Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'human'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Whitelist Applications
    • Accepted
    • Denied


  • Groups
    • Nations
    • Settlements
    • Lairs
    • Defunct Groups
  • World
    • Races
    • Creatures
    • Plants
    • Metallurgy
    • Inventions
    • Alchemy
  • Mechanics
  • History
    • Realms
  • Magic
    • Voidal
    • Deity
    • Dark
    • Other
    • Discoveries
  • Deities
    • Aenguls
    • Daemons
    • Homes
    • Other
  • Utility
    • Index
    • Templates


  • Information
    • Announcements
    • Guidelines & Policies
    • Guides
  • Almaris
    • Human Realms & Culture
    • Elven Realms & Culture
    • Dwarven Realms & Culture
    • Orcish Realms & Culture
    • Multiracial Realms
    • Miscellany
    • Lore
  • Off Topic
    • Personal
    • Media
    • Debate
    • Forum Roleplay
    • Looking for Group
    • Miscellany
  • Forms
    • Applications
    • Appeals
    • Reports
    • Staff Services
    • Technical Support
    • Feedback

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...


  • Start




Minecraft Username






Character Name

Character Race

  1. The Redclyfians An extensive handbook on the history and culture of the Redclyfians ____________________________________________________________ Origins The Red Company’s Coat of Arms Prior to the Redclyfians, there was the renowned Red Company: a band of knights led by the renowned and respectable Captain Friedrich and his uncle Ulrich. The Red Company had fought in many wars and battles under different banners such as the Jackalope Knights, Krugmar, and later Savoy. Throughout their early life, they were given keeps and land to act as their headquarters. Eventually, however, they found themselves backstabbed by the Jackalope Knights when the Knights arrested and tortured one of their men. Rage, fueled by the betrayal of the Jackalopes, led to Friedrich and his men taking up arms against them, launching raids and fighting skirmishes against the Jackalope Knights and Kane Redfist’s town. Sutican Tour of 33 S.A, depicting battle between the Red Company and the PKS within the defeated town of Brynrose Later on, they moved to Krugmar and gained land (which they would go on to call Westfelde) in return for their martial prowess. Soon enough, however, the Red Company found itself back in Sutica, who too recognized their martial abilities and granted them land. This land and keep was to be called Redclyf. Years later, after Friedrich of Redclyf and his uncle Ulrich joined the Mösu family, the collapse of Savoy occurred. This left Redclyf independent and surrounded by former vassals of Savoy, in addition to new factions who threatened the stability of the region. They moved to Myrine alongside their newly gained Rozanian vassal to found the Redclyf-Rozanian duchy, kickstarting the Redclyfian way of life. ____________________________________________________________ Way of Governance The way of governance among the Redclyfians has remained the same since its founding, being a feudal society that is primarily ruled by a Duke. Like many such monarchical governments, a council aids the lord of Greenstone in both administration and decision-making - for what good is a lord who does not listen to the voices of his people? Greenstone’s Council is modeled similarly to the Aesir council of the old Redclyf-Rozania, which was divided into several roles: The Aesir of Aesirs (Chancellor), Aesir of Peace (High Diplomat), Aesir of War (The Marshal), Aesir of Coin (High Steward), Aesir of Whispers (Spymaster), and the Aesir of Protection (captain of the duke’s guard). In the martial culture of Redclyf, generals and knights are often the most celebrated members of the aristocracy, but most do not join the upper class in the usual feudal way - via blood and standing alone. Instead, most Redclyfian nobles gain their titles through merit. Sometimes even commoners rise to gain positions within the noble-led government due to serving well and having the right skills for the job. Whether born to their noble role or appointed as noble due to their abilities, the nobles stand as examples of the prime Redclyfian, serving as an example to all of what one should become and strive for: an honored and chivalrous warrior who is proud and indomitable. ____________________________________________________________ Rhythms of Daily Life Around a Redclyfian town, or perhaps even inside the wooden palisades, one will always find large wheatfields being attended to by farmers under the blazing sun, as they dirty their hands and feet working in the soil. Horses and various other livestock graze in lavish pastures under the watchful eye of a shepherd boy and his trusted canine companion as they keep order and safety among the herd. Suddenly a bell is struck marking the 12th hour of the day, midday, and everyone moves in towards the village. The wheatfields are left for now, and the herds are brought into enclosed pastures with only canines to watch over them. Every Redclyfian enters their homes for an hour to utter a prayer to whatever faith they practice, be it Almarism or canonism, before eating and resting to replenish their strength to continue working till dusk. Their homes are simple, with either flax or wooden roofs keeping them from the cold, while walls are made out of sturdy wood or stone depending on how rich the individual is. In the center of the town, there is a bustling square filled with market stalls, selling various goods and services such as metal works, foods, carpentry, textiles, and foreign goods. The air fills with shouts in both foreign and local accents from merchants eager to draw customers to their wares. A notice board is filled with papers from officials who have nailed up decrees and news, as well as from commoners who have nailed postings about their own services and events. A tavern can be found not too far from the center of the town, where your average citizen finds himself enjoying his spare time after a long and hard day of work via drinking and socializing. Even nobles themselves join in to spend time with the common folk and to form bonds of friendship with them. Not far from the town square lies the Lord’s manor or keep, having been erected on elevated land so as to gain a good view of the lands around, to keep an eye on the commoners below, and to keep an eye open for enemy warbands. The keeps are erected and built with a moat and bailey; the keep itself is a large stone tower with four corners. This structure is typically connected to a wall, which forms a bailey right in front of the keep. Outside these structures is another wooden palisade with its little wooden gatehouse, which forms an outer bailey. Here one finds the town blacksmiths, making weaponry, armory, and tools of the trade in the town as sweat pours down their foreheads due to the immense heat. Within the courtyard, knights and their squires, alongside men-at-arms, train and attend to their duties, such as patrolling the estate and lands to ensure the safety of the people and to hone their skills for future wars. In one of the corners of the wall, there is a large tower, serving as barracks, as well as an armory for the troops stationed there. ____________________________________________________________ Views on World & Life Redclyfian knight fighting against a Norlander The Red Company and Redclyf were formed and grounded by Highlander Knights, which has led the Redclyfian culture to take on a set of norms and beliefs similar to other Highlander folk groups. However, the warrior lifestyle has taken a firm hold on the culture as well. The most noticeable aspect of this is their proud and chivalry-centered way of life, most people making decisions based on what they find honorable and what is beneficial for the town. Redclyfians are proud of their social standing and the work they put in to provide for themselves, yet they also care deeply for their family and community. They are also known for their indomitable will, refusing to bend to another people or ruler, unless it is a Redclyfian lord guiding them while they are under another state or are working with another state as mercenaries. Redclyfians admire horses as a central part of their culture, seeing them as majestic and powerful creatures which have become an integral part of life, especially for their soldiers - for Redclyfian warriors are usually mounted knights fighting with great prowess. They have a strong belief in the family unit and community, which comes in many shapes and forms. A soldier might see his brothers and sisters in arms as his family, while a worker in the field bonds with his fellow workers as family. Still another citizen might most closely cherish the people who share her flesh and blood: her kin. Whether one’s family is by blood or by bond, remaining faithful to the family unit and protecting it, even if it comes with the cost of one's own life, is sacrosanct to the Redclyfian way of life. At all costs, they must not disgrace or drag the family in the mud for their own selfish vices. It would be honorless for one to abandon their family in their greatest time of need or to abuse it for their gain. There is a belief common among the Redclyfians, one that stems from their militancy and their adherence to honor: “Death before dishonor, and if death, then perish with a sword in hand.” In other words, they would rather die than disgrace themselves by practicing deeds associated with dishonor, and they will always go out fighting for what they find honorable. Why, though? As a result of this martial philosophy, Redclyf seeks to gain as much strength as possible; however, due to their sense of honor, they have no desire to practice cruelty and savagery towards those that are weaker. In their minds, the strong ought to protect the weak. If the weak should struggle and refuse to surrender, then it is the duty of the strong to make their opponents’ deaths quick, for there is no honor in dragging out their struggle. ____________________________________________________________ Traditions & Celebrations Redclyfians celebrate the longest day in the year by lighting fires and dancing Redclyfian culture includes a rich tapestry of celebrations and traditions, some being imported from different nations and cultures and others being native to the Redclyfians. The main example of a non-native celebration is Krugsmas, a festive celebration all about sharing presents and time with your family/kin. Redclyf also revels in being able to celebrate their own culture with celebrations and traditions of various themes and moods throughout the year. One common celebration is known as Midsummer in the common tongue and is celebrated on the longest day of the year. Townspeople erect and light on fire large and small stick piles whilst young men jump over them as a sport. Dancing, eating, music, and drinking are common during these celebrations too, as it is a way for everyone involved to take a break from the hard labor of the summer heat to ensure a healthy harvest, so that they may relax and enjoy life a little. Coming of age is an important part of every Redclyfian’s life, for it marks the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. Unlike most cultures, however, coming of age does not occur at a certain age, but rather after the completion of a few trials, which every boy must go through to become a man. There are three trials that a boy has to complete to be considered a man. First, he must tame a wild horse, breaking its will and asserting his dominance over it to assert himself as its master and rider. This may happen in different forms; sometimes boys are sent into the wild to find a wild horse and tame it, while sometimes it is simply a feisty horse from the village stables. (Why tame a horse? Horses are an important animal, both spiritually and practically, for the Redclyfians. They represent great strength, courage, and beauty, while in practical terms, they are an important part of the way Redclyfians partake in war: relying on mobility and cavalry. Horses are also essential for the life of the Redclyfian farmer, as they are used for plowing and transportation.) Second, he must hunt down a worthy animal upon the newly tamed horse, usually using a spear or a bow and arrow. Some even opt to simply ram the animal with their horse, depending on what they are hunting. A worthy animal can be anything from a deer to a bear, depending on what is available to hunt and what the boy’s testers think he will be able to handle. The last, and perhaps most dangerous, trial of them all is to honorably slay a man in either battle, skirmish, or duel. ____________________________________________________________ Redclyfian Tongue & Phrases Just as every culture and people who have existed and developed independently has gradually formed their own language, and just as the great nations of Almaris each have their own speech and tongue, so have the Redclyfians developed their own way of speech. Their language is based on the Auvergenian language (since the Redclyfians and Red Company originally existed in Savoy lands), yet it has intermingled with Old Norlandic from the influence of the Mösu clan to form the tongue of Redclyfians. Common Phrases Baonjour - Hello À bétôt - See you soon À la s’maine tchi veint - See you next week À peu près - Nearly, about Bouan gniet - Good Night Coume tchi que l’affaire va - How’s it going, How’s business going J’m’en fiche - I don’t care La fîn du temps f’tha tout vaie - Time will tell Ni feu ni feunque - No fire nor smoke Ni feu ni fouôngne - No fire nor baking Quaï heure qu’il est - What time is it Quaï temps qu’i fait - How’s the weather S’i’vous pllait - Please, if you please Tchi qu’est vote naom - What’s your name? Numbers The Redclyfian way of counting and numbers h follows a pattern like many other languages. The tens, for example, usually end with “nte” to signify it is two digits, the only number breaking this pattern being Ten and Twenty. Although sometimes there are variables for the same thing, a good example is Eighty, which would be Quatre-vîngts (literally 4 twenties). As for the hundreds, one simply attaches a “Chents” at the end (e.g. deux-chents, Trais-chents, Quat’-chents, etc). The sample principle applies to 4 digits and 6 digits as well. Iuene - One Deux - Two Trais - Three Quate - Four Chînq - Five Six - Six Saept - Seven Huit - Eight Neuf - Nine Dgix - Ten Vîngt - Twenty Trente - Thirty Quarante - Forty Chînquante - Fifty Sessànte - Sixty Septante - Seventy Quatre-vîngts/Huiptante - Eighty Nénante - Nighty Chents - Hundred Mille - Thousand Millaon - Million Colors Rouoge - Red Vért - Green Juane - Yellow Orange - Orange Bliu Floncé - Dark Blue Bliu Cliai - Light Blue Brun - Brown Pourpre - Purple Blianc - White Rose - Pink Nièr - Black Gris - Gray ____________________________________________________________ The Average Redclyfian The average Redclyfian is one of primarily Highlander descent, sharing many similarities with them when it comes to their physique (Not every Redclyfian resembles a Highlander, however, since the culture and way of life of Redclyf are not exclusive to one group of people. Just as a Highlander can adapt to elven and orc society and culture, so can other races and kinds of humans adapt to the ways of Redclyf). Like Highlanders, the average Redclyfian usually has pale skin, although tans are not uncommon, especially among those working long hours out in the sun on their farm or honing their martial prowess. Due to the people being hard-working, it has left them with tough skin, their hands filled with blisters and scrapes. Eye color ranges from common brown to blue and lilac. Their hair can go from black and brown to vibrant colors such as red. Redclyfian men and women, as with any human race, differ. Men are taller and sport broader builds than women, whilst women are often both shorter and slimmer. Men usually stand at 5’9 to 6’3 (and sometimes above), while women typically stand at 5’4 to 6 feet. ____________________________________________________________ Where Are They Now? Since the fall of Redclyf-Rozania, the Redclyfians have been wandering the plains of Almaris, searching for a place to call home under the leadership of Björn Mösu, the second and last duke of Redclyf-Rozania. During this time of the exodus, they found themselves living in places such as Balian, yet wherever they went, they still did not feel truly at home. Now the people have resettled in Greenstone, the former forest Dwed settlement of the Verdant Glade, where they live and work as a vassal of the Iron Horde. Björn Mösu still leads them.
