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  1. Issued as of 6th of Sun's Smile Year 171 of the Second Age Dear Brothers and Sisters, Throughout the ages and across generations, us Mali have founded ourselves entangled in conflicts over political matters, beliefs, religions, and diverse ideals. While attempts at elven unity have been made, a singular success was achieved under the brutal rule of Kalenz Uradir. However, subsequent efforts beyond this brief unity have mostly ended in failure. Allow me to be succinct, as I am a mere civilian without influence in governmental or diplomatic affairs. My lengthy existence has exposed me to witness the irreparable damage caused by the unity of the human race. Mali ears carried as trophies around one's neck, the beheading of our Oem'iian left as grim decorations in the lands of Brother Horen—these are all stark manifestations of the brutal consequences of their accord. This is not an accusation against the Valah; rather, it acknowledges their limited understanding due to their short lifespan, often leading them to eradicate what they cannot control, or comprehend. Therefore, I implore the decision makers of those of Brother Malin to set aside ancient rivalries and collaborate. Put aside disputes over superiority and, most importantly, relinquish arrogance. The inevitable rise of the Holy Orenian Empire looms on the horizon, with the human race growing stronger by the day. Thus, my simple recommendation is for elves to unite, do not let childish bickerings be the cause for our extinction. I trust in the wisdom of your respective governments to explore the details, whether it involves creating an entity akin to the Elven Union (EU) or forming a more cohesive front, reminiscent of the unity achieved under Kalenz Uradir. Signed, Usamea An'asul MAEHR'SAE HIYLUN'EHYA AME NAE EVAREH VELULAEI Y NAE ILUMEH
  2. [!] A woman writing a diary, garden surrounding An ordinary evening unfolded, the sun dipping below the horizon as I returned from my wanderings. The air held a stillness that embraced my tired soul. Amidst this quietude, a realization struck me – it had been too long since I last shared a moment with dear friends. Seeking for a connection, I sifted through my mail, anticipating the familiar, only to find the mundane trio of spam, advertisements, and unsettling death threats. Yet, within this sea of monotony, a peculiar message emerged: "Those who brave the swamp may find salvation amongst its wetland." There was no mistaking the author – it had his signature all over it. Intrigued, It was the time for an adventure. - The forest welcomed me, but not in the usual way. It felt as if the very air had thickened, a duality of cruelty and malice lingering. Memories resurfaced, harkening back to Almaris by the inferi stronghold in the desert, where a laboratory held a sinister gas that transformed all it touched into beasts. The red lighting, reminiscent of a world we once explored evoked caution. Unlike our previous encounter, my magic worked here, yet the red rain semed hauntingly familiar. A silent warning echoed in my mind – beware of that place. - Undeterred, the swamps beckoned, an unusual choice for someone who rarely ventured into such peculiar realms. A conversation certainly overdue, a necessity that transcended the ordinary. It was comforting to reunite, even if his response "Vor" sent a shiver down my spine as I explained to him the plane I once visited. I hope that the fruit I brought with me would bridge the gap to that ominous world, for without my magic, I am defenceless, and revisiting that realm is a prospect I dread. A silent caution whispered – avoid the castle and the forest, where the red lighting holds the power to kill, just as it once claimed me and those poor souls I was unable to protect. - To my surprise, he lingered longer than expected, breaking the habitual pattern of transient connections. Was it caution or trauma, I wondered, as he accompanied me to obtain the fruit from the realm before. A pact unfolded, and in return, I found myself willingly sacrificing for a power whispered to surpass even that of Gods. "I vow not to pursue this insatiable hunger for power at the expense of a cherished life" I declared, my words falling on deaf ears. "It is not my choice to make. Fate has bound our paths to cross" he repsonded, sealing my fate with an inevitability beyond my control. [!] A drawing of the world described below What transpired exceeded the boundaries of imagination – a realm shrouded in pestilence, creatures fashioned from rotten flesh, trees dripping with coagulated blood, and a landscape teeming with spores of pus. This wasn't a mere vision; it felt as if we were physically present, not just in mind but in body. A simple jar of that disease-laden air transported to Aevos would spell catastrophe. He spoke the truth; this power surpassed that of Gods themselves.
  3. Darkness… It is what all shamans, from elder to greenhorn… from centuries to their first step. When traversing the realms of the spirits it is what holds us in the ever falling expenses. Most find fear as their sense of self falls through the depths of the world to traverse in lands so few dream of comprehension, yet others find comfort in a strange way. The ever feeling of freedom, of worries washed away…… As Gusiam had once more traversed the spirit realms, he had one goal in mind. To seek out a new lesser to pact with in the realm of Luara. Yet his destination was adrift, he was curious of who he would encounter in such a way. Would it be a normal lesser? Of what moon do they serve? These questions raised his mind as he could only feel the fall.. And fall, which was…. Strange? He felt like falling more than usual, so he took a moment. The normally closed eyes of the shaman would peer open to see before him a lush night sky, a sky normally filled of stars that ever grew for miles on end. Yet all that fell short as the dividing cloud has split the vale between beauty and devastation. It felt too much like a vision, for as the clouds engulfed him, he felt the ground. Slow, but nonetheless there was only a singular thing as Gusiam looked up still, nowhere near the veil of clouds and on what felt like sand. He saw before him a beautiful eclipse. However as he stared for a moment, the overwhelming feeling of one looking back was almost choking at the lungs.. “It has been a long time since one entered my domain… how… Peculiar.” A voice echoed and etched itself to the back of Gusiams mind, immediately springing himself up from the soft, moonlight sand upon the ground he laid on. But he did not have time to gather such thoughts as those amber eyes looked to his left, his right. Yet all he could perceive was shadow. What rare trees or foliage a distance away was merely shadowed by what was before. Lively, but lacked color. “Where-”Is all the lone shaman could offer, yet the moment he looked anywhere from up. He would only feel the looming feeling of being watched approach more and more rapidly. Gusiam, who was usually very calm within the realm seemed almost confused as such feeling was unnerving to anyone. Yet that voice continued its speech in the ancient tongue of old blah. With each word that was ushered Gus had paused, it was a spirit he knew not their temper. So he could only gaze upwards. If only for a few moments. “You, a child born in Luara’s image. You look not of the others I've seen. Yet, your soul harbors a goal… A goal I too seek. A goal that few wish to ever act in the name of the moon…To you, little shaman. I offer my power, but such power comes with a price.” “To who do I speak of, who watches me and offers a price for power. Who claims I am worthy to bear such an opportunity for your offer.” Gusiam said, his tone and breathing stabilized oh so slowly as he could feel the air thicken from the pressure that the spirit radiated from their forms. Suddenly, The ker’s eyes slowly widened as he saw the spectacle before him. As the deafening cry of cracked stone seemed to form as the strange eclipse bored a red outline from its gentle white and yellow gaze. As one could see the cracks forming along what was the planet that shields the moon from the sunny background. Yet the light too followed and cracked. Splitting into what stoney tendrils that made their way right down to just a few feet. Before him. It was quick, and the touchdown of the stone meeting earth caused such grounds to rumble. Yet winds blowing in such high speeds that it even pushed the Shaman back a few feet. Causing a trail that expanded at least ten feet back. Gus used his arms to shield at his face. Yet upon the air becoming tighter he could also feel the oddest sensations of immense heat and chilling cold that followed soon after. That was when Gusiam moved his arms from his face... and before him was what he did not imagine to see so close to him. (Credit to wolf-minori) Before him was a Direwolf, yet almost looked twice or three times its size, bearing horns carved with runes along the wraps of them that even offered a soft heat when stared at for too long.. And along the back of its otherwise midnight cloak, were an array of sun-amber like designs. Sporting itself a pair of wings that could compete with any winged screamer, the dreaded old giant crows of Arcas. Donning the head of the creature were a pair of sun yellow eyes that at times shifted from such to a fiery red or a chilling white along its Iris with every blink. And only the spirits know the markings beared along the face of it. “I bear many names lost to the world of time, The Eclipse, The last member of the Council of Moons, The shadow of Luara, The guardian of her children within the dark expanse.. However you, little shaman shall call me Ran'bûrgulu. To you I offer this, Build me a shrine worthy to protect her children, become not just my pacted shaman, but my sword, my voice, my will… become her shadow for her people against the scrutiny of the world against her kin. And in return I offer you my wings, my power. And my support against the dark foes that lie in wait for her children to weaken further. Seek such allies against the unknown foes of the world…” Gusiam pondered this, before only offering the spirit such acknowledgement. Before long the eclipse behind the spirit crackled, as energy singled to the shamans soul’s flesh. Offering its mark upon one of many he had. The pack had been set, yet such pain that followed had been too intense.. And when the shaman awoke from such a state of unconsciousness, he was within his shamaic chamber.
  4. THE FIRST GIMME YER BELT OF AEVOS ᚷᛁᛗᛗᛖ ᛁᛖᚱ ᛒᛖᛚᛏ Since the demise of Almaris the Dwedmar of Urguan have challenged the realm and battled against the world forcing itself upon them. From the Mori Invasion of Almaris to the raids on Kal’Kadrelaz in Aevos the Dwarves have persisted. There are many things going on within the city and the realm that have distracted us from daily practices but we must not forget the ancient traditions of our cultures. The Clan of Ireheart shall be hosting the first Gimme Yer Belt tournament of Aevos since the fall of the last city. All that is required is that you enter your Belt into the competition and risk it upon the victory of battle. Champion of the 1st ALMARIS Gimme Yer Belt: BAKIR IREHEART Champion of the 2nd ALMARIS Gimme Yer Belt: RAGRIN IREHEART Champion of the 1st AEVOS Gimme Yer Belt: TBD IT IS TIME FOR THE BATTLE OF THE BELTS DWARF WRESTLING TOURNAMENT ! Saturday, July 29, 2023 4:00 EST ROLEPLAY ITEM BELT REQUIRED FOR ENTRY
  5. The Rosecoast Welcome to the land of Rosecoast, a homebrewed fantasy faction’s RP run through Discord. The year is 1716 of the Baron’s Flower or the several other calendars that are used all throughout Rosecoast. Rosecoast is a shattered land, and despite their advances in firearms, having quickly invented the Matchlock in record speed within the last decade and its very quick adoption, around half of the land is uncolonized, or in other words, controlled by Inferior savages. Yet still, innovation in anything, from Firearms to potentially later the steam engine can be done. You can do about anything, although let’s say that not all ideas are good, but there’s nothing stopping you from doing it. OOC: Well this is my first time attempting something like this, but I have complete faith in myself that I can make my best attempt. If anyone is interested in joining, all it takes is by adding me on discord or using the server invite. I have all the mechanics written out, and all of the lore is on there too. If you have never tried a Forum Roleplay, it doesn't matter. I was just like you, and me and others will be more than glad to help you. My Discord: Peralien#8586 Server Invite: https://discord.gg/pFZZJuWNRB
  6. SHELTER Keep Wilheburg in Reinmar. Josefina Barclay considered herself a cautious woman, if not a particularly brave one. She was careful to always keep her young son close, and able enough to keep herself out of danger. Yes, Josefina would consider herself cautious. She had not been cautious this day. It was all she could do to keep herself calm when the bells rang, and when she ultimately followed the Princess Royal down into the crypts of the Winter Palace. Crypts that, Josefina knew, would not be safe for long. Calm slowly gave way to fear, and as she held her son close, Josefina knew there was only so much she could do to comfort those around her. Prayer rang out through the catacombs like birdsong on a sunny day as the scent of blood reached them even as far down as they were. Perfume could only cover so much of the iron that permeated the very stone. She had never truly interacted with Princess Analiesa, but Josefina knew that when she all but begged the Duchess of Vidaus to protect her only son should her life be forfeit, that the woman would do all she could for little Manfred. She knew because her own fear, a mother’s fear, was reflected in the eyes of the woman she stood beside. Manfred would live, even if she had to sacrifice her own life for his escape. Her precious son, her only child, would be safe. Buzzing filled the air as it echoed down the stairs, followed by cracks of sound and what could only be explosions raining dust down on their heads. It was silent, almost too quiet as their sanctuary was only very rarely breached by a blood soaked messenger. There was too little news, not enough to make a decision, but she didn’t have to, did she? Never had she expected to be cradling the too small, newborn heiress of Vidaus to her chest whilst the mother jerked violently in her childbed. There wasn’t enough time in the world to prepare her for this role. She was never supposed to be here in the first place. There were not enough prayers, not enough hopes to ever quell the visceral terror she felt when the woman she was supposed to be following, to be supporting, fell unconscious. There was not enough time in the world to ever answer the question of what now? Josefina had trembled her way through the motions as medics and injured began to flood their sanctuary. As Ser Walton urged them to evacuate, she heard someone’s voice through the ocean that flooded her ears. She had only remembered stumbling up the stairs once she’d reached the top, when she began tearing through the fabric of her dress to cover the yet unnamed infant and a small girl who had asked to hold her hand. Was this really happening? Was she really here, watching people tear up the carpet and pull drapes down from the windows to cover themselves? Reinmar. That was the consensus they had reached. The safest place they could come up with. Her home for the past six years. They had fled the burning palace into a hellscape of familiar city streets, streets she had walked down too many times to remember now filled with fire and blood as it rained from the sky. She had been carrying her son since the bell first rang, and the newborn for perhaps only slightly less time, but she didn’t dare slow as she dragged the small girl who couldn’t have been more than eight behind her. She didn’t dare stop until all who had come with her were safe within Wilheburg’s walls, and then even deeper into the keep’s basement. Even then, she could not stop. There was no time to think, no time to even put the children she carried down. Plans must be made, a place outside the Dual Kingdom where they would not be turned away established, and a route thought of to keep as far from the demonic scourge plaguing them as possible. Reinmar wasn’t far enough. It wasn’t far enough. And just before they’d been about to leave, a course plotted south toward Balian, as far as they could get, Josefina received a bird. It couldn’t be true. Surely it wasn’t true. It had barely been a few Saint’s hours, and she couldn’t dare hope. She couldn’t believe that it was true, because if she did and it was false, they were all dead. But a rider approached, crying out that the news was indeed true. Humanity had triumphed. They were safe. Josefina couldn’t remember what happened next, with relief flooding her so strongly that it seemed to wipe out all but the thought of they’re safe. A fog had draped itself over those memories, the memories of after, that would never lift. Conscious thought had reappeared at Wilheburg, after all had gone, sitting beside the fire in the main hall as she so often did with Manfred in her lap, disheveled and torn but alive and in one piece. The Duchess broke out into laughter at the absurdity of it all. There had been over twenty people in her basement, perhaps even thirty, a basement she’d very rarely touched. The hilarity had swiftly turned to sobs of relief as she handed Manfred off to a trusted nursemaid. She didn’t know how long she sat there for, first in tears before it turned to silence, before Wilheim joined her. There were only a few thoughts running through her mind. None under her care had died. Wilheburg had been enough. She had been enough. The shelter she had offered had been enough.
