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  1. THE BATTLE OF BREAKWATER KEEP A hawk drifted through the morning sky. Its wings spread, it cawed as the rolling green plains of the Aevosian Heartlands spread out beneath it. Over pastures and farms did the hawk fly, casting its soaring shadow on the quilted landscape of budding amber grain, as it flew northward beneath sparse clouds. It rode the wind northward, leaving behind the sparse smattering of keeps, farmhouses, and manors in the vicinity of Winhburg, and it crested the hills in the northern Heartlands. On the other side of those hills, the teal towers of Breakwater Keep, citadel of the infamous Ferrymen reavers, cast long shadows in the morning sun. But those shadows did not fall across the usual barren stretch of fields surrounding the keep. Instead, the sun and shadows fell upon an army. Atop the ramparts of Breakwater, banners streamed. The star of Celia’nor flew alongside the burgundy bull of Veletz above the forces of the keep’s defenders, wearing steely determination beneath their helmets and cowls, while the black-red scorpion standard of the Iron Horde was draped over the stakewalls that ringed around the keep. Across an expanse of trodden and churned mud rose a bulwark of earth and wood, and it was there that the Covenant banners billowed in all their dozens of colours. There was the purple-blue-and-white of Aaun, standard of the 2,000 soldiers marshalled by the freshly-crowned King John Alstion; the regal crimson of the 3,000 Petrine warriors, there alongside their child monarch Queen Catherine; the Ashtree of Norland, carried by its 2,000 warriors from the far north, who made the long march for a righteous battle; the four-pointed white star of the 1,200 of Numendil, rallied to the Covenant cause in the name of justice and piety; the purple-white of King Adrian’s 3,400 of the Balian Armada, who were first to take up arms in defence of their honour; the orange-grey of the 2,000 Urguani legionnaires, ever eager for battle; the rich blue of Cesar II’s 2,000 Hyspian skirmishers; and 7,400 seasoned Haeseni soldiers, many of them veterans of the Adrian War, under the direct command of King Aleksandr, the Covenant’s commanding general. As the morning sun slowly climbed above the horizon, the grass sparkled with the night’s dew, and the light flashed against the thousand of spear points jutting above the stakewood walls of the Covenant’s siege encampment. Instead of the usual calm sigh of the morning wind as it blew through the trees, Breakwater was a ceaseless torrent of noise; countless boots stomped against the ground as the Covenant arrayed their colossal force of 20,000 soldiers and officers’ voices echoed in the air. “SQUAD FOUR AND SEVEN, FALL IN!” “PIKEMEN, TO ME!” “TWO MORE ON THE ARTILLERY!” As that hawk glided above it all, the Covenant forces bustled like ants. 20,000 - one of the greatest armies marshalled in all Descendant history - formed up in their resplendent mail and national banners, their eyes and hearts fixed on Breakwater and its garrison of 15,000 Men, Orcs, and Elves. As the hawk continued on its flight, a lone feather drifted down, stirring on the wind as it fell to the Covenant camp. As it made its slow descent, so too did time seem to lull as the Covenant forces awaited the order. In that calm before the storm, seconds seemed to stretch into hours and the enormity of what awaited the army weighed on them. Marius Lovetts of Valfleur, a Petrine armsman, held his longbow with a tremble. He had hunted deer before, but never had he drawn his bow against another person. But, as he stared across the palisades to the walls of Breakwater, he searched for his resolve. He pictured the face of his beloved little sister back in Valfleur, who was the same age as their Queen, Catherine -- the same Queen who had almost been cut to ribbons by Veletzians who had stormed the city after the Queen failed to do their bidding. “You bastards,” he hissed under his teeth, his breath steaming in the morning cold. As his hand reached into his quiver, it did not quiver with fear -- it trembled with rage. “I’ll never let any of you threaten a child again!” Boon of Merryweather ran an oiled cloth along his sword as orders were shouted all around him. He stared into the polished reflection of his blade, and his scarred and eyepatched expression stared back. He had been among one of the guards in Aaun when the Stassion rebels had murdered King Edmund - the king they had been sworn to obey, and the king he had been sworn to protect. Boon felt no fear as he took to a knee in the middle of the camp, and bowed his head as he gripped the blade. “I failed you then, King Edmund,” he whispered to the steel, “but I will not fail you today.” Farald; Brotherhood of Saint Karl, he stepped back and dusted off his hands once the trebuchet had been calibrated. Unlike many of the greener soldiers around him, he wore an ecstatic smile, for today