  2. [!] Representation of lavishly adorned coronation day halls The moment has come to lay aside the generation and elect a new leader, The Republic of Vikela's Paramount deserves a full celebration and coronation, which is now. One that the previous paramount never experienced, a sigh of relief within the realm, the bright optimism that the river will wash away the doubts as the roots are washed anew. This Grand Harvest, the coronation will take place in the courtroom of the Vemvane Ardrossan Castle. Following the coronation, the new Paramount will offer a brief address, to start their first day a festival will be held within the gate to square to celebrate. As long as goodwill is maintained, all are invited to the coronation. Please be mindful that everyone will be searched at the gate. VALLLO TOUJOU COURI VALLHIUW Her Grace, Leika Juno De Astrea, Paramount , Duchess of Ardrossan. Princess of Abrhami, La Renarde of Uhierie The Council of Vikela
  3. THE GREYCLOAK WATCH; THE O’ROURKE REFORMS Written on the 7th of Sigismund’s End, 1912. Ratified and Approved by the Greycloak Administration on the 18th of Tobias’ Bounty, 1913 The Sigil of the Duchy of Adria I. The Restructuring of Ranks Marshal Designated by the Duke of Adria, this position holds supreme authority over the Adrian Armed Forces and personally commands the Greycloak Watch. The Marshal is responsible for the promotion of soldiers and the general overseeing of the watch. Sergeant Sergeants serve as commanding officers of the watch. They’re appointed by the Marshal and oversee different respective areas of the watch known as offices. As of these reforms, there are three established offices: the Office of Information and Logistics, the Office of Recruitment and Training, and the Office of Fitness and Health. Shieldbearer Being a Shieldbearer is the highest honor an Adrian soldier can be afforded before being promoted to an officer position. Shieldbearers are often the strongest warriors of the watch and are commonly equipped with heavy armor to serve as shock infantry in combat situations. Guardsman Guardsman is the first rank Adrian soldiers can be promoted to. Typically, Initiates are promoted to this rank one to two saints week following their enlistment. While performing as a Guardsman, soldiers are allowed to assist their superior officers with recruitment and training of Initiates. Initiate Previously named Recruit, Initiate has taken the place of the base rank all enlisted men are assigned when they enter active duty. During their time as an Initiate, soldiers are typically taught the fundamentals of serving in the watch and are expected to attend all, if not, most trainings hosted by their superior officers. Reservists While they don’t participate in training or receive the benefits an enlisted man would, Reservists play a crucial role in the Adrian military. They form the backbone of the military and are only called into action during times of national or international conflict. While performing active service, Reservists are promoted to the rank of Initiate are expected to preform the daily routines an enlisted men would. II. Benefits of Joining Wages Each soldier is paid saints weekly based on their rank. To qualify for pay each soldier is expected to make their presence known to a superior office (Sergeant or Above) during the Saint’s Week. Attendance is documented. Shieldbearer - 15 Guardsman - 10 Initiate - 5 Lower Tax Rates Each soldier is afforded a half-off tax price on ONE of their properties that reside within the confines of the Free City of Velec. Tax cuts are non-stackable, meaning if two soldiers live together, they can not apply both of their tax rates together and achieve a seventy-five percent reduced price. All soldiers need to contact a steward about applying their tax discounts. Healthcare In cooperation with the Society of St. Catherine's Medical Institute, all enlisted men are provided with free healthcare to treat their wounds and alignments whether they occur as a result of their duty or a result of their off-time. Equipment Every enlisted member of the watch is provided with standard-grade military supplies which include but are not limited to a full set of chain armor, a longsword, a shield, a bow, and arrows. If an enlisted man's supplies are destroyed in battle, they will be replenished. III. Formalities Unlike the Imperial and Haeseni armies of old, the Greycloak Watch places a strong emphasis on brotherhood over uniformity. As such, soldiers are not expected to address their superiors or peers by their ranks or through the use of salutes. Instead, enlisted men are encouraged to address those as Sir or Ma’am or by their noble station if applicable. Additionally, instead of saluting soldiers are encouraged to display an informal greeting such as a slight bob of their head when greeting a superior officer. IV. Training Just as with the social reforms of formalities, the Greycloak Watch training program provides a similar break in social norms. As the average Adrian is taught combative skills from birth, the watch’s training program seeks to reinforce and build upon those skills. All training falls into three distinct categories; Field Training, Combative Training, and Passive Training. Field Training Field Training is the primary training exercise employed by the watch. It consists of on-hand experience where soldiers face real-world combat situations, such as down wild beasts or rogue bandits. An example of Field Training would be the Adrian Bandit Campaign. Combative Training Combative Training consists of honing a soldier's melee and ranged skills against other soldiers. All training of this nature takes place within the confines of Velec and is often trained in the forms of wargames such as Capture the Flag or Infected Tag. Passive Training Passive Training is the most infrequent of the three training exercises. It consists primarily of supportive skills that will aid soldiers on and off the battlefield. Typical skills that are taught in the Passive Training course include first-aid, fletching, blacksmithing, and equestrian care-taking. V. Medals As members of the Greycloak Watch continue to prove their mettle on and off the battlefield, the Greycloak administration has recognized the need to award the sacrifices our soldiers make. Every saints month, soldiers will be decorated with medals that recognize their loyalties and sacrifices to the Duchy. The list of the following medals has been approved by the Office of Information and Logistics for manufacturing and distribution. The Bronze Eagle Embroidered with the dual eagle of Adria, this is awarded to those that partake in at least five skirmishes, three battles, or a siege. This medal distinguishes the superior combative skills displayed by a soldier. It is granted to an individual upon their completion of an aforementioned feat. The Silver Eagle Embroidered with the dual eagle of Adria, this is awarded to those that partake in at least nine skirmishes, five battles, or two sieges. The Silver Eagle often denotes a veteran soldier. It is granted to an individual upon their completion of an aforementioned feat. The Golden Eagle Embroidered with the dual eagle of Adria, this is awarded to those that partake in at least fifteen skirmishes, seven battles, or four sieges. Due to the criteria of this medal, it’s very rare to see one displayed in public. It is granted to an individual upon their completion of an aforementioned feat. The Medal of Honor Awarded to those who distinguish themselves among their peers by performing exceptional duties for the Duchy. This medal is granted to individuals at the discretion of the Duke or Marshal. The Medal of Sacrifice Awarded to those who make the ultimate sacrifice in the face of death to secure an Adrian victory. The medal is presented to the family of the recipient. The Adrian Bandit Campaign Medal Awarded to those who participated in the Adrian Bandit Campaign between the years of 1909 and 1910 which saw the expulsion of the Redcloak mercenaries from the eastern borders. It is granted to an individual upon their completion of an aforementioned feat. Written by Alysanne Serena O’Rourke, Sergeant of the Greycloak Watch Approved by Joseph Vasile, Marshal of the Greycloak Watch
  4. THE UNION OF WHITE LION AND WAR HORSE [!] A Silhouette of depiction of Princess Verónica Frisketa Isabella Maria Lucia Elisabetta de Pelear and Lord Audo Weiss No one saw this coupling as a surprise, except for the betrothed until a few years back. It is with the purest delight that House Weiss and House de Pelear announce the union of their two prestigious families with the marriage of Audo Weiss and Verónica de Pelear: an alliance that will last till the end of bloodlines. Dress Code: No White or blue unless given explicit permission The Wedding and Reception The wedding itself will take place within the Church of Blessed Francisco and will see the two joined together in holy matrimony under the light of GOD. A Secret Event There will be an event held within the bull ring. Though that will be withheld till the day of! Should you wish to know what it is, you must attend A Ball Once the secret event comes to its conclusion, the guests remaining will head to the Hyspia Palace so they may enjoy various drinks, and food being offered, including, but not limited to spicy food competition. followed by gifts for the married couple, and general dancing and merriment Time, Date, and Location The Wedding is open to all that wish to attend Formal Invitations Are Sent To; In No Particular Order: His Majesty, Georg I of Haense and his Citizenry of Haense Duke Aleksandr var Ruthern and his esteemed Pedigree Duke Wilheim Barclay and his esteemed Pedigree Countess Johanne Vuiller and her esteemed Pedigree Countess Carice von Augusten and her esteemed Pedigree Viscount Baldrum Colborn and his esteemed Pedigree Viscountess Theodeta Darkwood and her esteemed Pedigree Baron Gaius Rosius var Ruthern and his esteemed Pedigree Ser Vladimir var Ruthern and his esteemed Pedigree Dame Giovanna Barclay and her esteemed Pedigree Lord Alphonse August Barclay Lady Alexandra Emília Barclay Ser Wyn Larian and his esteemed Pedigree Ser Milonir of Whitehall Bishop Iosif and his esteemed Pedigree Firr Mira’Roui and his esteemed Pedigree His Lordship, Alejandro de Arena and his esteemed Pedigree Firress Iskra Firress Liadain The Novar Household The Santos Househod
  5. THE LESSONS OF SAINT CATHERINE The 2nd of Malin’s Welcome, 1912 Penned by The Sisters of St. Catherine The Saint Catherine’s Medical Society was established in the year of 113 SA, housed in the lively city of Velec, and founded by three talented and esteemed Adrian physicians: Dame Valda Arvidottir, Caterina de Lewes, and Cressida Marie of Aldersberg. The council members seek to vest their knowledge into dedicated and capable citizens. The goal is to guide their hands onto a pathway of healing and service to benefit the realm with the prevalence of medically trained individuals - allotting an abundance of physicians during impending dire occurrences. If it is within your ambition to immerse yourself in clinical practices and become a sister or brother of St. Catherine, please submit an application. One of our council members will contact you to schedule an informal interview. SIGNED, Dame, Valda Arvidottir Miss, Caterina de Lewes Her Ladyship, Cressida Of Aldersberg
  6. A NEW BEGINNING Circa. 14th Malin's Welcome, 1912. To the people of Corbenic, Since the death of our late Archduke Constanz, there has been much confusion in regards to our future as a people, exiled to the wilderness from a country we once held so dear. All of us, young and old, have endured trials and tribulations that many of us thought were consigned to the histories. Much was lost, and so we have been forced to wander for years as refugees and vagrants in foreign lands. But alas, with every ending comes a new beginning. In Corbenic we stand, and though there is still much for us to do, we now possess a foothold in which we can rebuild. Our reformed Council and the newly formed Committee of Representatives shall work tirelessly to ensure that this opportunity does not go to waste. To ensure that our cherished traditions of chivalry persevere and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Council of Corbenic Reformed from the Commonwealth’s apparatus and composed of members of the former government, the Round Table shall henceforth operate as the Council of Corbenic. The council members sit as equals from one to another, with no one having more say than the next. As of now, the specific purview in which these council members operate shall be subject to change in the foreseeable future. Her Ladyship, Evangeline Daphne de Rosius-Malenos @PrettyCuteAnna Her Ladyship, Clementine Amadea Huntshill Green @Blah_26 His Lordship, Sir Gregory ‘Wings’ von Hahn @MikhaiI Her Ladyship, Aviana von Hahn @AnonymousAlexa His Lordship, Artiev Colborn @Sander Advisors to Corbenic: His Lordship, Sir Louis Valencour d’Azor @Da_Emperors Committee of Representatives The lower governing body of Corbenic is the Committee of Representatives. Established in wake of the Petran exodus, the Committee is composed of individuals drawn from the common populace, recognised for their leadership qualities and ability to raise morale in periods of strife. In addition to organising seasonal festivities and cultural gatherings, the Representatives act as liaisons between the everyday citizens of Corbenic and the Council, presenting proposals on domestic policy and the wishes of the populace. Her Ladyship, Eryane Rhodon de Rosius @EmiliainWonderland Her Ladyship, Laetitia “Lottie” Henrietta Rhodon de Rosius et Abbassia @Majesticpasta His Lordship, Sir Darryl Burnham @ChaoticRoller SIGNED, The Council of Corbenic The Committee of Representatives