  7. [i] A new pamphlet arrives at your door. THE WHEAT WHACKER CHRONICLES THE CHERUB OF THE WORKBENCH Any self respecting farmer knows that a workbench is essential to farming, to repair our tools, as well as to pack our crops into the appropriate bushels and bales. Dear shepherds and shepherdesses, imagine my distress when I was tilling the fields of Minitz - which have done extraordinarily well ever since I’ve taken them under my wing, proving all the farms in the Harvest Confederacy only need a bit of LOVE AND ATTENTION - ahem, excuse me. I became sidetracked. Imagine my distress when I couldn’t immediately find a workbench! How lucky was I when a flaxen haired youth approached me and showed me to a workbench I could use. Truly, when the youth understand the importance of farming, that is when we are truly blessed. To this child, whose name I do not know, I dub you the Cherub of the Workbench. You shall always have a friend in the Wheat Whacker. THE SECOND REVIEW This time I have traveled far and wide, to many a place within the Southernmost part of our world. I have been to farms near and far, and to places with no farms at all! I have traveled far and wide so you do not have to. To the farms outside the ruined city of San Luciano, the tiny patch in the Barony of Triglav, to the farms nearest Vistulia, I have traversed and farmed them all. I started my journey in the Viceroyalty of Hyspia, and whilst I am understanding of the fact that the desert dries out soil at an alarming rate, I am not sympathetic to the fact that a live chicken is living in between the stalks of wheat. The less said about the feral animal the better. Whilst San Luciano remains abandoned and in dire need of repair, the farm outside the ruined city is in good condition considering the city it used to feed. There are patches of crops that have been trampled and become unusable, but overall, it made for a good harvest due to the superb irrigation and size of the field. The Barony of Triglav came next, and while their farm was well irrigated there were a few bare patches that should concern whomever farms it. Overall, it was well-kept indeed. Vistulia was the next stop, and their farm was large indeed. Whilst the dry patches are forgivable due to the climate, the cross contamination of crops is not. Carrots, just two or three patches, in the top of the field, and dry spots galore! Surely whichever poor soul must farm that field regularly is not so careless? Erwinsburg, Erwinsburg. Their farms are superb! Well watered and expansive! Truly a great environment to grow crops. If only there were crops growing! Every field is empty and bare, even of seedlings. How sad, to see such potential go unused. The Duchy of Redclyf truly has a personal farm to be proud of. Dry patches, yes, but they only have one tilled spot that is bare of any crop whatsoever! Hurrah! As the foremost farming authority, I would recommend going no further than this duchy if you are indeed touring the farms of the world as I have. While the Grand Duchy of Balian may seem nice, there is truly no greater sin than not having a farm so that the people in your care may feed themselves. I was horrified to learn that most preferred to sit on their laurels rather than use their day to feed themselves and others. I recommend steering clear of Balian at all costs. A place without a farm is a place without kindness. SUBMITTED FARMS Whilst the village of Helious may seem… haphazard at best, their farms are an entirely different story, much to my joy. Most often farmed by my faithful companion, the Silent Sodbuster, these fields are the picture of health. With minimal dry patches and an… admittedly unorthodox irrigation system, there is no denying that it works. Perhaps the farms could look better, but there is no doubt that they produce fine crops. Do send in your farms for review. Even if they aren’t sent in, I’ll get to them eventually! All submissions should be forwarded to this address. [OOC: The Wheat Whacker#1688] The foremost farming authority,
  8. [!] Elegantly scribed rice paper flyers are hung around all free ports! Announcement of House Tianrui Grievances Against the Now Fallen Orenian Empire For 100 years have we laid silent our grievances. It is a shame at the cost of my brothers’ lives, that the Orenian crown could not maintain itself longer than a fraction of my lifetime. Patrician family under the titles of Adria in The Golden City of Ves, we were then known as “Watanabe” within the walls of the Empire of Man. Eldest son of his generation, Tianrui Sun was christened Ser Sun Watanabe the Truthful of the Golden City of Ves by Lord Alfred Myre. First legitimate knight of the Golden City. There lies no mention of our family nor our deeds in the now fallen Imperial halls. Lord Alfred Myre claims all achievement, while ours and our comrades’ lie forgotten, our brothers’ bodies never returned to us for proper rites. We fought at the forefront of the War of Two Emperors under Oren’s banner, and they forgot us. Remember us now. We are House Tianrui, we fought not for any crown but for the love of our neighbors. We are House Tianrui, we bled and we lost for you and were cast out and forgotten. We are House Tianrui, we have survived your Empire. Signed, Tianrui Ren
  9. Royal Poetry Volume 3 - Katerina Foreword Upon closer correspondence with Haeseni Royalty and the people within Haense, Felyx becomes inspired to write yet another addition to the Poetry Series. This hobby of his has been expanding, and may be something serious simply by handing these works to their respective muses, who hold great power. Nevertheless, as the young Colborn sits down to put quill and ink to paper, he is reminded by the semblance that the name "Katerina" holds against his first poem's "Karenina", thus silently vowing to match his previous standards to fit at least a single aspect of the many diamond fractals of an equally incredible individual. 'Katerina' Waves and waves of light are shimmering Into which, no man may see. For the pond of life within this vessel As a fiery summer's breeze grow free. The eyes of the maelstrom The onion layers of sun will capture - Out of melted icy footprints The mind shall drift to what entraptures. Allusions of flame dancing on a red wall Bring forth slender fingers around gold to linger. Yet as men stand tormented in transparent halls, A graceful figure here shall make its stand. Age has a number that ripes like fine wine Which, as poured, pours into many souls in time, To form a web of fine gold strands - And band us together lest we fall from our climb. The slender hand arches up, to clutch her Lorraine For belief alone may keep us all sane - So our trust placed in her to guide us the way, By the mercy of God we shall not astray. Blunt as a mace, her protection can kill Those who threaten her kin of the Land. In snow-capped red dress, and golden necklace Her temper comes forth like winter's fury unmanned. In time the laughter-lines grow, A temper subsides and a gold heart does show, With firm slender hands she holds her Lorraine, Within her still waves, to lap up her pain. As strong as a comet, a will resolute Within you'll find diamonds before it is spent For within us she sees just who we are Through countless ages and not just one scar, So let yourself be healed by the Lady; "Katerina Ceciliya Barbanov-Bihar" Afterword There is only one copy of this poem in circulation (IRPLY) and it is the original, signed by Felyx Colborn himself. What has been writ cannot be undone, and more royal poems are sure to come... Signed,
  10. ✧◉❂◉✧ The pink haired elfess had long since been feeling as though her own form was as foreign as the changing seas, that her mind was as barren and turbulent as a storm’s waves, but it wasn’t until that small gathering had formed within Pinemaw with unknown entities bearing flaming weapons did she realize how empty she felt. There was no reaction to the possible threat, no care nor investment into defending her home and her neighbors. It was only then that she became aware as to how cold she felt living among strangers and reduced to the mind numbing theatrics of the canonists. Near instantly, she realized that change wouldn’t come to her. She would need to go to it. It wasn't easy. Rarely had anything in her life ever been. She’d been born Deaf in a hearing world. No one understood. it was almost as though she’d been set up for eternal loneliness. She told none that she was leaving for there were none that she needed to tell. The only two that may truly have missed her likely wouldn’t realize she’d left until the time would come for her to return. Still, she left a note for one and resigned to thinking up some grand apology for the other. The Artisan Emporium was swiftly shut down, the gates slammed closed and the forge left unlit, gathering dust until her probable return. The house was left under the care of her two living dolls, for she knew they would keep the place up and running just fine during her absence. Then, knowing hearth and home would be cared for, did she set out. Left behind was the human-like title of ‘Lady Axilya’, abandoned was the job upon the council. Shoulders set, she moved forth, without any supplies other than two days worth of rations and the simple clothes on her back. No tools, no weapons, no companions. The elfess truly made to start from the very beginning to rekindle that lost connection, however weak, that she’d once had with her own sense of self. ✧◉❂◉✧ The freckle faced elfess, unable to truly return to where she’d been formed as a person, settled down in the forests of Elvenesse. A single cavern within a small glade, bloodied and riddled with long forgotten bones, became her new home. Once, long ago, she had found a grizzly to have taken home here, but by now, their children’s children would have long since passed. None would come looking for her here, not even Bolomormaa’s kids. A flitted thought of 'fitting' crossed her mind. On the first day, a thunderstorm left her sitting within that stench-filled cave, the scent of iron revitalized by the wash of rain. She drank from her only flask, emptying it, before leaving it to hang outside to gather the sky’s tears. She nibbled lightly on the dried meat she’d brought with her, barely touching it and instead leaving the rest for emergencies. The rest of the day was spent cleansing the walls of stone, for as much as her strength shouldn’t be wasted on such a first task, leaving her surroundings tainted would only bring back memories unwanted. And then the dark came. She didn’t like the dark. On the second day, her stomach groaned and rumbled, heard only by the surrounding woodlands. An hour was spent making a rough and wooden spear, forged only by the sharpest rock she could find upon the ground, before she turned towards the West. Following only her vague memory of the area towards the edges of the forest she found where the sea met the sands. The crude spear gave her struggles, offset only by the skills gathered from every-day fishing, allowing her a night’s worth of food. She returned to her cave then, a white-meated fish in hand, and spent the rest of the evening gathering wood and kindling, for as much as she hated the fire that had once melted her sights from her, the complete blackness that followed was worse. Piled up at the back of the cave she stored it all, dipping into her stock only when the dark started to take over. With a flick of her fingers, a click sounding in the air, and a Cerulean hue misting across her palm, a flame started, catching upon the sticks and logs gathered. Cheater. But the magic was a part of her and she’d come out here in an attempt to find herself. A meal was cooked and eaten, the rest of the night spent in total silence, flames entertaining her by casting dancing shadows upon the walls. The dark was chased away. By the fourth day, she had crafted a few baskets born of stiff fiber and wood, shoddy in work but sturdy enough to be used. She stored some berries in one, alabaster leaf and serpent’s stalk in another, and some fish she’d dried out the day prior in the last. She spent the night with a full stomach, the water flask left untouched due to the ripeness of the small, juicy orbs. On the fifth day, the berries came back with a vengeance and she spent the day plagued by hallucinations worse than those normally given to her by the spirits. She wished she hadn’t left Pinemaw. On the seventh day, the hallucinations finally left, returning to the normal tidbits that floated in and out of her vision. She was used to those. She could ignore those. What she couldn’t ignore was the dizziness that came from dehydration. The flask was emptied, the berries thrown out. She spent the rest of the night whittling a stone knife, clam shaped, with the rock she’d used to make the spear. By the end of the eighth day, the elfess had carved out a bowl from wood, her hands blistered in areas they once wouldn’t have been. On the ninth day, dizzy once more from dehydration, she set out to find a stream of fresh water, bowl in hand. When she returned, successful and ready to boil the water, her untended baskets had been raided and destroyed, muddied paw prints decorating the cave she called hers. Despite growing hungry that night, and an incident involving heated, exploding rocks, she wished none for water, the leftover liquid filling up her flask. On the fourteenth day, her arsenal of tools had expanded from a single clam shaped knife and wooden spear to an archaic set of bows and arrows, another three baskets now hung from mid level branches at the edge of the glade, and a few further bowls filled with cleansed