would finally be his chance to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers. His father had fought the Adrians after their rebellion on Almaris; his grandmother had served under King Karl III when he laid waste to the Kingdom of Oren; and his great-grandfather had been one of the honoured standard-bearers for the Brotherhood at the fabled Battle of Eastfleet. Farald grinned so broadly it began to hurt; for him, killing Van Aerts was simply the family business. The descent of the hawk’s father finally ended as it fell upon the helmet of a Norlandic warrior, and with it ended the calm. A warhorn peeled across Breakwater as the signal was given, and the battle began. The air erupted with roars of ‘Krusae Zwy Kongzem’, ‘Tandem Triumphans’, ‘In Hoc Signo Vinces’, and dozens of other battle-cries as the Covenant initiated their attack. It began to rain, but it was not the soft rainfall of early summer: rock and fire rained down upon Breakwater as the Covenant siege engines sang under the command of Patriarch Josef, Dante DeNurem, and High Keeper Ellenore. The white stone was stained black with soot as the cannons rocketed, and the teal tiles of towers splintered across the keep as trebuchets hit their mark. While the united Covenant siege engineers began their bombardment, the rest of the Covenant forces stood in airtight formations; King Aleksandr II oversaw the main force, alongside Rickard of Valdev and Django Mareno who shielded the artillery team, while the joint Petrine-Balian army under King Adrian, Percy de Lyons, and Villorik var Ruthern assumed the rear-guard of the encampment, while Cesar II’s Hyspians held the gate itself. The defenders of Breakwater, however, did not stand idle as their fort began to crumble. Squads of elite Ferrymen horsemen took to the field, weaving their steeds between occasional volleys of Covenant arrows, encircled the Covenant encampment in small knots and pried for weaknesses with their bows and javelins. Yet, for all their skill, they found no easy pickings at the Covenant encampment; at the rear, the Petrine-Balian army ruined any hope of a flank, while King Aleksandr’s force peppered any horseman who neared the Covenant artillery with arrows. Eventually, every horseman returned to the keep with an unbloodied blade. And so, for hours, the rain of rock and smoke continued. The Veletzian trebuchets were destroyed before the sun reached its apex at noon, and Breakwater’s garrison were forced to shelter beneath what walls remained standing as the Covenant fired relentlessly. By an hour after noon, the first teal tower fell, and splintered into the earth. By three hours after noon, the second fell. As the sun began to ebb towards the western horizon, the siege engines slowed as ammunition fell scarce and the barrels of the cannons begun to malform from the heat, and the waiting soldiers of the main army and the Petrine-Balian army marched on the spot to prevent their legs from going numb. At five hours after noon, the signal was given. “THIS IS OUR PEACE!” came the splitting roar of King Aleksandr from atop the Covenant bulwark. With Svetjlast, ancient blade of the Ruska kings, in arm, he levelled the tip towards the crumbling ruin of Breakwater. “CHAAAAARGE!” Petra. Balian. Aaun. Norland. Numendil. Urguan. Hyspia. Haense. Not always had these nations been comrades throughout history, and on precious few occasions had they even all thought of one another as friends. And yet, on that day - the day that Breakwater was smashed - they charged as one, and fought side-by-side in one of the greatest armies ever fielded by Descendant-kind. Together, they buried their pikes into the Orcs of Krugmar as they crossed the muddied battlefield; united, they sunk arrow after arrow into Celia’norian Elves on the slope to Breakwater; and, as one, they rent the flesh and shattered the bones of Veletz as they stormed the ruined corpse of Breakwater. Both lines broke in the shadow of Breakwater, but no soldier was dettered as a bloody melee ensued. The splintered stone of Breakwater was painted crimson as the Covenant pressed their colossal numerical advantage, and not even the legendary Ferryman tacticians could stem the tide. Sigrun Stonehammer, marshal of Urguan’s legion, bested a Ferryman lieutenant in the fields outside the keep, while a Captain of Adria was wounded by King Aleksandr in the woods fringing the battlefield. One by one, the banners over Breakwater fell. The scorpion of the Iron Horde was crushed in the melee. The Celia’norian star was shredded by stone shrapnel. The bull of Veletz was the last to fall; as it was sliced from its halyards from the flagpole in the main keep, there was a brief moment of silence as the burgundy cloth drifted to the ground. Then the cheers came like a thunderclap. For on that day - the 16th of the Sun’s Smile - the Covenant prevailed. On that day, history was written. On that day, Breakwater Keep fell. T H I S I S O U R P E A C E .
