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    soldier boy i tell 'em
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  1. LETTER OF RESIGNATION KRUSAE ZWY KONGZEM Issued by the Office of the Royal Treasury On this 3rd of MSITZA AND DARGUND of 448 E.S. VA BIRODEO E HERZENAV, For twenty-two years I have served His Majesty, Karl III, acting as his Royal Treasurer. Disregarding Krawns, our coffers have doubled and are fit to match the ambitions of our Country. It should be every man of this nation's duty to serve it well, to fulfill what little purpose there is to have. I hereby resign from the Office of the Royal Treasury, and propose that my Deputy Treasurer, Maric Colborn, take my place as the office’s head. May he find duty, or purpose in the office, and if not, may he find it elsewhere. My aging days are better suited serving His Majesty directly, within the Marian Retinue. Where I am better suited, wielding sword and shield, rather than pen and parchment. IV JOVEO MAAN Ser Grigori Vyronov, Knight of the Marian Retinue
  2. The sleeping Nikolas sputtered out as Mischa forwarded a missive into his face, clashing with the bridge of his hooked nose. His eyes were bloodshot from the night before as he looked upon her face, disorientated. The makeshift pillow of a hearth’s firewood log roused a grunt of pain from him. Ponderously sitting up, he gave the hearsay a read, taking him retake after retake, due to the fog of his mind. “The writing is bitter as always,” is all he muttered. After, he found his makeshift log pillow on the kitchen floor and nodded back off to a peaceful sleep.
  3. THE APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY TREASURER KRUSAE ZWY KONGZEM Issued by the Office of the Royal Treasury On this 5th of WZUVAR AND BYVCA of 444 E.S. VA BIRODEO E HERZENAV, The Office of the Treasury has long gone without a Deputy to prop itself up, and ensure further prosperity for our Kingdom. With frictions on the horizon, His Excellency, Grigori Vyronov sees it fit that a Deputy is finally appointed, due to the costs of our Kingdom’s future being uncertain, and that a candidate of the realm has showed beyond doubt his competency, and loyalty to help maintain His Majesty’s office of coin. The candidate hereby appointed to the position of Deputy Treasurer is His Lordship, Maric Colborn, (@Twandhi) the Baron of Bethlenen. He has ensured that the external trade of Haense has flourished, maintaining many foreign shops, and other avenues of trade. This is alongside his many other duties within the treasury, that he has excellently completed, with exceeding haste. IV JOVEO MAAN His Excellency, Ser Grigori Vyronov, Lord Treasurer of Hanseti-Ruska and Knight of the Marian Retinue
  4. THE PURCHASE OF COMMODITIES & CURIOSITIES WITHIN THE ROYAL TREASURY KRUSAE ZWY KONGZEM Issued by the Office of the Royal Treasury On this 9th of WZUVAR AND BYVCA 439 ES VA BIRODEO E HERZENAV, The Kingdom has reached a zenith of prosperity, following years of war, and an adamant council persisting throughout it all. Stalls, and other deals have been propped up both internally, and internationally, therefore trade has flourished. Coffers of Hanseti-Ruska are brimming to the point of hinges splintering, causing hundreds of coins to go amiss, and eventually, left to rust in our vaults. This coinage is not to go wasted. It is now, the Office of the Royal Treasurer does hereby open itself up to spend some of its coin, looking to purchase commodities pertaining to the following: I. Items that have historical relevance, with proof provided. II. Items that are crafted with a rare material. III. Items that have magical, and or, intriguing properties. If you wish to inquire about the sale of an item, or other commodity, please contact the Lord Treasurer. His Excellency, Ser Grigori Vyronov, Lord Treasurer of Hanseti-Ruska, Knight of the Marian Retinue
  5. [Elizabeth Kenney] O’, BLIZZARD COMING ______________________________________________ It was just around midnight, for the moon’s rays had just crept into the windows of the Morrivi. A mother's heels clacked down a nearby corridor, and the lively bustle of Karosgrad had begun to die down. Silently laid a young Barbanov prince, nestled within thick cotton sheets. He was left alone, for only his thoughts accompanied him. “Those I see are those with tales to tell, those tales only I can hear,” The Barbanov prince pondered aloud, looking delicately at the crevices of his dull ceiling. The peak of boredom had long been reached for Nikolas, hours past the strike of midnight in the sky. “I have a gift,” He lulled to himself, resting an arm between a pillow and his head. “The stories of Arn, I heard them because I am not cursed, but because there are many more stories to be told. Those I have not met. Those who could not tell those stories, so now that duty falls to me.” With that in mind, the inky-haired prince swiped a palm to cleanse the fatigue from his eyes, and climbed from the soulless agony that was his bed. Steps echoed in the dark, until the metallic squeak of a door handle sounded, and a creeping light from the hallway seeped into the room, revealing the dishevelled prince. To the kitchens, he met those fallen servants, who had worked