water. On the fifteenth day, she let her hands heal and her feet rest. On the seventeenth day, she came face to face with a child of Morea. They parted ways without incident. On the eighteenth day, she found a small doe, hind leg torn half off and shredded into strips, hiding within a bramble of bushes. Despite the way it panicked at the first sight of her, exhaustion overtook it and the elfess found little resistance in her attempt at assisting the beast. She carried the doe back towards her cave, setting it down near the dwindling fire to keep it warm, and attempted to nurse it with her own supply of water. The doe responded well enough for a time and didn’t put up much of a fuss when the descendant made to take a look at its wounds, laying still when the elfess cleansed them and wrapped them with strips of her own clothing. She named the doe Riddlewart. On the nineteenth day, she tried to find some food for Riddlewart, avoiding the prior berries like the plague. In the end, the elfess tried to simply feed the doe some grass and twigs and leaves. The animal seemed to like it well enough. She spent the rest of the time stoking the fire and telling tales to the creature, reminiscing on memories long passed and people long since disappeared. She told the other how she’d learnt the meaning of family from her Maln, how she’d learnt the meaning of love from her partner, how she’d experienced heartache and motherhood and how everyone she ever knew had left or would leave. She spoke of those times she’d been kidnapped, her fears born of the torture given both by strangers and people she’d once thought loved her. She spoke of the dark and of the light and asked questions that she herself answered when the doe remained silent. She felt at peace for the first time in a long time. On the twentieth day, the elfess coaxed Riddlewart out into the sunlight, and there the doe blinked up and towards the sky, alert and calm despite its wounds. She brought the beast down towards the waters, carrying it with gentle hands, and set it within the smoothest part of the river where they both submerged. Soothingly, the elfess assisted the doe with attempting to move the injured leg, slow and eased to simply keep the limb working. The Mali kept the creature afloat, setting its head on her shoulder for extra support, and there they stayed for the better part of the day, relaxing and allowing the water to ebb away aches and pains. When they returned to the cave that night, they had both been exhausted. The elfess fell asleep soon after drying the doe off and ensuring it had taken up residence in the comfiest part of the cavern. On the twenty-first morning, she awoke to find Riddlewart still and unresponsive. The elfess weeped. Hours later, when her tears had dried and the first of flies began to find the carcass, she brought the doe’s form into the forest and buried it beneath a large pine tree as if guided by Cerridwen’s hands herself, where its body would feed the dirt and the dirt would feed the grass and the grass would feed more deer and the deer would feed the wolves. This was what her Maln had tried to teach her of. This was what the balance brought. Life and death and more life. The elfess had been privy to the process and, despite her interference, it had gone on as it had meant to. The natural form of life. This was what was meant to be preserved and respected. On the forty-fifth day, the rains started to drain from the sky. . . ✧◉❂◉✧ It took three days for the rains to finally stop, and by then, her cave within the small glade was half drowned, flooded with ankle deep water. When she stepped outside, without the risk of being pelted by bullet-like drops, privy was she to the sight of her painstakingly weaved baskets shredded to bits, torn down from their heights upon the trees. It seemed animals weren’t her only concern within these woods. Sloshing back into her cave, the elfess retrieved what little had survived before setting out to start from near the beginning once more. Tucked within her half ruined belt sat her homemade knife and beside it her five arrows bearing stone heads. Strung over her shoulder rested her weak attempt at a bow and in her hands she carried that bowl for water. As she stepped outwards that cave, she gathered up the only pieces of smoked and soggied strips of fish meat she could find floating about the area. Set over a fire near a week ago, they’d last her in an emergency, though if all went to plan, she would be able to feed them to the soil or some small predator after finding a more suitable substance for sustenance. Onwards she went, searching firstly for the river she’d so often gathered from, and from there, the elfess would be able to follow the water upstream to higher ground and wait for the floods to subside. A far fetched idea, but she had no other plan. She needed new food and water, and she would not find that in her ruined cave. It didn’t take long before her feet were near black from muck, as if she’d been wearing ankle high socks, and the closer she trekked towards running water, the harder it got to walk. Against instinct and all better judgment, the elfess continued forth, struggling her way through glop, brambles, and felled branches, until motion came forth into her vision. With a heaving breath, swiping at her sweaty brow with the back of her hand, she paused, taking note of how high the river had risen. No more were the carved out edges of a well worn waterway. Instead, cascading through the woodlands, was a rush of browned liquid, carrying fallen trees and great amounts of debris as it surged past. The Mali’s ear flicked lightly, a habit she’d attained over the past decades, as she peered on with a pinched expression. Lips thinned, she pressed forth, turned upwards to continue her path across the woodlands. The smell of the ground beneath was activated with each ascended step, hiding the sharp rock and broken boughs that stabbed at the soles of her feet. She didn’t seem to care much, for if there was no blood, then there was no need to. Onwards she went, each footfall as laborious as the last, the sucking sound of entrapping mud glopping around the air left in the wake of every footprint canceled out by the rush of waters it emitted next to. Her gaze shifted up, just a brief moment of respite within that arduous climb to peer upon a much calmer scene. There above was the sight of cleared skies, so somberly missed the past handful of days, speckled with the strongest of greenery that hadn’t faltered during the raging storm. Down was cast arbitrary shadows of which the sunlight peeked through, the forest ground illuminated with- -laid upon the ground, hacking up that dirtied river water. With a wheezed gasp, the elfess remained flopped into the mud at the edge of the waterway, eyes unfocused and brow creased in confusion. A sharp sting drew her attention and her throbbing head lofted, as did her hand, to grasp at the side of her ribs before a sharp wince drew forth from her features. Seeping through the muck that now covered her entire figure was a rivlet of crimson, the rest feeling bruised and battered. Shit. She must have lost her footing and fallen in, or perhaps the ground had given out. The elfess squeezed her eyes shut and let out a hiss through her teeth before she shifted into a seated position, careful, slow, and cautious as the pain in her side increased. Her free hand lofted, making to cradle her brow as her vision swam, and when her eyes opened once more, the slightest of movement caught her attention. A flash of fur darted out of sight from across the river. A rabbit, perhaps, for it had certainly been small enough. But then it was gone, just as quick as it had arrived. Her sights drifted thereafter, the image produced slightly blurred, and took note of the unfamiliar territory and her current situation. Downstream. She was downstream, without her tools, and bore an undetermined severity of wounds. The elfess shifted to her feet and the movements forced her pained expression to crumple further upon her countenance. Heavily, she leant up against the nearest tree, the touch of it’s rough bark doing nothing to soothe her surface level aches. She bent over, seeking to catch her breath as she pressed her palm into her side, and it took her a long moment before her chest rose and fell with some sort of rhythm. She watched, dazed, as brown water fell from dulled strands of hair hung beside her face. Long since had the Alabaster and beetroot dye faded, leaving her natural gingered brown to break through. Idly, she noted that both a dye job and a haircut were long overdue. Her head lifted once more, though the weak gaze sharpened as her form froze, chest stilling with baited breath. There before her stood Morea’s child, stood the wolf that she had crossed paths with when she’d begun the whole experience. Her gaze met the creature’s own and piercing dark eyes seemed to shoot straight into her soul. Immediately, she casted her sights downwards, for she was in no shape to risk challenging the beast. The Mali knew, then, that she must have landed somewhere within its territory, and should it wish it, she would become its evening snack. Her head dipped, submissive, in an attempt to show it that she was no threat, and watched from the corners of her eyes as the wolf stepped closer, head poised high. Graceful and elegant was the canine, near feline-like with its steps and ashen form rippled with power. Confident if an animal ever was so, it stopped just before her, and for a brief moment, the elfess feared the wolf would go straight for her neck. Its gentle breathing brushed against her cheek, and holy shit, she forgot how large wolves were. That darkened snout dipped and paused at the scent beneath her hand, as if the waft of blood had called to it. After a moment of inspection, however, the beast turned and gently nipped at the cloth on her hip. The Mali casted her gaze downwards and when she saw what the beast was nudging at, a simple understanding crossed her features. Slowly, at the risk of her own hand, she slipped her fingers into the pocket that brushed against the canine’s nose and grappled out the smoked fish she’d absentmindedly grabbed back at the cave. The wolf stepped back as her hand had withdrawn, though its form was lined only with an expectancy as it watched her movements. Painfully, the elfess crouched down upon the mucked forest floor and set the meat before her, stilling thereafter once more. The large creature eyed the offering, though interested, returned to its spot nearest the elfess. Its snout lowered, brushing against the food on the ground, and its nose roamed the surface of the meat in exploration. Carefully, as if dealing with a pup, the wolf opened its maw and took the piece of meat into its mouth before it simply… turned and shifted to trot off, away from the river. It stopped then, meters away, before it swiveled back towards the elfess, staring her down. She briefly met its gaze once more, moss-colored orbs settling on amber, before it returned towards its path and disappeared into the woods. The elfess slumped once the canine was out of sight, a heavy breath escaping her form as a look of disbelief crossed her features. Her head thumped back against the tree she leaned against, eyes finally allowed to close for just the sparsest of moments as the encounter replayed in her head. She’d faced many a creature before, but never had she been without a way to defend herself against them, never had she been so… vulnerable to a child of the Mani. It was unsettling. And it was also thrilling. She wasn’t sure how to feel about the emotions raging through her, so instead, the elfess settled on the relief that cast itself upon her shoulders. Once more she straightened, and though the wound in her side pulled with a horrid throb, she seemed reinvigorated. One foot placed itself in front of the other and, with a new drive, the elfess set out to return to her task at hand, adding the need for medical supplies to the list of necessities. On the Forty-ninth day, the elfess reached the start of the river - a pond deep enough to submerge in - and settled down at the highest point nearest it, under the largest pine. ✧◉❂◉✧ On the fiftieth day, the elfess had started to renew her stock of clean water by placing heated rocks into the gathered rainwater that had sat in the hollow of a felled tree’s separated trunk. It wasn’t ideal, but it would have to do. She tried to clean her wound first and drank second. That night, she came down with a fever. On the fifty-fifth morning, her fever broke and any infection that had set into her wound was staved off by her own immune system and habitual cleanings. She spent the day curled in on herself nonetheless, for her stomach had long since grown hungry. On the fifty-sixth day, her hallucinations born of eyes gifted by the spirits raged at her prone form. She found the strength to begin resource stocking due to the sheer need to distract herself from the ghosts of her past. It was slow going. On the seventy-third day, the elfess had finished crafting a proper shelter and her stock of supplies had grown immensely. On the eightieth day, during a hunt for small game, the elfess stumbled across a den. Out came Morea’s child and, with a respective distance, the Mali observed it. It didn’t attack her, so she assumed it didn’t mind. Throughout the little time she risked being there, three other pack members had shown and interacted with the beast. When the elfess felt close to overstaying her welcome, she left the game she’d collected for the pack to feast upon out of a sense of gratefulness. On the