to assist Floris Van Loden, as I conversed with him about my role as a Diplomat to the House Amador. He seemed to have taken a liking to me, and I to him. However, I realised that I had spent so much time in conversation with the Van Loden family, that I had neglected to go attend to my Lord's aid! I therefore rushed back over to Mondstadt. The Baron Amador had summoned me to send me back on a diplomatic mission to Lotharingia, in order to purchase a small estate within the Kingdom of Lotharingia, so that it may serve as a trading outlet. His mother, one Anna Sophia Pruvia-Horen, had left home whilst Owyn was still growing up to take up the title of Pruvia-Horen from that of Amador. It was a wish of the Baron to see his mother again and feel her embrace, a sensation that he had not felt in such a long time. Such knowledge of her disappearance had been kept behind closed doors, but I was also ordered to request the now King Lothar d'Amaury to aid in the search for his own Aunt. I wasted no time in going to Metz, marching up to the castle and being permitted entry to the Court of the H.R.H King of Lotharingia, customarily bowing and taking every precaution possible to make it seem that I was not rude to the newly crowned King. After some brief pleasantries within the introduction were carried out, I passed on my diplomatic writ to H.R.H King Lothar and discussed the matter of the estate, to which he requested time to consider the proposal. He also said, though with a very gloomy demeanour, that he would aid in the disappearance of his Aunt, Anna Sophia. As this session of court was adjured for the day, I spent some time talking to the King and his younger brother, before hearing word that the Baron's mother was indeed within the city some days later after I had left. Naturally, I travelled back to Mondstadt to inform the Baron of the news, to which he spent no time preparing his horse to travel personally to Metz. In his entourage, he decided to bring with him my own brother, Ayldan Blaxton. Ayldan had been sent to squire whilst I was sent to the church for education, however, despite being ten years my junior, I was pleased to see him return to family. The Baron also brought with him the darling Annebelle Farsight, whom I thought to now suited to enter the court of royalty. Together, we reached Metz and went to the Keep of H.R.H King Lothar, where we were swiftly permitted entry to the Court. Indeed, Anna Sophia was present in the Court and after presenting the formalities of entering the court and discussing with the King about the estate, the Baron Owyn went to talk alone with his mother and embrace her. The Fawn found his Mother, wishing there and then to potentially turn the trading estate he wished to purchase into a home where he may see his mother more often. ========================================================================== Chapter 8: Between the Devil. Redacted Artist, "Throwing down the Gauntlet." 1598. ========================================================================== It's at this point in my memoirs that I should pay notice to the nativity I possessed of my station. Like a thunderclap that would disrupt babes from their sleep, a revelation occurred to me: Should they wish to, the enemies of House Amador could see this land purchase as a potential attempt to cede from the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, indeed to create a circumstance which could imperil any of those involved. With this foremost in my thoughts, I rushed Annebelle Farsight and Ayldan Blaxton out of the court and talked with them in a discrete manner. I made no word of a lie when I said that this arrangement should be kept a secret from anyone other than those present, since people could and would die if this information was given to a person with maliceful intent. A mistake I would come to realise soon as Annebelle left the entourage. For you see, House Amador had recently been involved with a couple of insults and disagreements with the Count Boris Ruthern of Mettenden, Annebelle Farsight's betrothed. At the Tourney of Mettenden, the Lord Boris insulted myself and the House Amador, which led to us striking our banners and leaving the tourney to return home. I was thus sent out to attempt to repair relations and receive an apology from Lord Boris, since House Amador had gifted his House the wood that was necessary to create his tourney grounds in the first place. The Lord did agree to apologise for the 'alleged' insult that he had dished out only hours ago, but it did not seem to fixed the rift that I had attempted to patch, despite the Baron being pleased with the result and naming me his Chancellor. After returning to Mondstadt, an army gathered outside of the main gate, with Lord Boris Ruthern and Prince Otto Barbanov at its head. They demanded entry in the name of the King, to which the Baron Amador oblidged, only for us to be arrested and taken to the Court of H.R.H King Marius. Baron Owyn Amador was accused of High Treason, with the intention of ceding from the Dual Kingdom. Indeed the very thing I had attempted to prevent. Lord Boris held within him a zealotry and desire to see House Amador brought low that day, but after the Lady Annebelle was brought forward and attested that the turn of events that I describe to you now here were true, the Princes Otto and Josef judged Lord Amador to not be guilty of High Treason. Instead, blame was laid squarely at my feet, to which I regretfully accepted on the basis of inadequate diplomacy. Oh how I blamed Lord Boris for this humilation to myself and the House Amador, but the fault was mine. ========================================================================== Chapter 9: A glass too many. Unknown Artist, "Etching of a Drunk" (N.D). ========================================================================== I suppose, back then, I should have been far more grateful to all-mighty GOD and his will. For it was by his will and that of the young Annebelle Farsight, the betrothed of Lord Boris Ruthern of Mettenden, that I had retained by head or any other part of my anatomy. Had it been by his will or that of the Crown-Princes of the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, I would have suffered far worse than the indignity that I was to suffer for my naive actions. The Lord Baron Amador was given no choice but to strip me of my rank within his household, lest he wished me to sever me from the neck or from the knuckles. Thus, I went down into the Cellars of the Amador Manor and managed to acquire from those stores a casket of twelve wine bottles. With these bottles, I travelled out of the main hall and passed the gate, where the