themselves to death. To the knight crypts, he met those fallen soldiers, who had bled for King and Country. Through the Palace halls, he had met those ancestors of his, and Maya in passing. But in the palace attic he found something foul. . . The attic was dark at every corner, rickety webs lined left to right, and clouds of dust billowed from each step, or blow of wind. It was tangible, the dark. Each breath broke the absolute silence of the room, which emitted relief, as the sounds of the beating heart, and clamours of the head vanquished. Light was only drawn through the crack of a circular, blue-stained window, where a ragged curtain fell over one side. Below it was a being, more wretched than the tangible dark could ever muster. It had sunken shoulders that bowed towards the window, and shrivelled skin that blinked like a poor, thin leather, stretched over the crest of a mountain. Worst of all, was as it turned to the thud of Nikolas’ boot, where a decrepit smile revealed a set of yellow, shaved teeth, like a trophy. VILE words spilled from his maw. O’, BLIZZARD COMING. . . O’, BLIZZARD COMING. . . The Prince had no words, only a sprint that launched him back to his room in half of the time it had taken him to arrive, and a slam to his door that resounded. ______________________________________________ [Francisco Goya] _______________________ Days turned to weeks, dawn to dusk, and yet the Prince batted only minutes of sleep. A twist of his neck, and those spewed words, it played through his mind. The unsettling apparition scared him to his core, twisting his bones with cold fear, knowing that IT was in the attic with the circular blue window. O’, BLIZZARD COMING. . . O’, BLIZZARD COMING. . . It had bleared through his ears for the final time, and after a debilitated blink, Nikolas was there again. In the stained blue attic, with the wicked apparition at his front, luring him in with a taut flourish of his gangly fingers. “Come here, boy. .” “COME. . . COME!” The Prince fell helpless in his exhausted state, trotting forward. “Why the long face? There is much to tell, so- so much.” Spat the creature, splatting a hand against the window which loomed over them. Nikolas remained still, a dog-tired gaze falling over the creature, trapped in thoughts, All I can do is listen. “O’, Blizzard Coming. . . O’, Blizzard Coming,” He started softly, though his voice turned bitter. “A blanket of snow, shall there be, but NO,” A vile laughter halted him in his tracks. “A covering of suffocation, and frost that no hearth can deter.” “Hail will rain, the size of bricks that prop these walls, which will turn to crumble.” “And- And wind that is sharp enough to cut the backs of those who do not shelter will sickle the land.” ____________ The creature fell tight-lipped then, sheltering those uneven gnashers, while his mangly, jaundiced eyes awaited a reaction from the boy. Nikolas weighed the blizzard to come, in that dizzied state, wondering if it were true. Landed upon the stained window was a singular, warping snowflake, sowing that belief into his mind. But not all his wits were discarded to the snow, so at the turn of his heels, the Prince bound back to his bedroom, wrapping trembling hands around his head. ______________________________________________ O’, BLIZZARD COMING. . . [Joseph Mallord William Turner] ________________________ Rain tapped at the window of Nikolas’ room, one misty night later. Dreams had pooled his mind, and when he had woken, the apparition left clues of his being. ____________ A nightmare of lashing winds woke him to a greening, wiry finger being dragged under his door frame. O’, Blizzard Coming. One of snow that suffocated the world, woke him to an ominous silhouette in his window. O’, Blizzard Coming. The last was of hail, dousing his people in death, which woke him to bitter, sallow eyes dancing in the flames of his hearth. O’, Blizzard Coming. ____________ It was then, prince Nikolas of Barbanov, fumbled out of his bed and to the rainy window of his room, perching himself on the ledge. Eyes of his dragged over the crimson bricked walls of Karosgrad, and out to the horizon. His numb hand pressed against the glass, smearing the condensation as he uttered those words. “O’, Blizzard Coming. You are coming.” ________________________ [Maxfield Parrish] ________________________ Days of duty passed for Nikolas. Friends were told to stock up for the winter, to buy rooms worth of food, so they could last. The purse of his mother was drained, and servants were ordered to pool together an entire vault of coal, so that an eternal fire could be kept ablaze for the blizzard to come. In every crevice of the Palace, thick blankets, rugs, and coats were hidden under floorboards, and in closets, so that his family could be stowed away from the blizzard to come. Though halfway through the hall to his bedroom, his mother, Amadea of Susa flanked his front and folded her arms, sighing gently at the bundle of blankets nestled between his chest and arms, “Oh Chero, you do not need more coats, blankets– take them back!” Nikolas halted before her, and as if comparing a portrait between the prince and the creature, a lopsided smile, and sallow eyes flitted up to Amadea. “O’, Blizzard Coming.”