eighty-third night, she went for a midnight swim. Within that pond she floated upon her back and stared up at the stars above. The figure of some sort of raptor not yet nesting glided above, its moon-backed silhouette casting a shadow upon the forest below. The elfess cried beneath the darkened skies. On the ninetieth day, the elfess entertained herself by drawing upon stones with globs of mud from the banks of the pond. Figures danced over their surfaces, telling stories of her loved ones long since passed and those few that remained in the present. When she’d finished, she decided that she should make a career of finger-painting. On the one hundredth day, a butterfly landed on her nose. She went cross-eyed trying to watch it. They spent a half hour together and in that time, the Mali moved not a single muscle. She became the embodiment of a flower for the little insect’s calm rest. On the one hundred twelfth morning, the elfess deconstructed her shelter before making the trek back down towards her original cave. The move was long overdue. That night, she was unaware of the large elk that had walked past the cave’s entrance. She’d been sleeping. ✧◉❂◉✧ On the one hundred fifteenth morning, the elfess got up to stand at the cave’s entrance and breathed in the glade’s fresh air. There, she found herself to be at peace; not with her past, nor many aspects of her present, but with what she’d learned, lived, and accomplished out in the forests on her own. She had left to reignite that connection with the balance, and though she knew not if she had accomplished it, she felt comfortable enough to continue her pursuit of it. That day, for the first time in many years, her shoulders bore no tense lining to the way they held themselves, her back entertained no slouch, and her expression contained no subtle lines of stress or unease. Out she stepped into the early streams of light, basking in the way they warmed her countenance. Beneath her feet, settled between her toes, was the tickle of grass just kissed by morning dew. Scattered over the area was a flourish of flowers, a rainbow of color once taken by heavy rainfall now returned. Trailing at the edges of tree line grazed two brown rabbits and above them a red squirrel skittered. Her gaze turned upwards and she watched a sparrow glide carelessly through the air before disappearing into the foliage. Life was in abundance here, so chaotic and yet just as powerfully calm. The Mali moved forth, going about her morning routine of washing up, drinking, and eating. When she’d finished, she shifted to return the basket filled with the next few days’ worth of food to its place in the trees, though a mass out of the corner of her eye stopped her movements before she'd made it halfway to her destination. Slowly, she turned to peer over at whatever being had found itself at the edges of the glade before her ear flicked in clear surprise. Morea’s child stared her down, amber gaze flashing within the shadows cast by the bushels of leaves above, and the elfess, stood within the center of the sunlit clearing, stared back. After a moment, her head dipped lightly out of both respect and acknowledgment, and when she looked back up, the creature was gone. The elfess subtly smiled, the corners of her lips tugging upwards at the prompting of a gentle twitch. It was time to go home. ✧◉❂◉✧
  11. Felyx F. Colborn, a Voice for Reform! Simple contemporary oil painting of Felyx F Colborn Introduction Felyx, born in the Second age 64, did not come into the world in a noble household. He worked for everything he has gotten so far, and will continue to serve his Kongzem to the best of his ability. The combined efforts of House Colborn now mean that Felyx is granted a unique position to let his voice be heard. As a child, he worked to start the St. Carolus University which still exists today, has participated in medic lectures, climbed to the rank of Armsman and Officer Cadet by now in the BSK Haeseni Army, and is an avid Adventurer and Poet to the Royal Family. Felyx made many friends during his time, be it commonfolk and nobility alike, and has expanded his horizons by carefully listening to minorities such as Orcs and Elves in Hanseti-Ruska. This has given Felyx the confidence he needs to run for Alderman on this day. Aspirations and Pledges I, Felyx Francys Colborn, do so pledge to honour our community of evolving peoples in-tune with their conservative roots by working with the Duma to issue reforms that benefit the Kongzem in the long-term. I will be your elected dreamer of a brighter future for Haense and, with the know-how and tools I have amassed so far, vow to work hard to listen carefully to anyone who would give me feedback or advice, and implement reforms that I deem necessary for the prosperity of Haense to Krusae Zwy Kongzem! More specifically, I, Felyx will pledge to work on Seven primary points: Promote Crown-endorsed reforms to stimulate political interest of the People of Hanseti-Ruska. Introduce non-politically aligned Commonfolk Societies for greater multi-social representation in our Motherland. Stand for greater Diplomatic cooperation, including a Worker’s Exchange Programme between allied nations to foster more open-minded generations who are willing to accept the diversity of Hanseti-Ruska and Almaris as a whole. Promote theological debates led by the Church across various beliefs, using a novel, proposed technique, coined: “Deep Listening”. Work to integrate the aforementioned “Deep Listening” into the Duma, which will hopefully bridge divides between opposite opinions to reach compromises. Introduce a Koeng or Koenas Royal Jubilee, in coordination with the BSK, every 5 years to celebrate the efforts of the Crown. Introduce a “World Pilgrimage” with the consent of the Church, in order to become aware of different and opposing cultures and beliefs, to reinforce Godan’s virtues and learn to live harmoniously with others despite opposing views. These are just a chunk of ideas I have deemed worthy to put to paper. Being a soldier of the BSK, I find it important that we can avoid War as much as possible. However, peacetime is never a reason to stop training and drilling diligently. I will take my discipline and dedication from the Army when pursuing my goals within the Duma. With great Passion Felyx Francys Colborn stands by his values, and hopes to work alongside Duma members with his Aspirations, by the pleasure of the Electorates of Hanseti-Ruska!
  12. Royal Poetry Volume 1 - Karenina Foreword One day, when Felyx Colborn was attending a Royal Birthday, he happened to chance on the longest-reigning Queen of Haense; Emma Karenina Barbanov-Bihar. Inspired by the singular name: "Karenina", a poem enters the mind of the Colborn, itching to be written down. So, with the goodwill of the Prior-Queen, he sets to work... 'Karenina' Graced beauty kills the beholden. She is more deadly the longer she lasts. She is the Northern wind that tugs your clothes like an insistent lover. Her soul, a vast landscape with rays of sun illuminating the fractals of a thousand crystals. Ageing and Ageless her temporal eyes stare unflinchingly into the past. Her beauty is a curse that sinks wayward souls deep into an icy abyss. Her beauty is a blessing that keeps those who manage to endure afloat to marvel at her bliss. Yet those who stare deep into her soul have the bone hand of Death tugging them onwards. She has many children, to which she grants her good looks fatally as her icy kiss. Beneath the surface of her kin lie the currents of eternal layers. A heart locked within flesh and bone, its key locked deep within the crevice of the soul. Where the realm of intellect begins, names command her power. She knows; kin to the icy lady who resides in the halls of the onion towers. Her being, her spirit, her soul an onion of layers - invaluable to the support of the perennial Kings. Of which she is bound, a curse, a "God bless" to the golden marriage rings. A rosy smile behind a crimson scarf, as red as blood flashes by. Her own kin is the Land on which the wheels of her carriage roll smoothly, and her people whose spirits fill the entire sky. Her name, on the tip of your tongue as if from a childhood dream long gone by. "Emma Karenina" Afterword There is only one copy of this poem in circulation (IRPLY) and it is the original, signed by Felyx Colborn himself. What has been writ cannot be undone, and more royal poems are sure to come... Signed,
  13. B.S.K NOTICE & ALL YE HAESENI CITIZENS ________________________________________________ (OOC: Such Noticeboard maye be found pinned across the streets of Haense) DEARE Citizens of Haense and Members of the Crown's Proud Brotherhood of St. Karl, It gives me great pleasure to announce a Joint-B.S.K and Colborn organised Beer Night and Brawl at the Old Stout Crowe Tavern. This is a chance to Drink and converse with Friends and Strangers, lift your mood, and partake in a jolly good fistfight supervised by the B.S.K. For the right honourable individuals less interested in a round of fisticuffs, ye shall have time to tell and listen to stories from many an individual, playe tavern games, and p'rhaps trade and make connections with people! There's plenty to go around! So do not forget to attend, and bring your friends for a spiffing time! (OOC: Event will take place in the Old Stout Crow Tavern in Haense at 3pm EST on Wednesday 29th of June, 2022 - Hopefully to be repeated :)) Signed Cordially,
  14. The Laws of The Grand Duchy of Balian The Grand Duchy of Balian’s Legal Code INTRODUCTION - General Provisions and Definition SECTION I - Criminal Law SECTION II - Court Procedure GENERAL PROVISIONS AND DEFINITIONS Written by the first Magister of The Grand Duchy of Balian, The Grand Duchy of Balian (Balian): The country, the nation of which these laws apply. Constitutes both provinces or colonies. The Grand Duke (or Duchess): The head of state of the Grand Duchy of Balian. The Crown: The sovereign of the Grand Duchy of Balian., which controls the Brotherhood of Balian and the Balian Peerage and rules under the direction and advice of the Ducal Chamber . The Laws of The Grand Duchy of Balian: The lawbook of the Grand Duchy of Balian. Seneschal: The Seneschal is the chief minister of the Grand Duchy and is responsible for the proper maintenance and governance of the realm. He wields penultimate authority and is charged with preserving the coronet by all means possible, including in matters of succession. The Ducal Chamber: The various stately offices of the Grand Duchy of Balian, they are comprised of the Seneschal, the Legate, the Censor, the Magister, the Constable and the Procurator. Their roles are to complete the jobs set out for them in their titles, and to advice the Grand Duke on all matters deemed to be necessary by Their Grace. Balian Peerage: The lettered nobility of the Grand Duchy of Balian. The Magisterium: The Judicial branch of the Balian Government, composed of the Magister, Kritai and Tribonian Quaestors. Excerpt Upon the Rights of Man Humanity, created by God in the image of His Prophets, is bestowed upon through His Divine Power the guaranteed, inalienable rights of Man, held above all law and rule. Through the power of the Imperial Crown, they are enforced and protected immaculate and indefinite, only transgressed by committing a mortal sin. The Rights of Man include; ● THE RIGHT TO LIFE, so no man will ever be taken to the Skies so soon. ● THE RIGHT TO LIBERTY, so no man will ever be bonded by the shackles of slavery. ● THE RIGHT TO TRIAL, so no man will ever be wrongly accused when not charged by a trial of their peers. These rights are the backbone of human liberty and law, preventing the slip of chaos as seen in time immemorial, acting as a shield before the dark arrows of tyranny and selfish ambition. All sons of the First Prophet, no matter of blood, language, or culture, carry upon them these golden laurels of freedom, through right of birth and sapienic kinship. - Emperor Joseph I, 1718 SECTION I - Criminal Law BL.01.01 - On Assault A. When a person decides to violently attack another member of the public, causing no lasting injuries, and does not wield a weapon to inflict such damage. This may be punished with a 50-150 mina fine, depending on issues caused. B. When a person decides to violently attack another member of the public, causing lasting injuries, but not permanent and/or does wield a weapon to inflict damage. This may be punished with a 250-400 mina or the removal of a hand, depending on issues caused. C. When a person decides to violently attack another member of the public, causing permanent injuries,. This may be punished with a 750-1250 mina, 5-10 years of exile or removal of both hands depending on issues caused. BL.01.02 - On Manslaughter A. When a person unintentionally kills another person, be this in anger, by coincidence or otherwise. A lack of intent must be proven indefinitely, as judged by the Kritai. This may be punished with a 600-750 mina fine, decided by the discretion of a Kritai BL.01.03 - On Murder A. When a person intentionally kills another person, without the premediation of it. It would require proof or reasoning that there was no premeditation, which a Kritai would judge. This may be punished with a 1250-1800 mina fine, a 20 year to indefinite exile or removal of a limb. B. When a person intentionally kills another person, with premeditation of it. A Kritai will judge whether they believe it was premeditated or not. This may only be punished with death. BL.01.04 - On Mutilation A. When a person removes a body part short of a limb, organ or eye, or causes other permanent