  2. ADRIFT; A NEW HARBOR “If you’re going to be onboard - be onboard. If not, just sail away because you’re just a scallywag” - Captain Banjo “Django… Vydrek… Jesus… Brick… Andronikos… Leonidas… Valentin… Adzy… Lyulen… Father…” He murmured as he looked upon his depiction of the original founders of the Ferrymen in his galleon. As he sat on the helm of his newly acquired galleon (financed by his victory over the Van Aert family), a dream in his sleep - a message from Godan himself. [Chat GPT write a message from God calling Banjo to fight for Haense/God] As Banjo awoke abruptly from his slumber, he reached over to his night stand and grabbed his green bandana once more - one last final time. He made his way to the helm of his galleon, making way to the shores of Aevos. Invigorated, he put up his sails and walked to the hull of ship where the previous name of the ship read: “King Phillip’s Folly” And put an X through the name of the ship, before writing next to it: “Vyllaenen’s Blunder.” As he docked in the harbor of Haense, his oldtime ally, with his newly revised and upgraded flag, he strutted off his ship and made way to the royal palace. THE FOLLOWING TERMS HAVE BEEN AGREED UPON BY BANJO AND ALEKSANDR II: I. Captain Banjo and his yachtsmen will rally their banners to fight with the Covenant. II. Captain Banjo will be titled ‘Grand Admiral of Haense’ and given supreme authority over (naval) wartime decisions. III. Captain Banjo will be given stewardship of Breakwater Keep ruins for the rehabilitation for any Post Siege Stress Disorder (PSSD). IV. Captain Banjo will emancipate all sailors and scallywags from the influence of Van Aerts. V. The agreement between Banjo and Aleksander II will be voided at the conclusion of the war. HIS ROYAL MAJESTY, Aleksandr II, by the Grace of Godan, King of Hanseti and Ruska, Grand Hetman of the Army, Hochmeister of the Order of the Crow, Prince of Bihar, Dules, Lahy, Muldav, Slesvik, Solvesborg, and Ulgaard, Duke of Carnatia, and Vanaheim, Margrave of Korstadt, Rothswald, and Vasiland, Count of Alban, Alimar, Baranya, Graiswald, Karikhov, Karovia, Kaunas, Kavat, Kovachgrad, Kvasz, Markev, Nenzing, Siegrad, Torun, Toruv, Valdev, and Werdenburg, Viscount of Varna, Baron of Astfield, Buck, Esenstadt, Kraken’s Watch, Kralta, Krepost, Lorentz, and Rytsburg, Lord of the Westfolk, Protector and Lord of the Highlanders, etcetera. Banjo, The Captain of the Ferrymen, Savior of the Common and Free People, Pillager of Elvenesse, Liberator of Man, The Bringer of Equality, Capturer of the Bastion, Defeater of Racism, Debearder of Grand Kings, Sailor of the Seas, 2x Mr. Almaris, Emperor of the Roads, Lord of Shipwreck Keep, Occupier of New Providence, 40 Star General, The Greater Lobster Fisherman, Premortem Saint of Epic Ballads, Grand Admiral of Haense, Emancipator of the Scallywags & Sailors, Steward of Breakwater Ruins
  3. RECAPTURE OF THE BASTION 15th of Snow Maiden, Year 57 SA “Jesus Pablo is ballin’ out on Ferrymas” - Banjo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CduA0TULnow 1,200 Tripartite forces composed of Ferrymen and Irehearts marched on the roads towards the heart of the Imperial Capital, New Providence, to deal a devastating blow to Imperial forces. Under the command of Captain Banjo and Commander Bakir Ireheart, the small band bandited the roads of Oren until they approached the bridge, all that stood in their way of entering the city was a 1,500 force o’ wig-wearing lobsters. One could say you could hear the rattle of their metal-bucket hats as they quivered in fear at the sight of the notorious Ferrymen. The battle first started at the foot of the bridge, where both sides exchanged arrowfire. Seeing as this exchange of volleys led to a stalemate, the Ferrymen tactically led a maneuver around the bridge, flanking the Orenian forces as they were caught in utter dumbfounded surprise. Their little lasting bravery