  7. HOUSE DE LYONS “Do Not Provoke the Lions” The House de Lyons is a knightly family of Heartlanders, initially hailing from the Province of Endaen, upon the continent of Aeldin. Although previously rendered an obscure name following its exodus from the distant continent, the bloodline has since reemerged in the realms of men, aspiring to uphold honour and chivalry above all else. ~HISTORY~ Foundation ~ 15th Century By Louis Edmund de Lyons; Circa. 1568. At the onset of the Imperial Age and the establishment of the Horosid Dynasty, the northern territory of Aeldin was steadily brought into compliance by the rapid expansion of the heartland armies. Among those subjugated were the native Harrenite clans of the region of Endaen, brigandish folk thought by outsiders to be little more than uncivilised rogues. The Empire reluctantly spared the bulk of these clans from the sword, on the condition they swore oaths of fealty and pledged their martial strength to aid in future conquests. Yet, as occupational forces withdrew in wake of establishing a provincial government, the stringent control of hardened generals gave way to weak-minded bureaucrats. Rebuffing the counsel of interventionist advisors for a laissez-faire approach, the new Governor of Endaen permitted the Harrenites to continue practising their barbaric way of life, believing it would facilitate long-term amicable relations. So long as the Imperial tithe was paid, their inclination for plundering the border territories would be tolerated. Clan Scrymgeour stood as one of the oldest Harrenite bloodlines of Endaen and were among the most powerful too. Adept skirmishers who proved lethal in lightning warfare, Imperial censuses suggest that from the territories they controlled the Clan could muster nearly three thousand riders. Donagh Scrymgeour, their petty lord, was swift to take advantage of the Governor’s incompetence, ordering his men to ransack merchant caravans and isolated hamlets, so that their coffers might overflow by winter. But ever an avaricious opportunist, Donagh foolishly perceived the decadence of the Empire’s nobility as total ignorance, attacking sanctioned state convoys and withholding tributes to the crown. Furthermore, when the provincial government sought to treat with Clan Scrymgeour and procure a diplomatic solution, the Harrenites openly mocked and dismissed the olive branch as a farce. At last, acknowledging that an example had to be made of such blatant defiance, the Governor of Endaen declared Clan Scrymgeour traitors and in open rebellion. The aftermath of a Harrenite raid; Unknown Date. With an entire province taking up arms against his Clan, Donagh surmised that survival depended on defeating the Imperials in the field before they could muster a substantial force, thereby reopening negotiations in his favour. The Scrymgeours took to the lowlands, harrying rural populations and setting ambushes along the main roads to the provincial capital of Langford, thereby depriving the army of able-bodied recruits and provoking a premature advance. In the following weeks, an Imperial regiment was hastily dispatched into the countryside to give battle to the Harrenite reivers, seeking to end their revolt. Leading the retribution force was a young knight-errant hailing from the Heartlands, Sir Lyonel de la Foret, who had previously distinguished himself in the eastern Imperial campaigns. A significant portion of Lyonel’s army were veterans of the long-winded war for Aeldin’s unification - five hundred heavy cavalry and just over a thousand men-at-arms. But just as Donagh had hoped, this force stood at barely half the size of his own host. The reivers beckoned Sir Lyonel into their country, rallying their combined might in sight of the Scrymgeours’ own ancestral seat. Donagh was confident in securing a decisive victory, his banners gathered in full force before the numerically inferior Imperial host. The three thousand Harrenite riders positioned themselves upon the foothills of the nearby river valley, staring down the Knight-Errant’s armoured front lines, who had adopted a defensive formation just beyond the shelter of a coniferous forest. Sir Lyonel understood the severity of his disadvantage and so took to establishing perimeter trenches with sharpened stakes upon his flanks. The thick surrounding foliage also served as cover, allowing the Knight-Errant to disguise his smaller host’s movements and seek refuge from the projectiles of the Harrenite light cavalry. He was well aware that in order for Donagh to have any chance of truly vanquishing him, the rebel lord would have to meet him directly in a contest of arms. All that remained was to wait, for whilst Clan Scrymgeour were ferocious warriors they lacked discipline and were easily roused into a frenzy. Patience would win the day - the Empire could wait. Sir Lyonel engaging Donagh Scrymgeour and his bodyguard; Circa. 1490. War horns sounded at the break of the following day as Sir Lyonel’s sentries spotted movement along the ridge. Just as the Knight-Errant had anticipated, bloodlust and a yearning for battle had enticed the Scrymgeours to make the first move, a third of their army advancing. The well-formed Imperial host stepped just beyond the treeline to face the Harrenite vanguard, their tower shields and pikes aloft as the many cycles of javelins and arrows were absorbed by the front line. Retaliating, Sir Lyonel’s archers released volleys unto the hill slopes, catching the lightly armed riders in a hail of death. Scores of reivers fell from their horses, wailing and dying as their lord looked on in apprehension. With his host decimated and morale wavering, the last strand of Donagh’s caution snapped. Believing his weight in numbers would see him prevail, the Harrenite lord ordered forth the entirety of his host, over two thousand mounted warriors galloping forth to strike the Knight-Errant’s lines with all their might. The Imperial centre buckled, but maintained its coordination, their polearms holding back the full brunt of the enemy charge, littering the ground with mounds of corpses. Yet despite their losses, the Scrymgeours were fully committed to the battle, determined to break their adversaries no matter the cost. Alas, Sir Lyonel made the final move, his own heavy cavalry charging forth from the reserves. Divided into two formations, their lances emerged from the tree line and smashed the flanks of the Harrenites. Bogged down by the broken ground and compacted like a shoal of sardines, the lightly armed reivers had no room nor time to reform their lines, falling victim to the brutal doctrine of Imperial shock warfare. A thick melee erupted, crushing those unfortunate enough to have been caught in its epicentre. Only a few hundred clansmen were so lucky to escape the whirlpool of terror. Donagh was not amongst them. Confronted by Sir Lyonel himself, the lord of Clan Scrymgeour met his end upon a cold steel edge, the Knight-Errant’s longsword cleaving the reiver’s head clean from his shoulders. Leaderless and utterly defeated, the Harrenites could do nothing more than limp back to their castle, from which Donagh’s household had witnessed his downfall. In the hours that followed, Sir Lyonel’s host pressed onwards to surround the now sparsely defended fortress, over which a flag of parley was raised. The rebellion was at last over. For his prowess in battle and efforts in restoring stability to the province, Sir Lyonel was awarded the former holdings of Clan Scrymgeour, which in due time the populace would dub Lyonesse, in his honour. What remained of the local Harrenites either faded in obscurity or bent the knee to their new liege lord. In time, tales of a knight with the strength of a lion thrice over spread throughout Endaen; a reputation that prompted Lyonel to take the beasts as his personal sigil. A legacy that, alongside his name, would be passed down for generations to come. A Lyonen knight, patrolling the bogland of Endaen; Circa. 1563. A Reflection ~ 20th Century By Arthur Hughes de Lyons; Circa. 1906. In exploring my family history, I have come to realise regrettably that vast swathes of our records remain either incomplete or have vanished entirely. For example, precisely when we departed from the continent of Aeldin remains a matter of debate, and there are no details as to how we found passage to this side of the known world. My hope is that in time, by uncovering additional records, or through the voluntary aid of other Aeldinic bloodlines, I may yet be able to shed more light on those time-lost generations. Regarding my own thoughts on what I have managed to piece together, though it is somewhat sparse on specific details, my ancestor Louis seems to have written a believable account of my family’s foundation and progenitor. It is corroborated by similar records from that period, indicating that a campaign of expansion was indeed being prosecuted by Imperial forces, though to what lengths I cannot be certain. Yet, returning to the topic of our exodus, I will acknowledge that our time as landed lords within the province of Endaen most likely ended in a drawn-out period of violence. Ironically, much like the Scrymgeours before us, House de Lyons challenged the imperial bureaucracy's effectiveness and dared to question the provincial government's fitness. Our honour, desire for autonomy and devotion to chivalry sowed doubts regarding our usefulness to the Empire; a corrupt establishment having little need for those unwilling to be pawns. From my personal experience of the known world, I realise that humanity has on many an occasion fallen victim to vain pride and ambition, with wicked men carving out vast realms at the expense of all moral decency. There will come a time that I am no longer able to guide my household and must leave our family legacy in the hands of the next generation. But it is my earnest hope that those who take up that mantle of responsibility remain true to the chivalrous virtues and knightly valour of our forefathers. The House de Lyons must never again bear steel in the name of an Empire, for the very concept has proven anathema to integrity and self-determination. We must be better and recognise that mankind may yet prosper without being coerced into submission beneath the shadow of a singular oppressive banner. ~CUSTOMS~ The Legacy of Lyonesse By Arthur Hughes de Lyons; Circa. 1906. The House de Lyons has traditionally served as a knightly family, aspiring to maintain chivalrous virtues and honour above all else. Both men and women of our bloodline are expected to achieve, if not strive towards, Knighthood or Damehood so as to ensure our martial origins are not lost to the ages. We have not always succeeded in this endeavour, for many years having faded into obscurity amidst the intrigues of the realm. But alas, titles alone are not a measure of one’s virtue, for it is a purity of the heart that determines whether one is truly worthy. The day a child of Lyonesse has shown that they can bear steel with restraint, they are gifted a weapon of their own. Furthermore, a knight is characterised not only by their strength at arms but also riding into battle on horseback. For when a child of our bloodline is able enough to walk, they may yet be capable of riding and caring for a steed of their own. Throughout the generations, this has instilled a sense of duty and teaches the youth that life must never be taken for granted. All must be capable of doing their part, should they seek to earn anything, respect in particular. With the passage of time, we have also taken to adopting new traditions. My lady wife, Juliana Rosemary of the House of Vernhart, showed me that one may yet wield a pen with as much grace as a sword. To accommodate this worldview, my own children shall receive falcons for the expressed purpose of bearing missives, as part of their tutoring in performing civil matters. With this, I hope they may better serve the realm from a domestic perspective when they come of age. Yet, perhaps our most significant custom is the words of our family: “Do Not Provoke the Lions.” They serve as a warning to those who might seek to take advantage of our hospitality and defile the virtues we hold so dear. There have been many occasions in which a knight of the House de Lyons has taken up steel in defence of our family’s honour, willing to engage in single combat if it means settling a dispute. Trial by such means is a revered custom, for ultimately it is GOD who favours the victor, and so our ultimate fate lies in his blessed hands.