damage, with intention. This will be punished with the equivalent mutilation or a 300-500 mina fine. B. When a person removes a limb, organ or eye, causing permanent damage, with intention. This will be punished with a 1000-1750 mina fee, 10-30 year exile or equivalent mutilation, decided with the Kritai’s discretion. BL.01.05 - On Kidnapping A.When a person without legal reasoning, takes another person and confines them against their will. This will be punished with a 750-1000 mina fine, exile for 5-10 years, decided with the Kritai’s discretion BL.01.06 - On Defamation A. When a person would distribute false information about someone else, without the intent to damage their reputation. This will be punished with a 50-150 mina fine. B. When a person would distribute false information about someone else, with the intent to damage their reputation. This will be punished with a 500-750 mina fine. BL.01.07 - On Impersonation A.When a person assumes the identity of another person, without a reasonable excuse or a prior agreement between the two people. It will be punished with a 100-200 mina fee. B. When a person assumes the identity of a peer, soldier, government or public official, without a reasonable excuse or a prior agreement between the two people. It will be punished with a 400-500 mina fee. BL.01.08 - On Torture A.When a person inflicts injury on another while they have captured them. To do this within legal bounds, one must have the expressed permission of The Magister of The Grand Duchy of Balian. This may also be done when concerning an enemy of the state. This will be punished with a 650-750 mina punishment BL.01.09 - On Malpractice A.When a medical practitioner neglects the care of a person in need of medical care, be this refusal of treatment, failing to adhere to medical procedure or otherwise. This will be punished with temporary or permanent revoking of medical licence and a 300-1000 mina fine, dependant on the severity of the case. BL.01.10 - On Theft A.When a person steals the property of another, of the value of up to 400 mina. This will be punished with the returning of the property and a 200-350 mina fine or, if the return of the property is not possible, a 400-500 mina fine or 2-5 year exile. B. When a person steals the property of another, of the value of over 400 mina. This will be punished with the returning of the property and a 600-750 mina fine or, if the return of the property is not possible, a 800-1100 mina fine or 5-10 year exile. BL.01.11 - On Breaking and entering A.When a person makes their way into another person's property without expressed permission, this includes a search of a property without a search warrant. This will be punished with a 200-350 mina fine and temporary suspension from one's force, should it be necessary. BL.01.12 - On Forgery A.When a person intentionally fakes a legal document that they are aware they are legally not allowed to. This will result in barring from public office for 5-10 years and a 100-200 mina fine. BL.01.13 - On Vandalism A.When a person intentionally damages or defaces property that is not their own and is not a government building.. This will be punished with a 100-200 mina fine. B. When a person intentionally damages or defaces property that is not their own and is a government building.. This will be punished with a 500-600 mina fine and exile for 2-5 years. BL.01.14 - On Arson A.When a person intentionally utilises fire to damage or destroy a property that is not their own and is not a government building. This will be punished with a 400-500 mina fine. B. When a person intentionally utilises fire to damage or destroy a property that is not their own and is a government building.. This will be punished with a 1000-1200 mina fine and exile for 20 years up to indefinite. BL.01.15 - On Trespassing A. When a person refuses to leave a property they have been asked to leave, or goes to one in which they have been barred. This will be punished with a 200-300 mina fine. BL.01.16 - On Debt A.When a person fails to resolve a debt to another person, be it small, moderate or significant. This should be brought to The Magister or a Kritai by the victim, and they will render a verdict depending on the facts of the case. BL.01.17 - On Treason A.When a person intentionally commits acts that are intended to compromise the integrity of the state and its government through insurrectionist movements and attacks. This crime will only ever be punished with execution. BL.01.18 - On Sedition A.When a person intentionally distributes information or media, or speaks in a way that brings contempt against the state and its government, in a means to diminish its influence. This crime will only ever be punished with execution. BL.01.19 - On Contraband A.When a person possesses any illegal substances, materials or literature. This will be punished with the removal of such things and a 100-250 mina fine. B. When a person distributes or sells any illegal substances, materials or literature. This will be punished with the removal of such things and a 400-500 mina fine. C. When a person manufactures any illegal substances, materials or literature. This will be punished with the removal of such things and a 800-1200 mina fine. BL.01.20 - On Obstruction A.When a person obstructs or interferes with the arrest, investigation or prosecution of a criminal. This will be punished with a 200-300 mina fine. BL.01.21 - On Absconding A.When a person refuses to surrender themselves to arresting officers or does not turn up to an appointed court date when told to. Anyone who commits this, will be found guilty of the crime they committed. BL.01.22 - On Bribery A.When a person uses money, land or any form of a material gift to persuade a public official, army member, Kritai, Trobonian Quaestor, government official or anyone considered to have power, to conform to their influence. This will be punished with a 400-500 mina fine and barring from public office for 5 years. B. When a public official, army member, Kritai, Trobonian Quaestor, government official or anyone considered to have power, accepts money, land or any form of a material gift to conform to another person’s influence. This will be punished with immediate dismissal from office, barring from public office for 10 years and 750-1000 mina fine. BL.01.23 - On Extortion A.When a person obtains material goods, money, land, titles or influence, through the use of threat or force. This will be punished with a 400-500 mina fine. BL.01.24 - On Perjury A.When a person deliberately lies or withholds important information from an interrogating Tribonian Quaestor or officer of the Brotherhood of Balian throughout the course of any non-treason related crime. This will be punished with a 100-1000 mina fee, decided based on the crime that the interrogation concerned. B. When a person deliberately lies or withholds important information from an interrogating Tribonian Quaestor throughout the course of a treason related crime. This will be punished with a permanent exile or execution. BL.01.25 - On Embezzlement A.When a government official intentionally uses government money or materials for their own personal gains, outside of their office. This will be punished with dismissal from office, permanent barring for public office and a 1000-3000 mina fine depending on the severity of the crime. BL.01.26 - On Unauthorised Military Organisations A.When an individual is part of a private and unauthorised military organisation. This will be punished with a 400-450 mina fine. B.When an individual leads and/or founded a private and unauthorised military organisation. This will be punished with a 1000-1500 mina fine. BL.01.27 - On Duelling A.A duel may only occur as an honour duel between nobles, where they settle personal disputes in this manner. The Magister or Grand Druke must authorise such before it can take place. If this doesn’t occur it will be treated as any other crime. BL.01.28 - On Blasphemy A.When a person speaks in a sacrilegious manner about God or the teachings of the scriptures. This will be punished with a 400-500 mina fine and/or 1-2 years exile. BL.01.29 - On Heresy A.When a person intentionally teaches others about the teachings of a false deity. This will be punished with a 750-900 mina fine and/or a 5-10 year exile. BL.01.30 - On Devilry A.When a person preaches for, worships or partakes in rituals of devils and demons and other devilish faiths. This will be punished with a 1000-2000 mina fine, 20 years to indefinite exile or death. BL.01.31 - On Witchcraft A. When a person partakes in magery that would be considered evil and/or dark by any sane person. This will be punished with exile for 20 years to indefinite, execution or a 1000-1500 mina fine. BL.01.32 - On Fornication A.When an unmarried person fornicates with someone else. This will be punished with a 400-500 mina fine. BL.01.33 - On Adultery A.When a married person fornicates with someone other than their spouse. This will be punished with a 700-900 mina fine. BL.01.34 - On Consanguinity A.When a person fornicates or fosters a romantic relationship with someone closely related to them, such as parents, siblings, aunts, uncles etc. This will be punished with a 600-750 mina fine and exile for 2-5 years. BL.01.35 - On Miscegenation A.When a person fornicates with someone who is not the same race as themselves, such as a human and elf, or orc and dwarf. This will be punished with a 800-1000 mina fine and exile for 5-10 years. BL.01.36 - On Concealment of Identity A.When a person hides their face to a Brotherhood of Balian soldier or Tribonian Quaestor when they were asked to remove it. This will be punished with a 150-200 mina fine. BL.01.37 - On Vigilantism A.When a person, who is not part of the Brotherhood of Balian nor a Tribonian Quaestor attempts to apprehend a criminal or carry out their own justice. This will be punished with a 300-400 mina fine. BL.01.38 - On Disturbing the Peace A.When a person causes problems and an uproar that affects the common peace of the state. This will be punished with a 200-300 mina fine. BL.01.39 - On Harmed Sovereignty A.When a person commits any level of assault on the Grand Duke or any of their Ducal family. This will be considered treason and punished with only execution. BL.01.40 - On Conspiracy A.When a person works with someone else and plans to commit a crime. This will be punished the same way the crime that was conspired. BL.01.41 - On Incitement A.When a person encourages another or incites them into committing a crime. This will be punished the same way the crime that was incited. BL.01.42 - On Attempt A.When a person attempts, but fails to commit a crime. This will be punished the same way as the crime that was attempted. BL.01.43 - On The Draconic A.When a person is considered to be Azdrazi or in any other way draconic. This will be punished with immediate death, a trial is not required when it is obvious that a person is draconic. BL.01.44 - On Minors A.When a person is under the age of 12, they will not be prosecuted for any crime at all. B. A person under the age of 16 will not be able to consume alcohol, and those that procure them alcohol will receive a 100 mina fine. BL.01.45 - On Discrimination A.When a person uses another’s race as justification for violence, theft or anything else that may be seen as an attack on them. This will be punished with a 100-150 mina fine. B.When a person uses another’s religion as justification for violence, theft or anything else that may be seen as an attack on them. This will be punished with a 100-150 mina fine. C.When a person uses another’s gender as justification for violence, theft or anything else that may be seen as an attack on them. This will be punished with a 100-150 mina fine. D.When a person uses another’s sexuality as justification for violence, theft or anything else that may be seen as an attack on them. This will be punished with a 100-150 mina fine. BL.01.46 - On Religious Rights A.Any person in Balian may practice their own religion, however as stated in BL.01.28, they may not preach it to others. BL.01.47 - On Bee Protection A.When a person kills a bee with intent. This will be punished with a 50 mina fine. BL.01.48 - On Civil Offences A.When a person causes physical damage to another. The punishment for this will be decided in court, but may not exceed the cost of the damage caused. B. When a person causes financial damage to another. The punishment for this will be decided in court, but may not exceed the cost of the damage caused. C. When a person causes social damage to another’s reputation. The punishment for this will be decided in court, but may not exceed the cost of the damage caused. BL.01.49 - On Undead A.When a person is found not to be truly alive and having lived passed death. The punishment for this will be execution by removal of the head. SECTION II - Court Procedure BL.02.01 - On Summoning the Court I.The Tribonian Quaestor on the case, or claimant of a civil case, will send a letter to the Magister or make them aware of the case and their intent to pursue it legally. II. The Magister will review the letter and either approve or deny the case. III. If approved, the Magister will nominate a Kritai to oversee the trial and letters will be sent to all involved with the case at hand in order to summon them to court. BL.02.02 - On Trial upon Arrest I.Should it be deemed necessary, a recently arrested criminal may be immediately taken to court for a trial. II. This should be approved by The Magister or The Supreme Kritai before occurring, but if necessary, can be skipped over. III. Any available Kritai will oversee