  6. [Ouzo Kim] [!] An artistic depiction of the young Barbanov Prince. THOSE I SEE ______________________________________________ Arn, oh Arn, Thought the youngest litter of Barbanov. A heavy-eyed Nikolas tossed and turned in the night, powerless to shut-eye, as the wails of those who walked the night peeled his ears. As those wails blared, the Prince scrunched his damp hands into fists and thought to wake his mother. But no. “It is just your whimsical imagination, chero,” The mother explained, checking wardrobes and under his bed. He had seen those who roam the night, talked to some, and even hid from those who spiked fear in him. THOSE FEW WHO HAUNT. And those many who did not believe his woes, confining the boy to a jail of seclusion, without a key in sight. Not able to escape into sleep tonight, Nik wrapped a blanket around his shoulder and crept off to the crypts, pondering once more, Arn, oh Arn. The musty timber door of the crypts craned open, and the peaceful silence broke with flaming echoes. Creeping inside, the Prince spied eighty spindly legs revealed, flitting across the cobbles. It brought a curious glint to his otherwise gloomy eyes, so he leant down and allowed it to crawl onto his hand. Another friend, Noted the Prince, to take on this venture. Arn resided at the lowest level of the crypt, and with him kept for company was usually a broom. By the time Nikolas reached his dear friend, through the swirling, weedy depths of the crypts, he thought, his late night caper to be foolish - hearing the scolding voice of his mother. There he was then, Arn, standing by the grave of King Petyr I. Nikolas was relieved, but that relief was never joy, instead, a warm comfort. [Tyra Keen] [!] A hastful sketch done by the young prince, a depiction of Arn. “You look tired, boy,” Spoke the worker, mopping the floor with a feeble sweep of his broom. Even then, the dust upon those stone floors kept still- unfazed by Arn’s tireless work. Odd, one may think. “Vy have seen better days,” Came Nikolas’ reply. Arn had seen better days. The aged worker never slept, wondered Nikolas, and a large gash was carved into his head, but the Prince never pried - it was his assumption the medicine would be far too expensive for a common man. “Ar. . ha- ha.” The lax figure fell humourous to the joke of Nikolas, and welcomed the Prince closer, leaning against his broom. “But da, sir. It is she who keeps me restless again,” The young boy’s gaze was stained dark from those nights he spent without rest. Approaching Arn, he brushed the back of his hands against his weary eyes, which were now prattled by dust from the crypt. “See. . I told you it was much cozier down here,” Arn recalled from a past talk with the Prince, lowering his form as the Prince came to kneel. A low light of the crypt encroached the pair of them then, yet the warmth of their conversation kept the night at bay, ‘til the very next dawn. The youngest Barbanov opened an eye, and found himself in that low light, with Arn not seen. A panic griefed him, though as he swiveled his eyes, there he was - Arn. HAD HE NOT SLEPT? DOES HE EVER? WHY DOES THE CRYPT ONLY BECOME DIRTIER DESPITE HIS WORK? And there it struck him, as he bid Arn farewell, and traveled the spiraling stairs up to the mossy door, before unfurling it to open. The Haeseni winter sun grazed against the Prince’s olive, freckled skin, and now he understood. His friends had not been able to see Arn... or Klemenita… When they said they could… they had lied… His mother brushed off those wails in the Palace… That apparition in the Swamp… THERE ARE THOSE THAT OTHERS SEE. AND THOSE I SEE.
  7. Ser Grigori smiled the sun's smile, and tucked his blade into a sheathe, headed for retirement, perhaps into a cozy, little Karosgrad cottage.
  8. Grimnir Ireheart came out of retirement from his nice, cavy summer home, to come and give Bakir a meaty pat on the back. "Yer fokin' bananas, ye are." "Ye don' do ifs, buts 'n maybehs, yeh do abslutes."