  8. Aylwin Blaxton (Naumarian: Alvin Blakton) was a Haeseni courtier and diplomat serving the majority of the life under the service of the Amador family, as well as numerous ambassador positions. He is most notable for his ‘Memoirs of Aylwin Blaxton’, an autobiographical account of his life. His memoirs record a typically shunned part of history, revealing the complicated political scene of the Marian court and the struggles and exploits of the Haeseni émigrés during the Coalition Wars and brief occupation period. Later in his life, Aylwin settled in Pruvia and retained high positions in the principality and died shortly before the Pruvian Inheritance to King Stefan of Haense. (OOC: Full credit to @MarquisAlex who wrote all of this, posting this for easier access. Links to his originals below: https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/157760-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-1/?tab=comments#comment-1492858 https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/157915-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-2/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/158112-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-3/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/158744-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-4/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/158822-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-5/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/159307-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-6/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/161235-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-7/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/157760-the-memoirs-of-aylwin-blaxton-book-8/ ) --- THE MEMOIRS OF AYLWIN BLAXTON WRITTEN BY THE HAND OF AYLWIN BLAXTON PUBLISHED BY HIEROMAR LUDOVAR THE ELDER, SSE --- BOOK I BOOK II BOOK III BOOK IV BOOK V BOOK VI BOOK VII BOOK VIII
  9. A CALL TO SMITHS OF THE REALMS 21 of Harren's Folly, 1911 In all four corners of the known world, there are posters speedily hung by lads in frayed burlap pants and tabards that bear a midnight eagle on quartered fields of red and black. As you approach the tattered parchment, you realize it beseeches the most skilled tradesmen, specifically smiths, to the Adrian lands of Velec. With closer inspection, you read the following: (Friday, February 17th @ 5:00 PM EST) @CharmingCavalierThanks for the amazing graphic and post!
  10. The New Orthodox Guide for the Fair Lady’s Dress Penned by the hand of Emma Monparnasse Rhodon de Rosius, as commissioned by her Grace, the Archduchess of the Petra, Countess of Temesch and Moere Ladies of Petra, 1906 Foreword: "A lady is never so well dressed as when you cannot remember what she wears." For decades, the reign of long veils and curled plaits have formed the stature of many women across our lands, and it is this guide that one can use to define the character of the new era, a new age to express themselves in a timely and elegant manner. Women have always been considered a pinnacle of refinement and grace. Dear, Reader, this guide will comprise of the new conforms that will uphold such refinement. Underpinnings: The new set of underpinnings, which can be purchased for a small and lasting price, is necessary to build the form of today’s woman. Now, to start from the skin, a simple and form fitting suit of thin cotton or silk is permitted, but it must not pass one’s knees. On top of this is the most indubitably needed garment: the corset. Such garments were not permitted with the long and formless gowns. The new corset, which has a straight front, and curved back, provides a proud and elegant shape to the wearer. Petticoats are much needed, and can be made of cotton. Each petticoat must have at least two flounces, and a woman mustn’t ever leave her home without wearing two petticoats. These petticoats must be shorter than the skirt to prevent such scandalous appearances. Over these petticoats, a silk taffeta underskirt may be worn by the upper-class or the well to do common woman with a beautiful flounce, and this, readers, can and is encouraged to be shown while walking, but never show this underskirt over five inches from the hem. Stockings, and their material, are up to the discretion of the wearer. These stockings can be clipped into optional suspenders at the lower hem of the corset. A note on corsets: It is unladylike to tight-lace one’s corset as such would spoil the figure. Gowns: Gone are the days of heavy skirts and pagoda sleeves of yore. Respectable ladies fashion their gowns based on the sun’s position in the sky. To begin, we must look at morning and day outfits. Fashionable ladies of the upper-class may opt for a two piece outer ensemble: a silk shirtwaist made of the finest silken weave, and a woolen or taffeta skirt in a circular-cut that barely reaches the ground, which shall be back pleated to disguise the closure, which is only two hooks at the waistband with a placket. The shirtwaist shall have a bouffant front, which may have ruffles sewn inside the front, and billowing yet soft sleeves. Let it be known that the collar of such blouses reach the nape, and never show lower than the collarbone, as to prevent wanton eyes. For the common woman, a cotton shirtwaist will do, as well as a woolen, even cotton, skirt. Each of these skirts, cotton or silk, should be lined and faced in a sturdy fabric to keep the shape of these skirts wide at the hem. The skirt should be worn over the shirtwaist and a silken belt should be worn at the waist to hide the overlap of the garments. Bodices that are not shirtwaists should match the fabric of the skirts and must be form fitting. These bodices can resemble jackets or fashionable plates from catalogs. Although, the shirtwaist is much more popular for day ensembles. Gowns for the later afternoon (past three o'clock) and evening are permitted to have a lower neckline. Nevertheless, these bodices shall be fitted, and sleeveless unless these sleeves are made of a sheer and form-fitting fabric. Over collarbone straps are permitted and up to the discretion of the wearer. Skirts must always match the material of the bodice, which shall and must be of silk. Any form of silk is suitable, but satin is of the most expensive and formidable weave. Decoration is highly encouraged. Many notable socialites adorn their bodices with layers of tulle, draped and pinned fabric, flowers, feathers, and even jewels. Skirts must be in a matching fabric and must reach the floor with a light or long train. To prevent soiling, ask your dressmaker to baste cotton ruffles into the hems of these skirts. These ruffles are known as a duster and can be easily removed for laundering. It should be noted that no lady on any occasion let her placket opening be loosely open, as such is unladylike and allows passerby to see her petticoats! An Elegant Stroll, 1899 Shoes: Shoes, depending on the terrain of the wearer’s path, must be of a material suited for the environment. For many day outfits, among the upper and common class, may be of a kid-leather, with a sturdy cotton spat that can reach from the upper ankle to the knee. The closure must be of buttons. These ‘boots’ are permitted and encouraged to have heels. For the evening, shoes must be of matching silk material or white kid-leather pumps. Black is acceptable and modest. Coiffure and Cosmetics: Never is it acceptable to paint one’s face. Such behavior has always and is associated with the lowly and scandalous. Instead, use a light powder matching of the skin tone, or even a pearly-translucent powder to hide blemishes that could be unsightly. Never cake these powders. A puff may be used to apply such powders. Rouge in the form of liquid can be applied with a small wad of cotton or brush. It is encouraged to have a slight pinkish-hue to the cheeks as well as the lips. Never overdue your rouge, such behavior is that of the unmodish. Rouge of cinnabar can only cause disgrace as it causes horrible-smelling breath. Never use such made of cinnabar. Eyebrows may be darkened and sharpened up with a small stick of charcoal. However, as aforementioned, never overdue such to make the brows completely black. Hair of the modish and stylish may be loosely piled onto the head and held in place with laitons as well as hat pins. It is smart to keep one’s hair in a loose bun as to place a straw and hard-brimmed hat as a pin shall go through to keep the hat on. Hats are reserved for the well to do and upper class-woman. These hats may be of a thick straw that have a grosgrain band of ribbon. Hats of sheer fabric with elegant plumes, flowers, and several sashes of chiffon are fashionable to keep a soft and airy grace. These hats may be worn for afternoon events, but never to evening events unless traveling. Accessories: Gloves shant be soiled, and short ones must be worn for day ensembles while longer ones must be worn with evening gowns. Parasols are commonly used to keep the fair complexion of reputable women untainted. A small reticule handbag is permitted to be used for evening and day events. Hand fans are recommended for evening events. Signed, Her Grace, Renilde I, By the Grace of GOD, Archduchess of the Petra, Countess of Temesch and Moere, Emma Monparnasse Rhodon de Rosius, Laetitia Henrietta Rhodon de Rosius et Abbassia, Mistress of the Wardrobes in the Court of Renilde I
  11. [!] Coming from the Heartlands, the trek out west is a hard one, fraught with difficulty, as the further you travel from the beating-heart of mankind, the less common-law and decency seem to hold sway. By the time you reach the Arentenian Alps, the roads are hazardous and er’ since the abandonment of Felder’s Rock, ill-guarded. Beyond the mountains, your party reaches the Principality of Sedan, where you remain for a time to rest and recuperate, to resupply on provisions, and to hire guides, as you can no longer rely on roads where you intend to go. From Sedan, you travel northwest for several days until you enter the haunted moors known as ‘the Barrowlands’, a cold, wet, dreary place dotted with the ruins of a long-lost civilization. You do not linger in any one place for long, and at night, you cannot help but shake the feeling you are being watched. Because of this, your guide decides to hug the great western wood, rather than try trekking through the ruins, and you do so until necessity dictates you once more drive north. Unease returns as you walk ‘neath the cairns of that primeval place, but finally after another two days of travel, you reach your destination. Through the near-constant bone-chilling rainfall, you peer at the sign hanging above the gate to the Fortress-Town, and as you squint, you make out the letters… B A R R O W T O N EST. 110 SA. [MUSIC] The March of the Barrowlands is a fledgeling fiefdom raised by the Barrowlander Expedition of 108, helmed by Ser Uther with the intent of claiming (and cleansing) the region in the name of Canonism. The expedition, composed mostly of Adunians and Heartlanders, set out from the Duchy of Minitz after several years of gathering their strength, and eventually settled in the heart of the Barrows, raising up a fortified town known rather unoriginally as Barrowton. The March is bordered by Haense to the east, Sedan to the south, and Norland to the north across Lake Hakon, and the region, while fertile, is often regarded as cold, wet, and dreary, and not the least bit haunted, on account of the countless graves and cairns that seem to dot the landscape therein. While it rarely snows, during the winter months the rain is dangerously cold, and the wind sweeping down from the hills above make traversing the region a risky notion for the ill-equipped. The population, known as Barrowlanders is a motley bunch, a melting pot of the cultures of the Harren’hil Adunians, of the post-Orenian Heartlanders, and the myriad cultures of the rough-and-tumble volunteers who joined the expedition in the hope of a new life. Barrowton, bleak as it is, offers its denizens a new life, to ‘start over’ irregardless of who they were in the east, so long as it is done with the understanding of the holy mission they undertake. As previously mentioned, the Barrowlands is a predominantly Canonist settlement, founded with the explicit purpose of colonizing the long-abandoned Barrowlands as a newly-established Canonist realm, sweeping them clean of the Darkspawn that have, in the past, made the region their haunt, and safeguarding the western borders of Canondom from western incursion. Because of this, the culture of the Barrowlanders is a distinctly martial one, conducting themselves as much an army on deployment as they do actual residence. The March is home to a disproportionate number of Knights compared to traditional armies, many of them previously being hedgeknights having decided to ‘go straight’, though only a few are as well-equipped as their western counterparts. Muddy tabards and hauberks of mail see more use here than the gilded plate and ornate arms of Old Orenia, or newfound Aaun. What is lacking in wealth, however, is made up for in courage. The Knights of the Barrowlands say without boasting that the most skilled among them bear the blessing of the Warrior-Aengul, known by his name in the Canon, Archangel Michael, but known elsewhere as Malchediael, Aengul of Courage. While not as common as one would be led to believe, it is nonetheless true that Radiant Templars call this place home and say that it is used as a training ground to sniff out prospective future Templars among the knights and squires. As well as Knights however, the Barrowlands is also home to the standing house-guard of House Pendraic, known colloquially as ‘the Barrowguards’. Armed, armored and housed in the castle of Caer Pendraic, what these men lack in the chivalry of their knightly counterparts, they make up for with resourcefulness. Recruited from the exiles and the unwanted of the east, these men (traditionally