this case and any Tribonian Quaestor will prosecute, after being given the information. BL.02.02 - On Legal Procedure I.At the start of a trial, all shall rise for the Kritai before they take a seat, officially beginning court. II. The prosecution will make an opening statement summing up their side of the case within a paragraph, followed by the defendant also making an opening statement summing up their side of the case within a paragraph. III. The prosecution will then make 1-3 points, using evidence as a point of proof for their case. They should keep their points concise and to the point less they be cut off by the Kritai, should they believe it necessary. IV. The defence will then make their own 1-3 points, using their own evidence, or rebuttal any points made by the prosecution. They also should keep their points concise, less they be cut off by the Kritai. V. Both sides will then make their closing statements, which should again be paragraph sized, the prosecution first and then the defence. VI. The Judge will finally render a verdict after hearing both closing statements, and then the punishment will be carried out by the Brotherhood of Balian. VII. Objections are not to be allowed under any circumstances, as the Kritai will take into account anything they believe to be untoward. VIII. All trials should be documented for future reference by a scribe. BL.02.03 - On Fines I.A fine may be given out by a NCO of the Brotherhood of Balian or above, or a Kritai on the spot, as long as the crime committed warrants a fine of under 500 mina. II. All fines must be given to The Magister, who will subsequently hand the money over to The Procurator. III. If unable to pay the fine, a person will receive either an exile or physical punishment, as decided by a Kritai. BL.02.04 - On Physical punishment. I.A crime may be punished with a physical punishment e.g. removal of a hand. If this is decided upon, then said punishment will be carried out in a humane manner. II. The body part will be removed with a swift swing of a blade, it will then immediately be cauterised by fire, or any other medical procedure should a doctor be present to administer it. BL.02.05 - On Exiles. I.If a person is punished with exile, they will be given a Saint’s day to remove their belongings from the city before they are placed in exile. II. Following this a sketch should be made of the person. This sketch and their name will be posted in the gatehouse, for any guard to see should the person try to return. III. Should they return before their exile is over, they may be subject to further punishment, should it be a longer exile, fine or physical punishment. IV. Exile may be appealed, if this is the case, the person punished should send a letter to The Magister, who will then review the case and determine the course of action from there. V. A letter shall be sent to the exilee once their period of exile is over, notifying them that they are free to return should they please. BL.02.06 - On Death Sentences. I.Should a person be sentenced to death, their death will be dealt with in a humane manner. II. The punished may call for their last rites, as afforded to them by the canonist church, should they be a canonist. III. When it comes time for the criminal to be killed, their head should be placed on a block, for them to be beheaded. IV. Customarily, it is the Kritai who should swing the sword killing the criminal, however this can be wavered should a Kritai not be present. BL.02.07 - On Prisoners of War. I.Should an enemy be captured in war, their fate may be decided by The Magister, a Kritai or any officer of the Brotherhood of Balian, with a trial being overlooked due to the circumstances. II. Should there be a disagreement about how to handle this situation, the view of The Magister or Kritai will supersede the military officials. BL.02.08 - On Military Criminals. I.If a member of The Brotherhood of Balian commits an offence that is not a higher assault, mutilation, murder or treason, they will be afforded a court martial, which the captain will oversee. II. If a member of The Brotherhood of Balian commits an offence that is not a higher assault, mutilation, murder or treason, they will receive a Magisterium investigation and a subsequent trial. III. If a member of The Brotherhood of Balian is found to have abused their powers to fine lower crimes or pass judgement in war time situations, they will receive a Magisterium investigation and a subsequent trial, potentially resulting in dishonourable discharge or another punishment. BL.02.09 - On Peer Criminals. I.If a Peer commits an offence, once they have been investigated by the Magisterium, they will be trialled by The Magister or Grand Duke only. BL.02.10- On Trials of Treason. I.A trial concerning the act of treason will only ever be trialled by The Magister or Grand Duke. BL.02.11- On Defence. I.A defendant may call for their own lawyer to defend them in court should they want to. II. If the lawyer doesn’t arrive within 30 Saint’s minutes, the court will not allow for the defence to have a lawyer and the defendant must defend themselves. BL.02.11- On Repeated offenders. I.A criminal who has before been found guilty of a crime, will have their punishment increased. E.g a 400 mina fine would become a 600 mina fine. II. Should a criminal who commits low level crimes (Those who which receive punishments under 500 mina) repeat their offences, they will not be fined on the spot and subsequently be sent to trial. Signed, Lord Ledicort of House Vuiller, First Magister of Balian
  15. THE TRIALS OF LOVE 11th of Gronna ag Droba 421 E.S. 'They were discovered entangled in sheets, cheeks reddened with a guilty sheen.’ Adele Ludovar reads a copy of the most recent Edition of Hearsay. As she does so, she sinks down onto the palace steps, unable to tear her eyes away from the piece of parchment she clasps in her hands. She already knew everything that was written about Him in the edition, of course, but it still horrified her to read it. Her mind glanced back on the horror of the month before. Adele Ludovar sat with her family. Her new family. The family of her mother that she was still exploring, that side that her father had fought so hard to hide from them. (And not Him with his despair and impulsiveness; sleeping with another woman the month before they were to be married) And she received a note by courier: ‘Adele. We need to Talk. - Matyas’. He burst into tears as soon as he saw her, crying out and holding onto her tightly - maybe savouring that moment of calm and her concerned affection before it all came crashing down. Their combined sobs wracked through the Ludovar apartment that evening, as they fought back and forth then eventually being left as a mournful pile of two broken young people In Love. Adele Ludovar watches the rain pour down while she sits, barely sheltered, under the Palace’s outer foyer. Her freezing hands hold the copy of Hearsay Edition XIII and the rain blots into each page, smearing the ink and ruining it. But the words written are burnt into her mind and she will never forget what has happened to trigger such an edition. 'Even if Lady Adele wishes to make amends, her father surely does not.’ Adele Ludovar hugs her father as sobs are released in the halls of Otistadt. “Ea forgive Him, papej.” She says quickly, through her tears, “V-vy didn’t see Him on the day, he was…” She cuts herself off, not wanting to finish that sentence. 'A mess.’ Johann speaks plainly when he replies, rubbing her back comfortingly as he holds her. “But it does niet free him from his deeds. And it does niet make me trust that he will take care of mea greatest treasure in the whole world. Ea could niet care about anyone’s feelings if it costs pain to mea dearest.” And at that a servant runs up the stairs with a certain dish on a plate. 'An Erkindelir with Uli’ He states, ‘Ea only feed him the dish he cooked.’ Adele Ludovar does not know how she feels. On one hand she is still heartbroken, while on the other her heart aches when she is away from Him. She must be In Love with Him. Adele Ludovar might be a stupid girl In Love, who will surely suffer for her mistakes. 'Was it worth it, Lord Alban?’ Adele Ludovar’s face pales as Johann turns to head back to Karosgrad and Matyas, her beloved, to serve Him the dish that would seal their fate and she frantically clutches at his upper arms in a vague attempt to stop him from leaving. “Papej, nie.” She says, eyes suddenly filling with a kind of terrified desperation. “Vy can’t do this, v-vy can’t!” She cries, her heart beating faster in her chest with every passing moment. Adele Ludovar is petrified of losing Him. (Him and his auburn hair and the dimple right there on his cheek, and his sky blue eyes that she loves so dearly. Him and his great sorrowful weeping in regret of his actions, and Him and his unforgivable betrayal that almost made her heart stop.) Adele Ludovar is not ready to admit what she is about to plead with… But surely it’s the only way as she claws at her father’s arm clutching that heart to rip it from him and protect Matyas. It is all she can do. “Ea love Him-!” She cries, “E-ea do, vy can’t do this…” Johann dislodges her from his arm, glancing over his shoulder with an impregnably stern expression. ‘Yam heading back. Vy should rest, dear.’ 'Do tell me, for I am quite curious.’ Adele Ludovar is cold; for there is no warmth in a world without Him. Adele Ludovar stands beside Him in the cold empty Basilica. Their words echoed through the halls as they spoke, and her heart aches for disobeying her father’s wishes but even more she flinches with every syllable from his poetic lips as her stomach does somersaults… She stands dumbfounded at his declaration. “Ea will marry vy, Adele Emma Ludovar,” He declares as he stares at her; eyes full of determination. “That ea promise vy.” It’s his avowel to her. That he will work until he drops dead or earns her hand. Adele Ludovar sighs wistfully, an aching beginning to form in her stomach as she stares at Him. “Please… When vy duel. Don’t get hurt…” She says quietly, “Ea’ll be worried…” In response he only grimaces. “Ea have to get hurt.” He murmurs, bringing his glance to the floor. “Otherwise ea fear there is nie chance of convincing vyr papej.” That fills her with a sense of dread and fear, and she reaches to grasp his hand. “Ea’ll be worried,” She gently pleads, silently praying to Godan at the altar that he’ll give in. “Or- at least don’t try to get hurt.” He allows her to take his hand, “Ea will survive, ea assure vy.” 'But what use is a playwright when he lives his own tragedy?’ Adele Ludovar stands in the shaded observation area of Karosgrad’s hippodrome with her heart in her throat, thumping loudly, as she watches her sister and Beloved stand opposing one another. Her lip quivers fearfully. She can barely think straight. What if he loses? What does that even prove? What if he gets hurt? What if he dies? How could she ever forgive Amicia for hurting him? And how could she ever forgive her father for orchestrating the whole thing! She should be married by now. She could have been pregnant by now; she would have been so happy… What if this is it for them? Adele Ludovar watches the pair size each other up as Amicia puts on her gloves and her eyes widen. They prepare to fight for her honour. The honour that she doesn’t want back… Adele Ludovar wants Him back.
  16. VICTORY For the beloved brothers and sisters in arms who fell at the Skirmish of Stone Tower, and for the victory of the faithful. The waves lap at bloodstained stone, And I listen quietly to muffled cries. The cries of the dying and the damned, The cries for mercy. No mercy shall come, For those that betray their faith find no refuge. They find that the silken whispers of Iblees, Mistaken for GODAN, most high, Turn to knives against them evermore. For where I stand beside the faithful, The broken, the beaten, the UNDEFEATED, I can only hear the sweet song of Godan’s aenguls, Guiding my noble brothers and sisters to heaven. For as darkness falls over bloodsoaked ground, And the eerie silence post-battle wanes, I see the glorious light shining upon tomorrow. And may sacrifice usher in a new age of light, A new age of peace and beauty. And as we travel into this new ‘morrow, May our resolve never falter and our faith never waver. Let the joyous cries of the pious and the good, Ring out through this new tomorrow. And let the fallen rest in blissful sleep, Knowing that they have been avenged, And remain unforgotten among the living. May they rest peacefully, bathed in eternal light, Forevermore knowing that we shall remember. SIGNED, Her Royal Highness, Klara Elizaveta, Duchess of Baranya Klara Elizaveta finished her work with a flourish of her pen before climbing the ladder in her room at the Nikirala Prikaz to gaze out at the sky. “Are vy proud of us, Sigmar?”
  17. * 15-18 Locked away in my symbolic room strapped to the bars of this comfortable prison I’ve known all my life. Confined to do what people expect of me, /confined/ to the role I am placed in on this chessboard. Locked away by the lump in my throat only wishing to speak but the air becomes still as the eyes stare, stare to me for I am different? Or stare to me because I am brave. Eyes that should be a doorway open and welcoming a door that is shut instead. Doors that keep the social “standard” to its quo, why, father, why are these eyes of winter so compelling to the soul? Mother, why is it when they glance with their winter eyes my feet freeze in place? No answer as I have neither to go to when I am sad nor to call for my achievements; it is only me.