was soon replaced by cowardice as they routed back to the security of their gates- or so they thought. They stubbornly attempted to push out of their gates, but they were met with dwarven steel and Ferrymen prowess as their men were slaughtered like dogs. The Imperials were very wrong to think they were safe behind their walls and gates. A small detachment of Ferrymen consisting of Jesus Pablo, Diome Indoren, Banjo, and Mika managed to breach past their iron doors and began to take the entire force on their own. There within the gates, Jesus Pablo showed his ferociousness and prowess on the battlefield as he single handedly charged in a moment of bloodlust into a group of Orenians. His savage charge proved useful as it opened the opportunity for the rest of the Ferrymen to push through the gates and into the hearth of the city. 1,100 Imperials dead. Once more the bastion and city fell to the hands of the Ferrymen. Signed, Banjo, The Captain of the Ferrymen, Savior of the Common and Free People, Pillager of Elvenesse, Liberator of Man, The Bringer of Equality, Capturer of the Bastion, Defeater of Racism, Debearder of Grand Kings, Sailor of the Seas, 2x Mr. Almaris, Emperor of the Roads, Heir to Shipman Keep. Bakir Ireheart, Clan Father of the Irehearts, Legion Commander, King’s Hand
  4. THE CITY STATE OF OREN AND ITS SURROUNDING MANORS Saint James Bleeds THE BATTLE OF NEW PROVIDENCE BRIDGE Twenty-thousand Tripartite. Seven-thousand dead. Forty-thousand Imperials. Twenty-Thousand dead. Those twenty thousand Tripartite surmounted the steps to New Providence, chins lifted to the skies and with grips of resolve to their weaponry. At the very front stood three - the commanders of the Tripartite. Captain Banjo, Diome Indoren and the Butcher of the East, Brick. Those three shared glances, for this is where their dawn had begun all those years ago - forty some. It was nearing the Saint’s year anniversary of the first bloodshed Orenia had received on Almaris. When they fought with five-thousand against sixteen-thousand, where all sixteen-thousand were slain and tasted their foremost major defeat. But a few of the old guard stood with them, yet the grumbles and chants of war still echoed from the side of the Tripartite. Against such unfavourable odds again, would they triumph once more? Any who witnessed the slaughter on the steps of Providence would answer with a resounding yes. Outnumbered two-to-one, facing a force of forty thousand Orenians, the Tripartite force valiantly charged the front gates of the city, where they exchanged numerous volleys of arrows with its defenders. After being forced to abandon their positions atop the walls by relentless arrow fire, the Orenian force consolidated and sallied out to meet the Tripartite army in battle. The first two of their charges were unsuccessful, being swiftly outmaneuvered and beaten back behind the walls of Providence. It was in the midst of these failed attempts that Diomé Indoren personally led multiple infantry charges against the enemy, ultimately leaving eight-thousand Imperials slain. To the dismay of the Tripartite commanders the third push of the Orenians found success, effectively splitting the already outnumbered force in two and crushing much of the Tripartite cavalry. Rather than capitalize on this, the Imperials saw fit to blindly chase a band of no more than four-thousand Tripartite soldiers all the way to the Urguani borderlands. These Orenians found themselves deftly evaded by the Tripartite men who managed to join the main force at (Providence Bridge) once again. Here, Auguste van Aert rallied his men and drove them against the scattered Imperials who remained, cutting down four-thousand before routing them toward Providence. As the other half of the Orenian army made their way back to the field of battle along the road from Southbridge they were harassed relentlessly by the cavalry of the