armed with billhook or halberd) serve in roles deemed unchivalrous, such as the manning of artillery, or the digging of ditches. In reward for this service, they are paid a sum from the Lord’s coffers, as well as free housing in the barracks. P E R S O N S OF I N T E R E S T The Leadership of the March of the Barrowlands and the city of Barrowton LORD UTHER OF LORDLY HOUSE PENDRAIC (MalchediaelVult) Therin Uthyr ap Gwynthryth y Pendraic Lord of the Barrowlands, Chieftain of the Harren'hil, Knight-Templar The Leader of the Barrowlands Expedition, Uther started as a mere Hedgeknight who eventually came to rule over the Adunian tribe known as the Harren'hil. Uther set out to start his own household in the aftermath of the Harvest Confederacy's dissolution and has since resolved to conquer and tame the Barrowlands, or die in the attempt. SER ALWYN OF KNIGHTLY HOUSE GLENNMAER (Josh3738) Castellan of Caer Pendraic, Steward of Barrowton An elderly Hedgeknight and patriarch of an old, if minor knightly house dating back some two-hundred odd years. Ser Alwyn joined Uther's band when he ruled as regent of the Barony of Acre, and later decided to become a permanent companion of the Adunian chieftain. Known for his immense height, and his skill at sums, Ser Alwyn in his older years has taken to maintaining the holdfast of Caer Pendraic and the city of Barrowton in Lord Uther's periodic absence. SER ARNARRA OF KNIGHTLY HOUSE ADRIS (_Hermes__) Steward of Barrowton One of the Harren'hil converts, who later earned knighthood in the service of the Barrowlands Expedition. Ser Arnarra serves as steward beneath Ser Alwyn, and aids in the management of housing the colonists, as well as management of finances. SER CALAHAN OF LORDLY HOUSE O'ROURKE (__Pyrite) Captain of the Guard, Chieftain of House O'Rourke, Knight-Templar The elder-most Templar among Barrowton's permanent residences, Ser Calahan of the old and venerable House of O'Rourke is famous (or infamous) for his skill at arms, and ruthlessness in battle. Because of this skill at arms, Ser Calahan was entrusted with the commanding of the Guard, and enforcing Lord Uther's will. GAREN OF KNIGHTLY HOUSE GLENNMAER (Pepto_Bismol_) Master at Arms of Caer Pendraic, Serjeant of the Barrowton Guard The son of Ser Alwyn Glennmaer, Garen serves as the Master-At-Arms of Caer Pendraic, and aids in ensuring every member of the guard is equipped and trained against foes supernatural and otherwise. Together this motley band makes up the warrior-denizens of Barrowton. Later volumes will describe how the martial culture of the Barrowlanders differs from that of the Heartlands, or the Harren'hil of Catref Mor. If you are interested in taking up residence in Barrowton, seek out Ser Alwyn or Ser Arnarra, or apply here [WIP]. If you are interested in joining the Guard of Barrowton, seek out Ser Calahan or Garen Glennmaer, or apply here [WIP]
  12. The Barrowton Founding Festival An Invitation to All [Music] TO FRIENDS, COMRADES AND STRANGERS ALIKE, To commemorate the momentous settlement of our bastion amongst the Barrowlands, Barrowton, the House Pendraic does announce that there shall be held a festival, open to all comers, to honor the great efforts of our Knights and expeditioners. At this festival-to-be, attendees may participate in the following festivities: • BANQUET Prepared by the finest culinarian amongst Lord Uther’s band, Ser Aemon Cook 'the Cook', the banquet shall consist of the finest dining Barrowton has to offer and shall persist for the duration of the day’s festivities. • OPEN MARKET Any merchants who wish to peddle goods during the festival may reach out by letter to arrange a reservation for a stall. Further, any merchants who wish to establish permanent storefronts in the Barrowton may, for the duration of the festival, do so with the usual down payment to be waived. • GRAND MELEE AND JOUST Two tournaments in traditional knightly fashion. Firstly, a joust is to take place by the newly constructed lists outside of Caer Pendraic, after which, a grand melee will be held, wherein the last man standing is declared the victor. Both tournaments shall have a ten mina entry free, with a grand prize of a hundred and fifty mina if victorious. Only recognized Knights may participate in the joust, however any and all are welcome to participate in the Grand Melee. House Pendraic is not responsible for any deaths that occur during the joust or melee. The festival shall be an open event for all who wish to attend; however, the following groups and individuals may consider themselves personally invited by Lord Uther himself. • His Holiness, Pontian IV and any other men of the Clergy. @Balthasar @Borin • Leon Barclay, Duke of Minitz, and his House and Retinue. @GoodGuyMatt @Miniguy15736 • Ottomar von Alstreim, Prince of Merryweather, and his House and Retinue. @Ramon • Heinrik Sarkozic, Duke of Adria, and his House and Retinue. @Beamon4 • The Silver State of Haelun’or and Her citizens. @Samler • Lady Alatariel and the Order Golden Lion. @Valannor • Sensei Danzen. @Islamadon • Durin Hammerforge @Tabby64 Signed, Uther of House Pendraic, Chieftain of the Harren'hil, Lord of the Barrow Marches, Templar of Archangel Michael, and Knight of the Realm
  13. SUMMONS TO GRAND DUMA OF ADRIA | 1906 13th day of Sigismund's End of 1906 TO THE DUCHY OF ADRIA The dumacratic values of Adria are considered sacred and the bedrock upon which our Adria was founded. Since the times of Duke Franz I Vladov, Adria has distinguished itself for its progressive values and integrative vision of a Duchy established not on the despotism of hitherto Savoyard or Horenic polities but instead on that of compromise and unity through differentiating ideas. As Duke of Adria, it behooves me to recognize the people's will and give them ample capacity to advise on the governance of Adria. Thus, I summon the inaugural Grand Duma of Adria so that we continue to forge our shared vision of prosperity and stability. Heinrik Otto var Nikolai Sarkozic THE DUMA IS SUMMONED UNDER THIS ITINERARY OATHS OF CONFRATERNITY Once all members of the free and open assembly are seated, an inaugural Oath of Confraternity. The Assembling Horn will be plugged and wine and spirits poured in. All those who drink heartily from it will be known thenceforth as friends and brothers of the Grand Duma and are entitled to a vote and an audience. VALIDATION OF THE FRANCISAN ARTICLES It is the hereditary duty of the Duke and Duma to validate the Franciscan Articles of Adria, the most hallowed of Adriatic governing documents. Though some argue the Duke, by his authority, may promulgate such unilateral declarations, those are wrong, for the power of the Duchy lies inherently in the Duma itself, to which all are subject. Thus the Duma itself must declare the Franciscan Articles so that none may misinterpret the genesis of power. CONSIDERATION OF THE EDICT OF ROSEMOOR The Ducal Seat wishes the Grand Duma to consider the application of the Edict of Rosemoor unto the Duchy, formally allowing women to stand for election to the position of Duke of Adria and its inherent titles on equal grounds so told they qualify under the electoral laws of the Franciscan Articles. ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE DUCAL SEAT The Duke will give multiple announcements regarding the welfare of the Duchy of Adria and updates on Ducal affairs. Furthermore, it is the duty of the Duke to regularly inform the Duma of Adria of preeminent business within the Duchy. PETITIONS TO DUKE AND DUMA & GENERAL PROPOSALS Concluding the business of the Grand Duma will be for any to petition the Duma or the Duke regarding the business of the Duchy OR issue for Duma consideration. IN NOMINE ADRIAE His Grace, Heinrik I Sarkozic, Duke of Adria, Count of Veletzia, Baron-Consort of Aldersberg, Protector of the Aaunic South, Keeper of the Swans
  14. THE EXPEDITION BEGINS [music] 2nd of the Grand Harvest, 110 SA. Ser Uther Pendraic's stormy grey eyes scanned the misty landscape before him. The air was cold and damp, and the rain fell in a constant 'pitter-patter', the drops coating his armor and making the ground beneath his destrier muddy and slippery. Somewhere behind him in the caravan, he heard a packhorse slip, whining as it fell, and spilling its contents upon the wet ground, he swore under his breath. Despite feeling the chill seeping into his bones, he lead his company deeper into the heart of the Barrowlands undeterred. Although the conditions were dreary, morale remained high among Uther's company, most of whom had prepared themselves for the hardship that was to come many years prior. This expedition was one long in the making after all, ever since Uther's company had departed from the service of House de Vilain all those years ago, how long was it exactly? He wasn't sure, but wagered it was at least close to fifteen years, if not twenty. Lost and without purpose, Uther and his band had found such purpose here in the heathen west. The Barrowlands had long been considered cursed on account of the restless dead that were said to make their haunt here, and while that was partially, and undeniable true in some respect, Uther believed that foe far less numerous, and far less formidable than many had made them out to be. He was, after all, Templar. Even if they were here in their multitudes, he'd be unperturbed, but thus far, they had encountered few supernatural happenings as they wandered deeper within that place. The occasional figure was seen by lantern-light atop the moors and some reported faint mutterings, and bells in the distance, but beyond that, nothing genuinely posed a threat to his band. Truth be told, Uther was more concerned with more worldly threats... Until the first stones of Barrowton and Caer Pendraic were raised, they would be at risk of facing raiders from the west without a wall, and while that troubled him, there was little and less he could do to address that concern for now, and so, he put it from his mind. This was undeniably a dangerous undertaking, some had called it a foolish one, but all the same, Uther was willing to undertake it. As the old saying went, fortune favors the bold. The Chieftain-Knight cast a quick glance over his shoulder towards the company behind him, the rest of his expedition was a motley band, but loyal to a fault every single one of them. They comprised chiefly of the remnants of the Harren'hil, the tribe from which he sprung, and now had claimed the mantle of leadership of. There was a time when they were all Godless save he, pagans who preferred the company of Elves and Nordlings to good, pious men of the Canon, but that time was some decade and a half in the past. Uther had not been popular when they came to him, he was their last resort, and this he knew, for he had left them years prior on account of his faith. Yet, pious as he was, he was still one of them, and furthermore, the most accomplished warrior that brood had e'er sired, especially since the death of Old John. But their years in the Heartlands with him as their chieftain had done much to bring those fellows back into the light of GOD, and, if nothing else, that was Uther's proudest achievement. They were not the only members of his band however, Uther gave little regard for the divide of race, if not faith. Alongside his tribe rode Heartlanders whom he had befriended during his time out east, and had chosen to follow him in search of better fortunes, the oldest among them, some were even Acreans, from back when Uther and his Hedgeknights guarded the Kingswood, though truth be told, they were the fewest among them, the years had not been kind. Father Tonito, who he had taken up as his court-chaplain, fought with the reins of his donkey everytime they encountered a deep well of mud, and of the Glennmaers, only Ser Alwyn rode with him in those days, his son, Garen, who now sought Knighthood himself had been too young, too green when they faced the threats therein. That was when the first whisperings of Serheim had been heard, and before the mustering of the Undead... In truth, part of Uther mourned his departure from the Heartlands, where he'd finally found comradery, kinship, and love. But in the mire that was Aaun and Petra, there was little room for a rising power that was not a slave to either, and of his choice of masters, Uther found all deeply lacking. Such, along with his piety is what drove him to this place. Others felt similarly, outcasts seeking a new life, or zealous crusaders wishing to cleanse the west. Both had rode with him and his tribe, and were now his own. He looked down the caravan, scanning those behind him. Arnarra was the first convert, GOD bless her, and though she had struggled much in life during the reign of the Marsyrs, she made up for it now with the fierce piety she bore. She yearned for Knighthood, and Uther was inclined to give it to her, but not yet. She was still too green, though not for lack of trying. Once she'd bested a worthy foe, he found little reason not to knight her. Garen was the opposite, the younger of the Glennmaers was a fierce warrior, but lacked in the other knightly virtues, at least for now. Behind them rode Oliver and Ser Calahan, both Adunians, both Templars, though only the latter was trained. Once Oliver was baptised, and once he took up the knightly virtues though, Uther would conclude his training. Of Ser Calahan, Uther's thoughts lingered on him warily for a moment. Some described Calahan O'Rourke as a mad-dog, and that was only partially an exaggeration. Ser John (the master whom they both shared in Old Cartref) never taught the man temperance, never taught him restraint- It was hardly Calahan alone's fault that he was the way he was. He and Uther were brothers in arms, he would not let a man languish in undeserved infamy, and so he'd taken the other up as his Sheriff, he who would keep the peace, and train his levies to safeguard his people, that, he believed, would teach the other some patience. Behind