  18. A Wanted Man On the 10th of the Sun’s Smile, Year 67 of the Second Age, a heinous crime was committed against elSillumiran. Valazaer Calith, former Div’kinael of the Sillumir, stole massive amounts of resources from the Sillumir vault. It is unknown the exact number of materials he took- but each of the following stores were looted: Coal stores Iron stores Weapon stores Armour stores Aurum stores Not only has he broken article two of the Silver Law, but he has stolen from a government building, and betrayed his fellow comrades by taking part in such a venomous act. This constitutes grand larceny of the highest level. If Valazaer Calith is seen wandering the streets of Haelun’or, he is to be detained immediately. He is meant to be brought to any member of the Silver Council, where court shall be held, and he shall be prosecuted for his crimes. [!] Below is a crude depiction and a drawing of the culprit. Blonde man high elven man with light blue eyes. Very feminine looking. Last seen wearing a blue overcoat and brown pants. This man is a wanted criminal. Approach Carefully. Maehr’sae Hiylun’eyha 5th of the Deep Cold, Year 67 of the SA On behalf of the Silver Council, Okarir’tir Iphys Catullus Valwynn ((OOC: Art done by puffables, duckbreb#4385 on discord))
  19. A BEAUTIFUL BURDEN A girl leaned against a wall on one of the balconies of the Nikirala Prikaz, the different floral scents of the Rose Wing surrounding her as she gazed out at the early morning sky. She was not yet a woman, no matter what the law said, and Klara Elizaveta only stroked the fur of the now ten year old dog she’d been gifted so long ago. Sigmar @AmazingAzura, her beloved cousin, slaughtered by the Orenians. “Sigmar is dead?” She remembers asking Ser August @Ziggiteethat question. Her heart had dropped as she watched the Lord Marshal push the captured Orenian knight to his knees in front of the chopping block. Her hand had found Margot’s @Mady, who’d stood by her side as they watched the execution. She remembers the numbness, the terrible apathy that tore into her soul. As Dame Tavisha @Althea_ swung her great axe, the young princess felt herself steel over. A thought passed over her, as her heart hardened. “Let the mercy of a quick death be the only mercy Ea give to those who would tear us limb from limb.” There was a time she craved peace, a time where she wished for it more than anything. She’d fought in battles alongside her father and mother before she’d even come of age, but she still felt very much a girl. The eldest princess couldn’t bring herself to shed tears. She’d wept for so many already. An uncle, aunts, her grandmother. She could no longer weep for the dead, could no longer bring herself to show her grief. Tea and prayer only aided in sleeplessness for so long. There was a time Klara craved peace. No longer. Night fell, and only then did she realize she’d been sitting there for hours. Looking down, she went to rouse the dog that slept beside her, before slim hands met cold body. Brown eyes had clouded over so only a deep grey could remain, and she felt herself stiffen. It was no longer the dog in her lap, no, it was him, with his singular grey eye. As she brought her hands up to brush back his hair, she idly noticed that she was shaking. Breath whooshed from her lungs, and Klara turned away even as servants lifted the body of the well loved pet from her lap. She did not see an animal hanging there in the maids’ arms, only her cousin, the cousin who’d looked after her since she was but an infant. As the dog was carried away, she turned her eyes back onto the city with stiff movements. “Burn the body, and scatter the ashes in Richtenburg.” As she spoke and the maids left, she finally allowed air to fill her lungs. The moon was high in the sky once more, full and bright, when she finally moved from the Rose Wing and into the gardens. Many flowers bloomed there, but she only had eyes for one. Daisies, like the ones he’d gifted to her with the dog so long ago. The same bouquet of daisies that sat dried and pressed in a book in her room. It was as if someone had wrapped her in wool, she could not hear or see or feel, but the daisies, those sweet flowers, they filled her with such anger. “We’ve all seen ye grow up into the youn’ woman ye are today, an’ Ah think ye truly have granted us tha’ clarity yer name destined ye fer. Clarity o’ a safe future, in the hands o’ a steadfast an’ ambitious new generation.” That’s what her uncle had said. Clarity. She had barely thought as she moved into the square, barely felt anything but the anger in her heart. If she was to be clarity, if she were to help guide her dear Hanseti-Ruska under first her father, and then her brother after him, she would steel herself. Safety, what a novelty in this new age of war and executions. She was supposed to be clarity, but how could she embody it when her own mind was so clouded? It always came back to harsh realities and harsh words that tore into her heart. She wished desperately for kindness, for safety and security. Klara supposed that makes her a woman, the resolve to give her people that which she was denied, for surely she could not be called a girl any longer. What a burden it was, to give all of yourself to your nation, a burden that both humbled and exalted you. An overwhelming sadness washed over her, for if this is how she felt, she mourned the burden that had been placed on her dearest father. “But what a beautiful burden vy are, dearest Hanseti-Ruska.”
  20. A LETTER TO ALMARIS [i] Hawks carry copies of the same letter to most major settlements and cities in Almaris, and the banging of hammers can be heard as the letter is posted on notice boards for all to read. [i] A sketch of Henrietta Therese lies here as she sits within Nikirala Prikaz’s chapel. Within the walls of the Winter Palace, a mother’s cries can be heard. Klara Elizaveta covers her ears against the sound, her own silent tears slipping down her face. The girl can still feel the eyes on the back of her neck, as if she were still being watched. Every time she closes her eyes, she sees a bundle of sticks and leaves falling from the canopy of the forest. She can still hear her aunt’s desperate wails as the woman cradled the bundle close and fought off anyone trying to knock the Duchess of Alban back to her senses. Klara stifles a sob into her pillow as she realizes the wailing never stopped. She had only received a reprieve from the horrid sound when the search party had finally decided to sedate poor Henrietta, but even that could not quell the illusion induced grief. The little princess could still feel herself being tossed to the ground, could feel how the brush scraped against her hands as she caught herself. With a muffled sob of her own, the girl took a trembling step from the safety of her bed to sit down at her desk. With shaking hands, she pulled out a piece of parchment. 9TH of VZMEY AND HYFF Iv Joveo Mann 406 EHR SIGMUNDA To the beings of Almaris, A girl, barely younger than myself, has been taken, stolen from her family. Lady Elizaveta Ulyana of Alban has been missing for four months, or four Saint’s days. The only traces of my dear cousin have been a lock of her hair and one of her small shoes, found within the Barony of Dobrov. On behalf of my aunt and uncle, Their Royal Highnesses, Prince Marus Aleksandr @mkLouis and Princess Henrietta Therese @PerfectlyPeachy, Duke and Duchess of Alban, I write to the kind hearted people of Almaris today to ask for information. Information on my cousin’s possible whereabouts, or possible sightings. Please help reunite my cousin with our family, please keep your eyes open as you go about your days. Any information or offerings of support are welcome through letters to myself or my mother, Her Majesty, Queen-Consort Emma Karenina @livrose of Hanseti-Ruska. SIGNED, Her Serene Highness, Prinzenas Klara Elizaveta, Duchess of Baranya
  21. FOREGOING BLISS [i] A painting of Eleanora Amador in mourning attire. Eleanora sat. It seemed all she did was sit, sit and remember. One simple word shattered her whole world. Cancer. What an ugly, horrible word. Eleanora could again feel her lungs scream for air and it was only then she realized she’d stopped breathing as if Kaustantin had told her just yesterday. She’d barely seen through her tears as she crashed to her knees. Someone had been wailing. A decrepit, crackling sound that seemed to pierce through Reinmar, and she recalled realizing it was her. Her voice. She was making that awful sound as she tore her hands through her hair. An endless list of questions had echoed through her mind. Why hadn’t he told her? Wasn’t she trustworthy enough? Hadn’t she done everything he’d asked of her to the best of her ability? Hadn’t she sacrificed everything for his trust? For his affection? For his praise? What could he have possibly gained from keeping it from her? Why wasn’t she enough? What use did he have for lies now that one foot was set in the grave? Eventually, the questions narrowed down. Why? The memory changed, and Eleanora placed a trembling gloved hand on an opulent coffin. He was gone, lost to the heavens until she herself met her end. Unhealthily pale cheeks were wet with tears as she struggled to keep herself upright. It felt like a piece of her soul had been torn from her, as if the world had been pulled out from underneath her feet. Her heart was empty, as black as coal as she stared at that coffin. No matter how much she begged and pleaded and prayed, she’d never see his strained smile or hear affirming words. No matter how terribly she wanted him to rise, he would not. She again asked the same question in her mind. Why? It seemed so meaningless now. What was the point of living if those you loved were ripped from you so cruelly? What was the point? There had to be a reason, though she could find none. And so, she sat. Eleanora sat on the balcony overlooking Aurveldt’s courtyard, amidst the potted plants and flowers. She sat as the sun rose and fell and as she was coaxed inside for restless sleep and meager meals. She sat, and she remembered. Sometimes, if it got worse, if the questions were too much to bear, she cried. She screamed into the night sky and clenched her fists till her nails sliced her palms to shreds. She wailed until she was hoarse, forbidding herself even the smallest drop of water that would soothe the pain in her throat. The physical pain was barely even a drop compared to what lingered in her heart. It was like a disease, the same disease that took her father from her. The same question rang through. Why? She remained inconsolable. Time passed and she found herself painting him, so she wouldn’t forget. Every little detail she could remember was drawn, every wrinkle and every stray hair. Not as he had been at the end of his life, gaunt and thin with illness. But as he had been when she was young, strong and sure. The man he had been when he’d let her cling to his sleeve when she was afraid, the man he had been when he hung her watercolor paintings in the hall of the family wing. Every waking hour was spent sketching, erasing, painting. She didn’t speak, she barely ate. She spent all her time covered in charcoal and paint and horsehair from the bristles of her brushes. She didn’t rest once she finished, only allowing herself a shuddering breath as she collapsed once the portrait was framed and hung. In the end, she still sat on the balcony. She hadn’t received an answer to her questions, nor had her grief ebbed any, but she forced herself to shed the black that had accompanied her unrestrained mourning and forced her grief into the little box she kept in her heart, pulling herself from the visible signs of despair. The bruises beneath her eyes faded and left, even if she still stared up at the stars and shouted into oblivion when no one could hear her. She’d barely put her mourning clothes away when word arrived. “Mea lady?” A maid murmured, and Eleanora looked up to spot the shaking girl. With a practiced, gentle smile, she beckoned the maid closer. “Mea lady, i-it’s vyr mamej.” The resulting sobbed wail from a chamber within Aurveldt seemed to echo for miles. Why?
  22. [!] On the tenth of Amber’s Cold the Scath family vacated their family home on raven road. Brawly and Ezra carried one baby each as they made their way through the deserted streets of the moon lit duchy. Zahira clung tightly to her father’s leg as they walked past the gallows and down toward the gate. Ser Dr. Brawly Scath beckoned to the guard who manned the gate who operated the mechanism and afterwards offered a traditional two finger salute to the veteran and his sizable family and Brawly returned this salute along with his son Yerro. The entourage marched out the gate with the patriarch holding his one-year-old daughter, followed by Mellena whose arm was clung to by Yerro. Ezra brought up the rear holding the newest addition, an eleven-month-old human baby named Callum by his adopted parents. The parade of the Scath family would pass the tree from which a noose swung listlessly. Brawly looked to the hangman's knot with a somber expression. Ezra looked to him from the back “Nub.” Brawly turned to her “Wut?” Ezra looked to him with a stern expression “Dwo nub evun gruk about et.” Brawly sighed as he responded “Ah wuzzen. Ah kuld nevur leave yall.” He offers a reassuring smile to his family. Ezra nodded to him “Hozh. Lat haz ben fheelyng dauwn laytelee. Mi uzt wanted dub mayke zur.” Brawly turned to face forward “Ah wus ust rememberin’.” He takes a pause. Ezra doesn’t press the issue further and the rest of the family remained silent, save Callum’s babbling. The party eventually makes their way to the docks of Yong Ping. They board a ship chartered for an unknown location. As Brawly ascended the gang plank Zahira looked to him with an uneasy expression. “Where are we going, daddy?” Brawly was unable to answer for a short moment. He shook his head in his silence as he reached the deck of the ship. “Away frum 'ere…” he breathed. Zahira piped up again as she ran to hug Brawly’s leg “When will we be back?” Before Brawly could answer, the rest of the Scath family boarded the vessel and shared in the second youngest daughter’s question. Tears filled the eyes of both the patriarch and the baby he carried. “Ah… Ah don kno…” Hours later the anchor of the sailing ship was lifted, and the sails lowered. Brawly stood at the bow, alone as the sun began to rise over the horizon, bathing his bearded face in a warm orange light. His face bore a hesitant smile as he basked in the beauty of this moment. Ezra moved from the quarters to join her husband at the bow of the ship. She stood beside her husband, reaching an arm up to wrap around his waist before she buried her head into his side. Brawly reached down to run his fingers through her hair. Although their future was uncertain, Brawly took solace knowing that he would not be alone during this voyage. He had come a long way from the scared and angry young man who had roamed the streets of Talons port. His goal to never be alone again had long been accomplished and he had his sizable family and a multitude of friends that would surely miss him. Brawly still held onto the hope that maybe one day, he would be able to return. He held hope… Hope that he would return to the home he had helped to create… The home he had toiled and sacrificed for… The home he loved… Rozania forever!