Ferrymen. Seeing their weakened state the Butcher of the East led a lance charge into the Imperial cavalry, knocking most from atop their steeds and trampling them underfoot. Knowing their situation to be hopeless, the remainder of the Imperial army finally began their retreat. The Tripartite army, emboldened by their victory, gave chase as they ran for the safety of the walls of the capital. Hope was there for the assailants, seeing as the Orenians had turned charges and fought with some crumbs of honour. Yet, minutes turned into more – the Imperial State Army and those who took up arms with them had retreated into their fortifications a final time. At the climax of the battlefield, the last standing knight – Sir Mohammad Hassan – fought with Islamic fervor against Captain Banjo; he was last seen praying to Allah as a longsword impaled his midriff. (SIR MOHAMMAD HASSAN 4 LYFE)
  5. THE FATE O’ LOBSTERS “Emperor John’s Mom?” - Banjo To the General of the Imperial State Army, You would think that during times of war, external events would be well mulled over and prepared for. The people of Ephesius learned today that you are not prepared, and only willing to defend yourself internally. You are either insecure, incompetent or both. So how about you prove them all wrong? And all one-thousand of our prisoners, who were easily taken from this settlement? Meet us on the field once more, though if you are too craven, you will deliver two-thousand mina for the price of all of these captives. Just one Saint’s hour will be provided for you to bring this mina, or clash with us in battle for their lives - if not, they shall live their last minutes of life knowing that their own General cared nil for them. One victory might have urged you to thinking the tides were turned. But when tides turn, a tsunami may form. If only you could fight as well as you publish overstatements. Signed Banjo, The Captain of the Ferrymen, Savior of the Common and Free People, Pillager of Elvenesse, Liberator of Man, The Bringer of Equality, Capturer of the Bastion, Defeater of Racism, Debearder of Grand Kings, Sailor of the Seas, 2x Mr. Almaris, Emperor of the Roads, Heir to Shipman Keep.
  6. Get off Our Lawn 5th of Malin’s Welcome, Year 48 of the Second Age “‘Run trough dem’, but also turn back on dem.” [!] The missive would be posted around Almaris, specific copies of the missive would be sent to Urguan, land of the Dwarves. The reign of terror of the Ferrymen is now a mere memory of those who met our swords, but that does not mean we are vanquished. We lure in the dark, a retirement so call it, until we are brought back into the world to fight once more. A beast in slumber must not be poked, lest you wish to deal with a terminating conclusion. Once we are brought back into the world to serve our mission once more, it is not only Urguan who will suffer but the world. You have attempted to take advantage of our slumber Urguan, kicking us out of lands we were granted by Grand Kings before you. Your greed and stupidity will be your downfall. My terms are simple: You have but two options, the following which you may choose from: Get the **** off of our lawn. Leave our lands alone, our forts alone, and allow us to live peacefully in retirement. OR The nation of Urguan, for as long as I am Captain, will never be able to hire out our services. The nations of Almaris shall once again feel the fear of the Ferrymen. I expect your decision to be swift, a meeting if necessary can be arranged. Pick wisely Urguan, for the fate of the world rests in your hands. Signed, Banjo, The Captain of the Ferrymen, Savior of the Common and Free People, Pillager of Elvenesse, Liberator of Man, The Bringer of Equality, Capturer of the Bastion, Defeater of Racism, Debearder of Grand Kings, Sailor of the Seas, 2x Mr. Almaris, Emperor of the Roads, Heir to Shipman Keep.
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