  9. DONE AND DUSTED “His privy break lasted longer than the fight!” - Iscesi Velulaei’onn 13th of the Grand Harvest, Year of 1880 Time stood still around the combatants as they prepared with bated breath for the signal marking the start of battle. Then there it was, the sound of liquid splashing against the grass ended, followed by the obnoxious buckling of a belt. The battle had begun. Ten of ours, ten of theirs; a battle of chosen champions rather than one of masses, the best that the EATO had to offer against the best that Oren had to offer - a battle to test not only the strength and mettle of the greatest warriors in Almaris, but their wits and teamwork as well. Unsurprisingly, this affair was a short one. Not only did those chosen men of Oren lack the necessary skill to engage the EATO’s champions, they also lacked the composure to pose any real threat in combat. It was a matter of seconds before Oren’s ten had fallen. One of their casualties possessed with them a crudely written note, its parchment stained with Orenian blood: “TO THE ILLITERATE KING FREDERICK I, We must compliment you on your commitment to preserving the august memory of your forefathers. Starting wars you cannot win seems to run in the family, so we’ve noticed. Allowing a child to take command of your legions, however, is a move we have yet to see. We nevertheless invite you to a field battle next Saint’s Day, lest you opt once more to hide behind your walls. We await your response eagerly, The Opposition (Ops)” 1000 U.S.S CASUALTIES 0 E.A.T.O CASUALTIES
  10. THE BEAR SLEEPS AND HIS CUBS DIED TONIGHT “I ONLY SEE PINK NAMES ON THE FLOOR!” - Coin The gentle Haeseni summer sun shone down upon Karosgrad this day, the usual hustle and bustle of merchants, commoners, and nobility making their way around the city creating idle white noise for the world within the city. Despite declarations of war days prior, the populace did not seem so different, the stoic and persistent nature of the Haeseni shown; for there shall be no despair when victory is inbound. Then, within a moment’s notice, the silence was broken. Argus Romstun and his forces had conducted a minor operation into Oren, returning home with a captive, one bourgeois hailing of the Komnenos family, known to hold great wealth, yet unable to hold one’s own. In quick succession, minutes passed, and Haeseni forces rallied to greet their captive, later joined by those of Urguan and Balian. But the Orenians did not come. Eager shouts within Karosgrad echoed: “To battle! For NATO!” And time passed yet, the Orenians showed not the valiance to rescue one of their own, but instead the cowardice to remain blissfully ignorant in the comfort and warmth of one’s city. One would have thought that the capture of one’s own would have been enough encouragement for the forces of the USA to show up, but alas, it is often pitiful how disappointing reality can be. Though, the NATO is not so easily dissuaded from their victories, and orders came from Andronikas Mareno, “They will not come to us, so we will come to them!” From Karosgrad to Valwyck, the NATO forces marched and cheered for themselves, taking a brief hold upon Mount Whiff in the hopes that they would see the incoming forces of the USA there, yet they found none. Indeed, it took hours of searching for the NATO scouts, among them Prince Sergei of Haense, Iscesi Velulaei'onn and Lukas Vyronov, for them to finally find their location: Acre. With Ser Grigori ‘the Vanguard’ at the front, the NATO continued their march, before finally coming upon a group of USA scouts near Acre, though these cavalry men were easily disposed of, and the NATO turned upon the main force of the USA within Acre, the first swords to clash echoing throughout the streets, only to be silenced by as further clashes and screams replaced them. It was a swift, yet decisive battle. The disorganized USA were unable to hold their own against NATO, the dead and wounded falling all across the road to Acre, those who tried to flee were kept within walls of bodies surrounding them. Those who did manage to escape this wall were quickly hunted down by the Urguani Grand Marshal, Sigrun Ireheart. Man fought man atop the bodies of their other fallen brothers, only adding further to the mountain that was built upon this day. At the top stood one man, or Musin rather, Coin, shouting in triumph to his comrades: “Victory! Victory for NATO!” thrusting in the air a war medal looted from the nearby corpse of a fallen soldier. THE NUMBERS LIE NOT. 800 N.A.T.O Casualties. 5,700 U.S.A Casualties.
  11. FIRST DAY OF ORENIAN INTERVENTION AND ITS FIRST CAPTIVE To His Majesty, Frederick I, We have captured one of your noblemen, a Komnenos, and thus comes the first price of your unwarranted intervention in N.A.T.O. affairs, as he now stands in Haeseni lands, in shackles, locked away within our city. It is quite blatant how unprepared you were for this. But how prepared are you to not force our hand, and spill canonist blood? You intervened in this war, so you ought to pay for it. We expect a premium of 3,000 mina for him to be kindly returned to the safety of your lands. If not, judgment shall be passed to him, he who is an enemy of ours now. If you are so willed to cease bloodshed, how far will you go, kinslayer? Yours Truly, Lord Argus Romstun Ser Grigori Vyronov
  12. Prince Nikolas escorted by a Knight, dragged his brother Georg @gusanoarentonio to the Haeseni docks after a lesson with one of his many tutors - this time, they taught him about the current war. He muttered then as he pointed across the water, "Those enemies on the other side of the sea. . . if we kill them all. . . does that mean. . . we'll be free?"
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