  23. The death of Thalion Araen Drakon 12th of the deep cold, 1836 ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ He wrote on a page... " Pure white lands sweeping across the horizon, untouched by agents of evil. Deep-dark towers of bark covered in dark greens, sprouting out of this desolate terrain. Bright blue icicles reaching onwards towards a starry-night sky, crystals gleeming and refracting beams of starlight outwards as if a performance for only my eyes to see. Wildlife having left prints in the snow, directed the way to their burrows and nests as if inviting me along. A single lit fire illuminating the folliage around itself, hues of red & orange obsorbed by the overwhelmingly white territory. " White lands always reminded him of his home in Atlas yet that was taken from him. Dark trees reminded him of his hunting trips with father yet he was taken from him. The blue icicles reminded him of the Ivae'Fenn, his own role within it over the countless wars and conflicts, yet it was all taken from him. Wildlife leaving imprints in the snow reminded him of the once-competant leadership of his people, always creating paths for others to recognise & follow yet that competant leadership was taken from them. A single lit fire reminded him of the brothers and sisters he made along his way through the past three-hundred years of life, each one of their deaths engained within memory, they were all taken from him. With a large sigh the Fenn' said: "Of all the atrocities committed, none are soo brutal as those originating from incompetance" giving into the idea that although he gave his utmost, it was all still his own incompetance which led to these numerous outcomes. Drinking through the night and feeding into his affinity with Ikurn'Valai, the Fenn' unbuttoned his clothes by the fire revealing the numerious scars, injuries and missing parts of flesh healed over by skin, incurred through nearly three-hundred years of perpetual war. His breathing was shaky at-best, the pain in his body had been growing more and more for a year now, he was certain his time would soon come. On the eve of the next day he painstakingly placed his armour on, grasping onto his trident and using it as leverage to stand up. Once fully equiped he set out through the wilderness, taking on the many different beasts of the cold north, each time becoming a little more worse off, each time gaining more injuries, each time incuring damage upon his Drakon armour... Muttering to himself once more through the gasps for breath: "none... soo brutal... as those... originating... from incompetance" falling onto a knee in the face of a large white bear, the Drakon contemplated his choice for a single second as the bear rose itself up on two feet, yet still, gaining a decisive look upon his face he'd jab up and catch the bear in the neck with the three prongs of his trident, losing his own strength to hold the weight of such a beast, the bottom of the trident fell and dug deep into the ground, a white bear hung from atop its prongs. The Drakon would set himself upright gasping for air and severely wounded, leaning against the corpse and smacking the side of the white bear a few times, he'd say: "A shame... that..." he'd cough up some blood before continuing "would've made... a nice rug... for the bathroom" his breath continued to slow as the large Elf, dawned in ruined armour, leaned against a large body of white fur, the ruined metal parts of the armour now bent inwards and pierced him. witnessing the Pure-white lands infront of him, the dark-bark trees, the bright-blue icicles and the now burnt-out fire... the Mali'Fenn drew his last breath. ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ Knowing his time to be running out, he left a series of notes days prior, the first to his wife, left at her bedside: (( @Starlight)) " Dearest Estelle, We both know the difficulties that faced our kin daily, and I hope you remember each one of those difficulties not for the tough times they created, but rather each of those that I faced head-strong, and at times alone. You know of my numerous injuries, you've seen them countless times and aside from that you still believed me invincible, yet you also knew a Drakon plans to die in service to his kin. Unfortunitely, I am not invincible and I will die, perhaps not in military service, yet still a death in service to our people. I was saved in vain, I tell you now that my injuries will take me soon and I sense you have also known for a while now, perhaps by the time you find this note I will have already passed. Yet even so, do not fall into disarray, I will not allow my death to be one of shame. For this is the last time I dawn my armour, for this the last time I wield my weapon, any & all hostile beasts I encounter lurking near the Fennic' Remnant will perish at my feet and eventually, I too will perish at the feet of one of these beasts, yet I will go honourably, taking many beasts with me, and succeeding in making our lands that little bit more safe for our kin and for our daughter. I must apologize to you Estelle, I will be spending my last moments alone, as much as one wishes to die in the company of love and comfort: I will not allow you nor anyone else to witness the unsightly view of witnessing yet another prideful-Drakon in his last moments of life, I welcome death and I will welcome you when it is your time to join me in Fin’ciwn when Wyrvun judges you worthy. Signed, Thalion" ⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐ A second note was left in the room of the Matriarch of the Drakon bloodline: (( @Sygnus_ @Little_Lulah)) " Honoured leader of the Drakon bloodline, I write to you as a notice, I am Thalion Araen Drakon and I bid you warning. It is known that I did not join the reformed Ivae'Fenn under Vytrek, nor did I stay in the new settlement, and yet still I have served more time in rank and as an officer than anyone else, yet I will not recieve military honours for my death. I fulfilled my responsibilities and what was due, and just like you I once served as the leader of the bloodline and for many Elven-years I built us up as one of, if not the strongest of all the families, so I demand of you: Do not let all that has been built fall into disarray, do not forget our values, our traditions. We are loyal, we are truthful, we are honourable and we are natural-born leaders, guide onto better tomorrows. Even now, as you read this letter I am assuring that my last moments are ones of honour, I will not fail our blood and I will not bring shame to our name. No matter what you hear of me, remember all that I have done, whilst it may not have been perfect, I did my utmost and encurred great loss in the process. Should you fail to uphold our bloodline I am certain Wyrvun will judge you unworthy and to your own fortune you would avoid encurring my wrath upon arriving in Fin'ciwn. Recover my body in the forests to the west, lead our people well and perhaps host a party or two to lighten hearts. Signed, Thalion-Araen of the Drakon Bloodline retired Sentinel of the Ivae'Fenn" ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ A third note was placed under the door of Vytrek Tundraks personal room: (( @Monkee)) " Chosen of Wyrvun, I, Thalion-Araen of the Drakon line call upon your resolve, do not follow in your fathers footsteps, do not yet again thrust us into more pointless war on the behalf of those who would not do the same for us. Of all those we aided and protected in the past, none have cared to return the good faith, even now as our Princedom devolves into a remnant they dare not show their face to you, they dare not after soo long tempt you with shallow excuses of their poor faith. As a Drakon I can only emphasize our traditional views; If war is inevitable then let it be upon all those who have foresaken us, the other Elven-kin care little for us, let war wage against those who talk of their might but fail to field enough military might to fend off common bandits. Though we spoke rarely, you were one of character and I do not believe you nor your brothers care to walk the path of your deranged father. Im sure you will hear word of my actions and their repercussions, yet do not think me a fool. I set the standard for all Drakon who come after me, right now resolve & duty must take precedence. Do not fail them. Signed, Thalion-Araen of the Drakon Bloodline retired Sentinel of the Ivae'Fenn" ⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐ The fourth note was slid under the Sylric manor door, meant for a friend (( @GrimDeValhalla)) " Mister old & ugly, Taveric, I have done something idiotic and impulsive once again, im sure you will find out soon enough. I'll be seeing our comrades in Fin'ciwn soon, im sure you'll end up here soon too with your old age. Right now I face down my last day of battle, my old injuries ache though my resolve has never been stronger than now. I may not have been present during the past few years but im sure with your own resolve you may once again pull your bloodline out of obscurity. Im sure your time will come and you will come face-to-face with Wyvrun, if he judges you too ugly to enter I would completely understand his decision, though I am also sure that if you mentioned the great Thalion Drakon Sentinel in the Ivae'Fenn of the Princedom of Fenn, and your role as my trusty-side kick, he'll be sure to let you in. I don't believe much needs to be said, I figured it was best that you found out this way than through someone else. Make sure whoever leads Drakon went I am gone, that they recover my body and I am not left to rot. Get to me before the animals strip my bones of flesh and ideally do it with haste, with your age you may never know how soon you'll keel over and with a face like that you may just be killed for no reason at all. Do be safe, and send Velatha my regards. Signed, Thalion retired Sentinel of the Ivae'Fenn" ⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎⥐⥎ (( OOC disclaimer: )) (( If you haven't gotten a letter or been told by someone who has, then you don't know about his death. ))
  24. 11th of the First Seed Bloodlust answered with Dwarven Ire The Moon rose into the black sky as the sun fell back behind the orcish city. As the orcs and their slaves alike gathered in the Krugmar square, huddling around the lit campfire for warmth the generals of Krug stood around ready to give a speech. Urguani Forces led by Grand King Levian’Tol Grandaxe and Bakir Ireheart moved into the city with a company of 90, made up of Dwarven Legionnaires, Men of Blackwald, The Rustlers, and the GOATS, with compliments of the The Silver Lubba band. They charged the square quickly, cornering one of the Krugmarian Generals, the Urgani force was quickly surrounded by 135 Urks of Krugmar. The Urguani forces slammed their swords and axes together preparing for Battle. Bakir stepped forward asking the cornered general “Where is your Rex? Bring him to us.” Some orcs in the group surrounding them chuckled and awaited the response of their Targoth. The Krugmar General simply responded “Our Rex is dead, died of a heart attack” Bakir shrugged, going to lift his axe pointing it at the throat of the orc “Then we shall take you instead.” With that an orc war cry rang out, the circle of orcish warriors collapsing on the group of 90 dwarves surrounding the Grand King and the Krugmar General. Battle ensued, Urguani and Krugmar forces clashing, the sound of battle filling the streets of the city. The Orcs were quickly driven back into their own gatehouse, orc bodies filling the square with not one dwarf being scathed. The remaining warriors of Krug and with their two Generals hid in the gatehouse expecting to be safe from the dwarves that were waiting inside. The Warriors of Sedan and Silver Lubba suddenly pushed into the gates where the orcs were hiding, quickly overcoming them and dealing with them easily. Axes and swords were raised into the air and thereafter, Urguan War Cries filled the Orcish square as the corpses of Krug’s kin began to rot. The Raid party then returned to Kal'Darakaan. Victorious, hauling a sack of orcish heads behind him.
  25. A lonesome Uruk, clad in pale-red steel. Once youthful, vibrant, and naive. Now weary, tired, and wise. Though he had met many enemies throughout his long life, he knew that time would always be his greatest challenge. He made his way down the winding path towards Krugmar, having once again decided to return home - just to visit one last time. Though he could not call himself the most loyal of Orcs, he still knew - deep in his heart - that Krugmar: a land of blood, combat and death, would always be where he came from and where he would return to no matter what. Though his vision faded, and the world around him continued to turn black, he urged onwards towards the gates of Krugmar. Lifting his helmet, now just a bucket of rust, off of his head: he dropped it to the dirt beneath him. Onwards he stumbled. Unclasping his trusty chestplate, he allowed it to fall behind him like a snake would shed its skin: feeling free for the first time in many years. Onwards he stumbled. His back would bend no more; he could not find the strength to remove the rest of his broken, fragile armour. So, onwards he stumbled. He gazed around at the many heads decorating the bridge to Krugmar: his eyes matching their petrified gaze, with their mouth agape - serving to remind him of the life he had led, like many other Uruks. He coughed once, blood seeping onto his red skin as he tried to cover his mouth: attempting to keep any remaining vitality inside his wretched body from leaving. His ears perked at the sound of a roaring forge, not far from the gates he had just entered. Onwards he stumbled, his gaze and mind affixed upon the open forge: its smoke rising into the night sky. Making his way down the steps, slowly, he found himself looking around for any fellow Uruks: perhaps intending to rely on his brothers for once in his lonesome life, but found only the comfort of cawing crows and the call of the fire ahead. Onwards he stumbled, finally finding himself where he had spent much of his time. Kneeling down before the soothing orange flames, his arm resting on the anvil beside him to support his aged bones. He stared deep into the flames, as he had many times before, but for once he thought not of crafting; not of steel; nor of blood. His mind raced as he instead thought back on his companions. His teacher, Shagarath. His friend and respected warrior, Wud. His first and most respected Rex, Kharak. He frowned as the faces he conjured in his mind faded: struggling to picture those who had grown alongside. “I’m sorry, brothers.” He could feel his heart beginning to slow. His eyes begged to rest, but he continued to vigilantly stare into the fire of the forge. His back slumped, but his head continued to face forwards as it had always done. “I’m coming… To reunite with you all at last.” His heart slowed and performed its final symphony: one last slow beat. The colour in his eyes had now faded, overtaken by the bright orange of the forge. Gukdan was finally home.
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