them rode Rohir and his woman, Laurelai, and Uther chanced a small smile. Rohir was a man stricken by great guilt- Although rightfully so, no man deserved to suffer alone. She was kind and understanding, more-so than Uther could relate to, and so he was happy for them. Rohir was Ser John's right-hand man, back in the old days, and he wore the stresses of time on his face. Uther made a mental note to make use of the man's talents without burning him out, though how to do that as of yet, he hadn't decided. After them came the Witch, Alara Camian, a Shaman in truth, but few of Uther's band were educated enough to make that distinction, and truth be told, Uther hadn't cared to. She was a woman of the sciences as well as sorcery, and so Uther had charged her with educating his daughter and heir, Morrigan, so she was less ill-equipped than he. She could read, that was a start, Uther hadn't managed that until his forties. Though he'd made Lady Camian swear to not expose the girl to her rituals, truth be told, Uther found having a witch in his service to be an advantage few Lords possessed. Considering the likely alternative was being burnt at the sake, doubtless Lady Camian had done well by herself. There were others, Ser Aemon, who was once his squire, and Charles Varoche, who was his new one, the younger Glennmaer has his entourage of friends he'd brought with him as well, but their names escaped Uther. Uther rode on for a time, pondering all this and more as he studied his surroundings. They were deep now, surrounded by old graves, ancient cairns, some sealed, some not... And all about them, on the hillocks above and valleys below, the landscape was dotted by the ruination of a civilization whose name had long-since been forgotten. There were restless things here, it was true, and even as he rode, Uther felt unseen eyes upon him. But he did not fear them, he pitied them. Hopefully, with this land deconsecrated and resettled, those who lingered would finally know peace. Uther knew one thing for certain. He would conquer the Barrowlands, or die in the attempt... Uther rode down the line a-ways, past the wagons and packhorses that made up their baggage-train, until he eventually found the wagon sporting his colors, gold on red, a wyvern rampant upon a radiant star. Within was his squire, the young Varoche, who was at work polishing his helmet. He looked up as Uther approached, and the elder spoke. "Fetch a quill, lad, and ready a raven. We've letters to send out..." [!] A flier, borne across the breadth of the lands by bird and courier, finds itself posted in the various cities and towns of Canondom ------------------------------------------------ CALL TO THE BRAVE To second-sons, repentant sellswords, prospective adventurers, and pious Canonists seeking new purpose. Are you willing to risk life and limb in the pursuit of fame and freedom? Do you aspire for new lands and good, fresh soil to till, and provide for your family? Are you a pious Crusader seeking to carve out a new realm for Canondom? Then read further. The Barrowlands Expedition seeks to carve out such a place in the long-haunted west, to take lands long-since abandoned, and fill it with bounty once more. We seek to defend Heartlands and Highlands of Canondom from western incursion, and purge this place of the evils that dwell within, so that they might be home to more than grief. We are ready and able, and need only hearty folk, true and brave willing to colonize these lands with us, and make them our own. If you wish to be part of this noble-mission, join us at the campsite of our expedition while we await the masons to raise our holdfast, and know that in spite of all risks, the reward will be great, for together, we shall etch our name into the history books, by sword, cross, and radiant star. Pagans, dragonkin affiliates, and darkspawn sympathizers need not inquire. Signed Uther of House Pendraic, Chieftain of the Harren'hil, Lord of the Barrow Marches, Templar of Archangel Michael, and Knight of the Realm
  15. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ THE BURNING OF WHITEHALL ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I: THE GLUTTONY IN DARK One hundred minas. Seax. Father’s old gambeson. Scarf. Favorite fur hat, woven by mother. Silent as a fox, the pig-nosed, chubby young lad prepared this bundle of small possessions in the dim light of the slowly dying hearth fire set by mother. Enough was enough, and Milonir of Whitehall could tolerate no more. Tomorrow was going to be the biggest day of little Milonir’s life. He would prove to his father and everyone who laughed at him that he was a real man, and a true warrior. Papa would see, they’d all see. But now was the time rest. Not without second supper, of course. See, it had been a habit of Milonir’s for the last few years to collect a second serving of supper after mother and father had fallen asleep. They certainly knew, on account of young Milonir’s drastic weight gain. Mother, at least, said little about it. Father on the other hand, was not so silent about his disdain for Milonir’s weight, and often made sport of the subject. Vegetable soup again. He had done this a million times; harking the leftovers and cleaning plates when no one was looking. Perhaps it was because it was late, or perhaps he was too comfortable with his habit. Milonir, careless as he was, had managed to knock over the pot of soup. While this alone would be cause for some small concern, the loss of second dinner was not what caused the horrified expression overtaking his visage. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ II: THE FOOL OF FLAME He had not only managed to spill his second dinner, but a number of coals too at the base of father’s clan tapestry. And to punish him for his gluttony, gods beyond his control saw it fit that the tapestry was to be set ablaze before he could act. Milonir could only stare in panicked horror as the tapestry that had been in his father’s clan for generations was devoured by intense, contagious flames. What could he do against such an enraged flame? The blaze would claim not only this prized tapestry, but now soared to the thatching of their home. The thatch house began to cough sparks in all directions like an angry blacksmith pounding away at an anvil. Growing, growing, growing. Completely optionless, despaired Milonir hurried out of the shabby little thatch home as fast as his pubescent legs would take him. It was surprising in this state that he was even able to manage that. A good distance away from the home, Milonir froze in abject, paralyzing horror at the sight before him. Everything he knew, all of his memories, and his very childhood were set ablaze in the inferno. His family raggedly stumbled outside, awoken from the commotion and smoke. Mother and father, covered in ash and coughing, doggedly made for Milonir’s side. Mother, through her infinite love, appeared confused, betrayed, completely heartbroken. Father’s expression told a different story. The bleeding emotions of righteous rage, betrayal, and a satisfying confirmation that he was right gripped his visage. The family blade gripped within his white knuckles told it all. No words were exchanged, yet Milonir squeaked “No, no,” barely mustering the words. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ III: THE COWARD'S WAY OUT Panic overtook him, and Milonir backed away from his kin, like a desperate, cornered animal. Run. All he could do was run. With his bundle of possessions under his armpit, Milonir escaped into the pale, cold moonlight. Not stopping to look back at the product of his foolishness, Milonir noticed a much brighter orange glow out of the corner of his eye. Whitehall burned. His legs carried him as far as they would. Echoes throughout the valley could be heard; panicked voices familiar to Milonir, and the thundering masses of timber that fell in on themselves. They slowly dissipated until all was silent and dark. Run. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Whitehall burns. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ IV: THE ACCIDENT It was an accident. He didn’t mean it. What had he done? It wasn’t his fault. He didn’t mean for this to happen. Young Milonir had proven to Whitehall that their words were right. That Milonir was exactly what they said he was. A useless, fat pile of shit. Reality set in. Milonir stopped only to vomit the vegetable soup he had eaten earlier. Everything he knew and loved was ripped from him that night. He was alone in the dark forest, left with nothing. All he could do was keep running until dawn broke. The bustle of Haense lie before him. A new day. Milonir would make this right. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not in a year, or even ten. But he would make it right. He swore it. He swore it a million times. Milonir would right the wrongs of the past.
  16. THE JULI c. 1780“A Young Selie boy" ORIGINS, FROM THE GROTTO The Juli find their start in the time of Horen - Though humanity traces their lineage from Horen, the Juli trace theirs from the Anointed Julia of Paradisus. In her most notable miracle, the Anointed Julia protected an expectant mother from the ails of corruption. There were, however, two miracles that day. The light that shone from the ring not only revealed the necromancer for what it was, but it also blessed the unborn bairn of the mother. Months later the mother would give birth to triplets; Ifiemi, mother of the Ifie, Selam, mother of the Selm, and Selassie, mother of the Selie. The girls born with deep black skin, hair, and eyes also came out of the womb with golden bands, a sign that they had been touched by the Anointed Julia. Ifiemi had a golden band around her waist, Selam around her left leg, and Selassie around her right arm. Once the triplets were of age they joined the Anointed Julia in Paradisus as her attendants and confidants. Ifiemi served as her protectorate, Selam her handmaiden, and Selassie her scribe. Eventually the triplets would each have triplets, and those children would each have triplets, and their numbers grew in size, all except for Selassie. After the death of their beloved holy mother, the Anointed Julia, the cult of Juli was formed and this is where the Juli get their name. Fearing persecution and with nothing left for them in Paradisus, the Juli fled the famed city in search for new lands. The light of the Anointed Julia led them to the Grotto of Merkai. As the Juli entered into this new land, the Anointed Julia closed the foliage behind them and hid them from those who would seek to do them harm. c. 1620 “Anointed Julia, Protectorate of Merkai” The light of Anointed Julia stood foot at the gates of Merkai. Though they were isolated, the few pure-hearted outsiders, Canonist or not, who did not wish to do the Juli harm could spot the Anointed Julia’s golden rings in the Peacock feathers and sunflowers that marked the gates of Merkai. At the center of the Grotto of Merkai stood a large bubbling spring that met the sea. It was here that the Anointed Julia came to Selassie and pointed out the origins of her birth. It’s said that the Anointed Julia had emerged from the gurgle of the water with drops of pure light dripping from her figure. It was here that the first gift was given. Selassie entered the waters of Merkai and re-emerged renewed and youthful again. What she did not know was that she also grew pregnant. In her palm she held the mother of pearl, a large iridescent white stone that represented Tranquility, Purity, and Governance. c. 1620 “Birth of Anointed Julia” The Juli, free from their plight, sought to make a home for themselves in the Grotto of Merkai. They built domed homes and towers in the style of Paradisus, but they forgot one thing. One night, a group of leopards strolled into their settlement. As screams let out, Ifiemi and her children and children’s children sprang into action. They soared their large spears through the black of the night, killing all the leopards but one. Spear nor sword could not pierce the hide of this white leopard. This is when the Anointed Julia gave her second gift. A light shined down on the White Leopard, setting the creature on fire instantly. The only thing remained was its white hide, which could not be pierced by any man made tool or weapon. The hide represented Reverence, Protection, and Strength In celebration, the Juli held their first traditional feast: the feast of leopards. Here they danced, drank, and ate in merriment. During the feast it began to rain, casting Merkai into darkness as it extinguished every lamp and fire. The rain slowly turned into a storm as strong winds and gray clouds rolled into Merkai. Selam, refusing to let the weather destroy their festivities, kindled a torch to re-light the lamps of Merkai. As she raced into the thick of the storm from lamp to lamp while her flame dwindled, a loud boom could be heard throughout Merkai. The torch erupted into a large column of fire that was impervious to rain and storm. This was the Anointed Julia’s third and final gift: the eternal flame, which represented Resilience, Harmony, and Progress. With the three gifts from the Anointed, Selassie, Selam, and Ifiemi became the three beloved: defenders and founders of Julianism. One night, Selassie received a vision from the mother of pearl: flee. When the undead spread across Aegis, Merkai was one of the last places still standing, but they did not stop them from permeating the thick foliage in search for death. Selam lit fire to the Grotto with the eternal flame, destroying Merkai and the undead that had overran it. Ifiemi used the white hide as a raft for the Juli to escape on. And Selassie used the mother of pearl to guide a way to new lands. It was here on the raft that Selassie gave birth to Inan. With the birth of Imani, GOD delivered the Scroll of Divulgence to the Juli. Since then, the Juli have forever hidden themselves from Horen and his men. Though the Grotto can never be