Lord-Baron was conversing with a stranger, of whom I knew little and cared even less. Instead, I went to a nearby tower for which I held the key to, opening the door and locking myself in. I cannot remember much of what transpired after that event... Only that I took one bottle, after another, after another. Until, finally, I had thrown myself into such a terrible rage that fragments of glass laid around me. I had spent all my energy and anger in this confined space, like a tormented animal locked in a cage, before passing out cold on the stone slabs of the floor. Wine and alcohol caked my Tabard and clothing. Next I knew of it, I was feeling the heavy splashed of water against my face, jerking up out of reaction to the angry faces of Erin Lockley and the Baron Amador. They had taken pains to drag me from my tower and place me in my own bed, where they had spent a large amount of time nursing me through some chronic alcoholic's illness. The Baron Amador and Lady Lockley comforted me in my current situation, before the Lord had to leave to attend formal matters. Erin was kind to me, as if sent by the Saints of the Canonic Church to watch me through this hangover. It was then, whilst conversing over her trade in St.Karlsburg that I hit upon a clever idea. A Lottery. A lottery which would allow the winner to receive an amount of minae, whilst also saving some face from the debacle that was the trial, the source of the House's humiliation. I passed on this idea to the Lord, in time, but how was I to know the effects that would lead us out of the hands of peace and into the lands of war. ========================================================================== Chapter 10: A Seminal Tragedy. Redacted Artist, "Finding Prince Meric." 1600. ========================================================================== On 10th of the Amber Cold, 1599, the History of the known world came down to a singular, remarkable individual. This young man, whom I had believed to be the epitome of the statesman and diplomat, would be killed in the most horrendous fashion, by a man who would have fervently sought the end of his King's wishes, until they no longer aligned with his. It was on this bitterly cold day that H.R.H King Marius I Barbanov of St. Karlsburg and Hanseti-Ruska called together his Court of Nobles and subjects, to discuss the bitterly accepted Interior act, which the Interior Minister, Diedrik Barrow, had been ruthlessly pursuing. I was stood in a line with the Amador Wardens, near the Baron Amador, and surrounded by an uneasy amount of spectators. The King had scarcely got a word in about the Court and his intentions, firstly to knight a young warrior to his household guard and then to talk on the Resolute Realm before a gust of wind blew into the hall, making the many banners of Barbanov fly near the Princes Otto and Josef. On this coat-tails of this wind, as if by some fantasy, A resplendent gentleman stepped forward into the court, with eyes pinned onto him and a large feeling of dissatisfaction falling like a pale on all. This was the Prince Meric of House Staunton-Hearth. He had come, asking for the King Marius to consider further diplomatic correspondence towards a more amicable relation between the Haense and Courland. A prospect that saw the court fly into uproar. On this moment the Minister Barrow stood behind the Prince, attempting to shove the prince out of the way whilst he was conversing with the king. Such an act was intolerable to myself, once a diplomat too. I was one of a few in that court shouting to the King. This gentleman of another Realm has come to our land offering friendship. Friendship that should be given with like in turn, by offering the Prince Meric diplomatic immunity, until such time has he would have left the realm. My oratory in this regard had been thrown to the abuse of the court, which flew the names of the dead that had been killed at court like many different stones at a martyr, though some did support my opinion. The King scolded the Minister Barrow for his actions and indeed agreed with the Prince Meric for further correspondences. As Barrow stormed off, the Prince ingratiated the King for his wisdom, before setting out himself. It would be the last I saw of the man, who I believed to have acted in such a brave and professional manner. Moments later, when the King had gathered control of the court for what he wished to speak of, a scream echoed from the stone walls. Adrijana Kovachev, a girl of some similarity to the young Annebelle Farsight (though often of much more forceful demeanour) shouted that the Prince had been killed in the streets of Karlsburg. Murdered. Naturally, the Wardens ran out to the scene, but no body was found... instead a blood-trail left behind carried us out of the gate of the capital and into the snows by the wall. The death of Prince Meric of the House Staunton-Hearth, nephew of H.R.H King Tobias Staunton of the Kingdom of Courland, was a deep and sorrowful tragedy which was felt, not only by the people of Courland, but by the Immediate Court of King Marius I Barbanov. The air of hope that had surrounded the Prince's intentions was now quite lost. Lost to the crossbow bolt from a Haenseti-rebel, who took his own interests over that of the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, before being smashing the enigmatic Prince's body. It was this event, that I truly believe, that our current plight could have been resolved, as it brought together those with honest intent and sought to foster a peace that the late Prince had desired with H.R.H. King Marius. From this moment onward, Axios had been set adrift, at the mercy of History's Restless Tides. A search for Diedrik Barrow, the Interior Minister with whom I had conversed the realities of the Interior act (1598) later that year, was ordered... though to no avail. ========================================================================== Book 2 is Here! Book 3 is a W.I.P
  14. Aylwin Blaxton would stand vigil over the pyre that cremated Sandry Farsight, until that pyre's fire would turn to embers, glowing in the brisk Hanseti-wind. "From Ashes, We Rise."
  15. Aylwin Blaxton smiles as the lottery is declared a success and is given the approval of his Lord, tossing a lotto-stone up in the air several times over and catching it each time. "This is exactly what the economy of St.Karlsburg requires. The winners will be able to potentially use their winnings to stimulate the merchant stalls, as well as giving those who have nothing currently a chance to restart." He then sighs lightly as he strokes his beard. "But, I guess this means I will have to man the stall more often. Oh well."