restored, they now take comfort in the isles that dot the coastline of each new land they arrive to. Their black towers and homes, reminiscent of Paradisus, appear to be rock formations jutting out of the water, but if you listen closely you can hear singing at night. CHURCH OF JULIARD The Church of Juliard is a monotheistic religion. Julinists believe in the one true living GOD who is the all-father and creator of the universe. Julinists recognize that he is the innate source of good and those that practice good deeds follow the virtues set by GOD. Despite the earnest virtues of some heretics and pagans, this will not earn them a voyage into the Seven Seas alongside GOD as they will be sent to the vast, a perpetually dark desert where damned souls die. Those who do practice and adhere to the wisdom of GOD will gain a voyage into the Seven Seas. Within Julinistic faith, the Seven Seas is depicted to be the far horizon where the sky meets water, while the vast is an intermediate space where souls eventually fade away. It is important to note, however, that Julinists do not seek out converts. The faith is passed down through the matrilineal line as the light was passed through the Beloved sisters. Those who wish to convert by their own will are accepted into the fold, but the light will not pass through them in the way it does for the Juli. Julinists practice Julianism, which is similar to Canonism but differs in interpretations of the first family of humankind. Though the races of Elves, Humans, Orcs, and Dwarves trace their lineage to the four sons of the first-coupling, Julianism highlights and prioritizes the sanctity of the Anointed Julia. The four sons came from GOD’s creation while the Anointed Julia came directly from GOD. The four sons and their lines were cursed while the Anointed Julia remained untouched. For this reason, it is clear she is anointed by GOD and the closest to purity. It is believed by Julinists that Julia is the daughter of GOD and thus was his to marry to Horen. Through marriage they are both venerated, but Julia is depicted as an extension of GOD on Eos and Aos whereas Horen is simply her husband. Their duties were shared but wholly different. Despite mistranslations, incorrect interpretations, and being cut entirely from Canon lore, the Church of Juliard mostly agrees with the scrolls. There is, however, a missing scroll that serves as the main doctrine for Julianism: the Scroll of Divulgence, which marks the Juli as GOD’s chosen people and saviors of humanity as they carry the light of GOD through the Anointed Julia. The Quattor is the place of religious worship for Julinists. A typical Quattor is a round domed (with a hole in the middle of the dome) room submerged into any body of water. At night, the waters will rise within the Quattor as the Moon stretches out over the Quattor. There are four spires attached to each Quattor, each spire holding an effigy of a Beloved. Carved from the blackest stone the Beloved Selassie sits in the north spire with a white stone held at her heart, the Beloved Selam sits in the west spire with a torch raised in the air, the Beloved Ifiemi sits in the east spire with a cloak draped over her, and the Beloved Inan sits in the south spire with a chalice at his heart. In the middle of the Quattor sits a wide hole in which kindling lit by the eternal flame is submerged by water yet still burning. c. 1680 “Saint Luliya” THE ANOINTED Ant. Julia - Golden Ring Patron of Marriage, Light, and Women Mother of the Juli THE BELOVED Blv. Selassie - Mother of Pearl Patron of Tranquility, Purity, and Governance Mother of the Selie Blv. Selam - Eternal Flame Patron of Harmony, Resilience, and Progress Mother of the Selm Blv. Ifiemi - White Hide Patron of Reverence, Protection, and Strength Mother of the Ifie Blv. Inan - Golden Chalice Patron of Priesthood, Childbirth, and Wisdom Revealer of the Scroll of Divulgence SAINTS St. Horen - Golden Laurel Revealer of the Scroll of Virtue Patron of Humanity, Covenants, Men St. Adamma - Whetstone Patron of Labour, Craftsmen, and Builders St. Luliya - Golden Crown Patron of the Poor, Abandoned, and Vengeance BLESSED Bl. Owyn - Flaming Sword Revealer of the Scroll of Spirit Patron of Purity, War, and Fire Bl. Godfrey - Silver Scepter Revealer of the Scroll of Gospel Patron of Dominion, Glory, and Justice Bl. Sigismund - Iron Globus Cruciger Revealer of the Scroll of Auspice Patron of Clairvoyance, Wisdom, and Sight ISOLATION AND PROTECTION Though the Juli have rarely had much contact with other people, the Ifie are trained in various forms of combat. From spear wielding to the longsword, they are prepared to defend their faith and homeland. The favored weapon of the Juli are their circlets. Circlets are sharp circular hand-held weapons that come in a few different sizes. The hand circlet is used to slice and stab through close combat, the circlettes are thrown at long distances and cut through their victims, and the circline is a long pole with a curved metal head that acts in similar manner to a scythe. The metals vary in colors but typically take on a bronze-ish hue after undergoing a glazing process. c. 1700s The Juli are well versed in the manning and controlling of ships. Often frequenting water-heavy areas, it’s a necessary component of everyday life. Most children exit the womb knowing how to swim and quickly take to sparring in the shallow waters of beaches and lakes. Though their ships are not equipped with canons, they’re extremely light and fast giving them an advantage in travel time and getting away. Due to their reclusive nature, the Juli are rarely seen on horseback but have been seen with a leopard or two. THE SELIE, SELM, AND IFIE The Juli typically find themselves in warmer cultures near the ocean. While they enjoy the beautiful things of life, they understand that life is fleeting and would be ready to leave their possessions behinds in a moments notice. Men and women wear fairly loose clothing in layers, the more layers showing how wealthy you were. Head coverings are stylistic along with makeup. While jewelry is very common amongst the Juli, it is not ornately made into different shapes but comes in the form of bands. It would be uncommon to ever find a piece of jewelry not in the form of a circle. The Juli age like normal humans but retain their youthfulness for much longer as a 60 year old Juli could easily pass for 40. The Juli can be divided into three cultures that work into one functioning society. Though work is not restricted by these cultures, the tribe they’re born into is what they were “destined” to do. Tribes pass through the matrilineal lineage of families; depending on what tribe the mother was a part of determines what tribe the bairn would be a part of. THE SELIE, Our Leaders From Beloved Selassie The Selie are by-far the smallest group amongst the Juli. Typically taking on roles of governance, the Selie are political, religious, and local leaders. Due to their duties to Juli society, their main priority is in service of others. They rarely have children if at all and often marry outside of their tribe. The Juli are ruled by a monarchy which passes down to whichever elected kin the monarch chooses. While nobility isn’t a concept, there are esteemed families within the Selie that have large monopolies over certain sectors of government. Featurally, the Selie are known for their round faces and long locs of hair. Different hairstyles show off their families and heritage. Selies who go on to be priests have access to a special herb that turns their hair and sometimes eyes white. Like Selassie, almost all Selie have a scar in the shape of a band on their right arm as the birthmark is passed down. Very few are born with their bands being made of gold, those who are born with gold bands are said to be filled with more light than others. c. 1400 “First Queen of House Mann” THE SELM, Our Builders From Beloved Selam The Selm are the largest group amongst the Juli. Typically taking on artisan and craftsmen roles within society, the Selm are the backbone of the Juli economy. The Selm have the most freedom when it comes to their occupational status and are commonly known to travel amongst the line of Horen. With the Selm holding the knowledge of the outside world around them, they find interesting ways to make their money from selling secrets or even people. The Selm also act as the architects of Juli cities, which are designed after Paradisus so they say. Featurally, the Selm are known for their flat faces and round, short bodies. The Selm are the most adorned group as they gladly wear fine headdresses and jewelry. Like Selam, almost all Selm have a scar in the shape of a band on their left leg as the birthmark is passed down. Very few are born with their bands being made of gold, those who are born with gold bands are said to be filled with more light than others. c. 1700s “Portrait of Eskender Liya” THE IFIE, Our Protectors From Beloved Ifiemi The Ifie are the second largest group amongst the Juli. Typically taking on militaristic and sportive roles in society, the Ifie are the protectors of the Juli. The Ifie serve in the larger Juli guard but also work as mercenaries for hire. The Ifie are also extremely intelligent. Skilled in naval warfare, astronomy, and mathematics, the Ifie make formidable opponents on the battlefield and the war room. Many Ifie have chosen the route of scholars rather than warfare. Featurally, the Ifie are known for their slender frames and short deep red hair. The Ifie wear what is most comfortable for them but typically always wear some form of protection. Like Ifiemi, almost all Ifie have a scar in the shape of a band on their torso as the birthmark is passed down. Very few are born with their bands being made of gold, those who are born with gold bands are said to be filled with more light than others. c. 1780s “The Scholar, Makonnen Zuri” ARCHITECTURE Juli architecture is modeled after the city of Paradisus. It was a welt kept secret amongst the builders of the Selm tribe who had hoped that by building paths into the sea that they'd find a way to reach GOD. c. 1820 “Great Quattor of the Beloved Sisters” DIALECT The Juli pick up on languages quickly but always talk in a very particular way not similar to any other human. On top of them speaking very fast, they often over-enunciate consonants at the end of the sentence and often drop the r from various words. For example, a Juli would pronounce “Church of Juliard” as “Chutch of Juli-ed” PHRASES & WORDS Mo/M’ - My Asu Ashi - God Mama - Mother Baba - Father Liji - Child Hujambo - Hello Kwaheri - Bye Asu jambo - Good Morning Usu jambo - Good Night Asu - Day Usu - Night Moto - Beautiful Zaidi - More/Very Gawa - Go Asante - Thank you Karnibu - You’re Welcome Anu Chupi - Curse Word Jalme - King Jalkia - Queen Weupe - Outsider “ Asu jambo mo jalkia, we found weupe at the gates of usu. Good morning my queen, we found outsiders at the gates of night. ” NOTABLE JULI FAMILIES House Mann, Selie ruling family of the Juli. House Liya, Selm merchant family. House Zuri, Ifie family with skilled fighters and generals. Male Names Abai, Addisu, Afework, Ajani, Aklilu, Alimayu, Anbassa, Bemnet, Biruk, Cherenet, Dejen, Desta, Eskender, Fikru, Fikremariam, Gebre, Haile, Isayas, Jember, Kassahun, Kebede, Kidus, Lami, Makonnen, Mesfin, Neberu, Negash, Tafari, Yafet, Zelalem. Female Names Abeba, Akutasgm Amhara, Ayana, Belkis, Dinkinesh, Fana, Gelila, Genet, Genzebe, Habesha, Hamelmal, Hirut, Iniku, Jahzara, Kelile, Kelemi, Luliya, Marye, Mariam, Mihret, Negassi, Nebiri, Rahwa, Rebka, Samrawit, Sebie, Selam, Selassie, Taitu, Zeudi. OOC: If you have thoughts, suggestions, or are interested developing this culture further PLEASE reach out to me: erostea#3429
  17. Harald, @TheEnglishDuck It goes without saying that your actions as of late have proved less than commendable, or at least to those of whom your silver tongue has yet to charm. For a time I thought I knew you well, believing you to be a virtuous and pious individual. You claimed to be an anointed knight of Hanseti-Ruska and a sanctified priest of the Church of Canon. But I find my perception warped as of late, especially when considering the abuse of your recently divorced wife, Eryane. Now, I will admit that the intrigues of a shattered foreign marriage are somewhat beyond my scope of expertise. Even when the news emerged of your violent and heinous conduct, I stayed my hand as the political ramifications were not mine to interfere with. However, you have not only insulted your former spouse but have walked the extra mile and dishonoured my lady wife, your sister, Juliana Rosemarie Vernhart de Lyons. You have strayed too close to the lion's cage. I will not stand idly by as my wife is insulted in such a spiteful manner, called to repent when she has committed no crime but the mistake of believing you were a better man. Declared unfit to bear her maiden name and birthright whilst you squander the legacy of your forefathers and bloodline, pursuing titles you do not merit. By my honour as a Knight, I challenge you to a duel! Let us settle the matter, before an audience if we must. Just as your life will be on the line, so shall mine, and only God may bear the right to determine the outcome. Should you refuse, with the host of the Seven Skies bearing witness, I shall dub you craven and bear your contempt of the code of chivalry as further proof you are but a rat undeserving of the name Vernhart. You have one Saint Day to comply! SIGNED, Ser Arthur Hughes de Lyons, Knight of the Sovereign Order of the Petrine Laurel.
  18. Why do people like human RP? I just don't get it? Like, what drives you to want to act like a french "person". It's unbelievable how we can all just sit here and look at human RP and just decide 'yeah, I think people wanting to be french is just fine'. I'm sorry, have you gone mental? I am truly baffled on why anyone would want to act this out. Can someone explain to me?
  19. [!] These missives would be nailed on posts throughout the continent! Issued and confirmed on the 14th of Harren’s Folley, 1901. TO THE WAYWARD RAEVIR OR THOSE INTERESTED, The Host of Saint Arpad is looking for men and women of Raevir descent to aid us in our cause in the reconstruction of our people’s ways and culture. We seek not just warriors, but workers, tradesmen, and people who are willing to settle our lands within the Hetmanate of Krostov being built just east of our Adrian comrades. If you are not of Raevir ancestry, but still wish to settle or aid us in our cause, we offer to educate you in ways for you to understand and adapt or if you wish, adopt our culture to further its existence in this world. Whatever your decision may be, if you settle these lands, let it be known you will be working towards something greater than oneself, a truly noble and honorable cause. To find us or reach us, one may send a bird to the Hetman or his Boyars within Veletzia, or meet with them there in person. SIGNED, Jan Ivanovich, Hetman of St. Arpad’s Host OOC:
  20. Penned by Bianka Ophelia Jazloviecki, 6th of Owyn’s Flame, 1901 Throughout the many years of my familial turmoil, I have put forth myself to keep this house afloat. The waves crash against our family’s reputation as we sail on the open continent of Almaris and set foot in Petrine Land, creating a place of sanctuary for our bloodline. With the death of my father and mother, the leadership of the family had fallen to my oldest brother; however, nearly a year after he completely disappeared, the succession of the family went to my older sister. Very unfortunately, she had fallen ill during the winter cold of the same year, an illness not able to be cured with known medicine. Another many years passed while I played Lady Regent, praying my dear sister would regain her strength to guide our house but praying was never enough. In desperate need, I consulted with my sister, and we both have made a decision that I shall be the matriarch of House Jazloviecki and the succession line shall follow my branch of this family, being passed to my children, followed by my children’s children. With this conclusion, I wish for The Commonwealth of Petra to honor this arrangement if anyone were to question the legitimacy of my hold on the House of Jazloviecki. SIGNED, Lady Bianka Ophelia Jazloviecki, Matriarch of House Jazloviecki, Grand Chamberlain of River Court
  21. Arthur de Lyons For the People of Valfleur [!] A hand-held bell rang throughout the main square of Valfleur, calling for the attention of those spectating the market stalls. Hurriedly, a courier passed out detailed missives to all those present, with the final message: "Don't forget to vote!" Soon the people of the Commonwealth would cast their ballot in deciding a new mayor, and it seemed yet another candidate was keen to advertise their campaign. Dearest citizens of the Commonwealth, The time will shortly be upon us when we, the people, must once again raise our voices in unison and determine the fate of our dear capital, Valfleur. A wonderful place, enriched by vibrant faces riding the waves of opportunity, and surrounded by a blessed countryside that was surely touched by the hand of GOD himself! We shall be called to not only elect a new mayor for our capital but also to freely choose a representative that will serve the populace faithfully, nobles and commoners alike. I, Arthur de Lyons, do hereby put my name forward in candidacy for the position. I know some of you might question the legitimacy of my campaign. I understand your scepticism, for it was not so long ago that I was an outsider - a migrant drawn to the promise of enlightenment and possibility. But that is exactly what makes the Commonwealth such a wonderful country! It is a place where any man, no matter their background, can live out their dreams and reap the hard-earned rewards for their labours. Yet, we cannot expect such a trend to last forever, not without a collective goal in mind and a solid plan for growth. With your vote, I will make it my objective to expand accommodation within Valfleur and stimulate the economy by encouraging the establishment of more local businesses. Furthermore, my agenda will also extend to the protection of our city’s populace from threats both external and internal. I have sworn an oath of service to Her Grace, the Arch-Duchess Renilde I, having marched beneath her banner alongside my fellow Sons of Petra and met her enemies upon the battlefield. I’m sure there are those among you who are also familiar with my efforts in ridding our heartlands of evil. In the past year, I have led my fellow men-at-arms in the hunt for the so-called ‘Beast of Petra’, and have already made good progress in destroying the threat once and for all. I believe my experience in matters of security and my direct approach to providing relief for Valfleur will rightly serve the collective populace. With your vote, I will utilise my active participation in our armed forces to ensure a constant line of communication between the Sons of Petra and you, the people. I shall also seek to provide a detailed consultation to the populace, regarding the construction of fortifications and defences in the region. Together my friends, I know we can make Valfleur a better place for everyone and expand our proud capital to even greater heights. So when it comes time to take to the ballot box, I sincerely ask that you vote for Arthur de Lyons, a candidate who will work for you! Action! Unity! Prosperity!
  22. Penned by Walentyna Stasia Jazloviecki, 11th of the Amber Cold, 1897 House Jazloviecki has been one of turbulence and turmoil as of the last decade, facing many hardships from many different foes and internal sources alike. Unfortunately for all of us remaining, we have yet another to tally, concerning the sudden disappearance of Borys IV, the now former Jazloviecki Patriarch, and heir apparent of the House. We, as the remaining members of the house, cannot overstate our grief and confusion for Borys, who was a proud and upstanding boy who had great things envisioned for our house, and to have these opportunities so spontaneously stripped from all of us is nothing but heartbreaking. As the succession line falls, I, Walentyna Stasia Jazloviecki, shall be the new Matriarch of House Jazloviecki, but with my continued illness causing me to be unable to effectively take responsibility for our family, Lady Bianka Ophelia Jazloviecki will take the reins over our House for the foreseeable future. From this point onward, we may only attempt to look past this tragedy, and focus on the future for our house and look for greener pastures in our stint in Petra, and anywhere else time may take us. SIGNED, House Matriarch Walentyna Stasia Jazloviecki Lady Bianka Ophelia Jazloviecki
  23. 1 Hour Loop "Why do I still live?" (Extended version) To those who I favored most, who now know not of where they are… For the days I have spent, wondering, dreaming, and traveling around these accursed lands, where life is not fair and where life is banal where man and dwarf alike preach the same thing with the same similarities but they are oh so ever different, thus I am made anew, scribed by the wailing ash that falls from my form and my boiling crimson eyes. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Dear Draakopf fallen kin o’ mine Killed by the Grand king of Urguan Bakir. Draakopf grandfather, my father as I called you back in those days of old. You were the one who blessed me and taught me before where I am now, the times we had were imprinted upon me moulded me, and shaped me with splendorous forging, You were the one who protected me against those foul things that hated us so much, but who could blame them for you was ruin? You were uncontrolled fire but served nonetheless. Let me not talk of mine asioth, but father when I see you again? Tell me of yours, I have grown in your memory and I can only pray that I have served you well. . . I am you from ash to ash, but I try to be different, for I cannot war the very gods as you did, I am vigilant and keen, and my voice will be heard and a solution will be made as we promised all those years ago. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Dear Marius Vilac favoured friend o’ mine Killed by an unknown Lector. Marius my good friend, it troubled me when I first heard of your passing, though I did not let it get the better of me. I knew you wouldn’t want it to control my decisions dear friend, you were a meaningful and truthful teacher that many needed but most of all wanted so much, I remember you preaching and I remember how you fought for those very same ideals. . . All I can say now friend is that I can only show your son so much, for he is alike to you in many ways he doesn’t see it as I do. But he is the solution you were looking for! When do I see you again dear brother Marius let us talk about it? Yes? I can see the Dragon inside of your spawn and his flame awakening… _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Dear Nehtamo, a good friend o' mine unknown either missing or dead. Nehtamo the elf who showed up and did much, I need not recall the number of times you had to save me from those situations, as you already know of that. I wonder what you are doing now? I could sense unease in your eyes, friend, worry, sadness. Though I never understood why it always baffled me what was on your mind. Though you are more capable than most…. Who knows I can hear you now telling me “Bortu no, think again, try again!” I could be wrong, or I could be right. But when we meet again brother Nehtamo, let us not speak about the bad times. The memories of old that were filled with spite, let us talk about the good memories, should I recall that time when Vothdrem was chasing you around, due to you shooting him? Ahh, fun times indeed! _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Dear Kronk, strong battled hardened warrior and ally. Death, torn apart and then obliterated by the void. Kronk, I will keep this short, as I have not much to say about you, we have only known each other for some while, but you were a dwarf, a good dwarf but still a dwarf - The blood that swam through you was that of Iron, and your head was carberum, You were a true battle hero among our kin of dwed, there was no army if Kronk were not leading it. I remember that much, Though you did have your faults though all do, you were stubborn and the very thing people admired about you or loathed about you. was the same thing that got you killed. I need not speak of the void and its treachery, Though you stood your ground in times of chaos and that is what matters, Sigrun should be proud that his blood swam through you, and therefore an exceptional warrior was forged Kronk ‘The Grand Stormheart’ When we meet again, let us speak more aye lad? I’ll bring a drink or two. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ I would sit, and I would sing more words to you, my kin, my friends, and my brothers. But the use of speech? And talking? It is time for action, so let me slow down my baffling and let me reveal my tarnished blade, and my ash tongue for stories to tell, and war to sing. Where your path took you, it will not take me. Brankhyn Finished short, taking a breath and remembering his fallen comrades. His hands clasped and he fell silent. __=__ = So thou know of my will, allow mine ambition; allow mine passion to take you to that unseen place. . . For I am on my way, the journey is scarce so be thankful. This blade will cleave as justice, through the shadows of the night - to then outshine the dawning sun itself. Thine own eyes are the setting dawn and the rising moon, from ash to ash, to fire on fire. This own command is to love and hate, so let me glimpse it for thou, and tell you of its beauty. Thee must know what I sing. And where I dance. Sweet asioth, Great Asioth! __=__ =
  24. THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE HOLY ORENIAN EMPIRE: Volume VII; Glory and Decay Written by Justinian Nafis, heir to the County of Susa and Adolphus Gloriana, Earl of Suffolk, Prince of Sutica Glory and Decay “If this kingdom of apostates insists upon bloodying the pages of mankind’s history once more, then we will meet them in battle. They will be recorded as a footnote, another in a long list of evil and impossible attempts to foil Providence. We will repel this invasion, as we have all others.” - The Imperial Response to the Tenth Nordling War, Emperor John VIII The reign of Emperor John VIII marked the apex of the Petrine ideology. While Joseph II was able to fully-realize the dream of defeudalization, extensive bureaucracy, and centralization that had begun with Peter III, he did not live to see the fruits of his toils. This reward, though also a task in itself, fell to his eldest son. Under John, he was able to maintain the systems of Pertine governance and demonstrate the might of a unified Empire during the 10th Nordling War. However, cracks began to break the peaceful stability that has come to define his reign. Towards the end of his life, government stagnation, an unpopular heir, and a lack of reforms threatened the future strength of the Empire. Despite this, he remains one of the more beloved personalities to sit atop the throne, and it is said that the common man of Oren did not live a better life than under Emperor John VIII. The ascension of John Charles, the Duke of Helena, to the Orenian throne was a long-awaited event. At the age of fifty six, he was among the oldest men in history to ascend to the throne, though the ascension of his brother, Philip Augustus, at the age of seventy-eight stands as the clear record. Unlike the latter, though, it was evident that John VIII was well-prepared for his position. Although he did not have the same extensive judicial and governmental experience as his father, he had served in the ISA since the Sutica War. Although he never rose past lieutenant, and did not see major combat, he had served well and ably in each Imperial conflict and had earned the respect of the citizenry and soldiery for it. Additionally, throughout his parent’s reign he had often sat in on council meetings, and by the end of his father’s reign he had served as regent. Immediately upon his ascension to the Imperial throne, the question of succession was the pressing issue of the day. As a young man, the future Emperor had been betrothed to Lady Irene Ruthern, the daughter of the Count of Metterden. However, on the eve of their wedding, Irene Ruthern vanished without warning, leaving the young John Charles without a bride (Irene Ruthern herself would later emerge and occupy a substantial position in Haeseni politics as Lady Speaker of the Duma. She would eventually marry Franz de Sarkozy in 1803 before being executed in 1814 after her attempted assassination of King Heinrik II of Haense). In the search for a suitable wife for the Duke of Helena, Wilhelmina Helvets, the daughter of the Duke of Cathalon and a prominent lady of the Imperial Court, was chosen. However, this marriage was infamous for its lovelessness, betrayal, and spitefulness. The pair could hardly be near each other, and Wilhelmina often threw herself headfirst into petty plots and schemes. They had no issue, though Wilhelmina had several by multiple men, and in 1814, on the eve of Emperor Joseph II’s death, the two were officially divorced. John VIII’s lack of a proper heir gave rise to slanderous rumors, even in his time. Although many originate from Wilhelmina Helvets and her allies in court, it was a commonly-held belief that the Emperor had greater fondness for men than women. As John Charles was often found with male courtiers during the late hours of the night, and never female courtiers, the rumors were only stoked. However, these accusations are simply lies. It is well-known that he fathered an illegitimate son in 1803 by the beautiful Theresa Mae Halcourt. Indeed, it seems that the reason John Charles never took readily to women is that he was so greatly attracted to the female sex that he refused to lay with a woman who met his great standards, unmatched by any other man before or since. Because he was so greatly attracted to women, his wife, Wilhelmina, simply could not meet these standards, and thus he refused to conduct his duties within the spousal bedroom. Regardless, the Emperor’s lack of a legitimate child, unwillingness to marry after his divorce, and advanced age, meant that his brother, Philip Augustus, the Duke of Crestfall, stood as his heir-presumptive. While it can be said that Philip Augustus held strongly to his faith in the Lord, few other compliments have been paid his way. Reviled by the Orenian populace, commoner and noble alike, and ill-prepared for the throne, many begged Emperor John to sire legitimate progeny or otherwise remove his younger brother from the succession, legally or otherwise. While the problems stemming from this ill-fated succession would not emerge until near the end of Emperor John’s reign, it hung over the Empire as a specter of a bleak future. Despite the attention given to his inability to sire an heir, succession was not the sole problem that arose during the start of Emperor John’s reign, nor was it the most dangerous. The first four years of his reign began well and peacefully, owing to the successes of his predecessor in stamping out the most prominent rebellious sentiments within the Empire. The new Archchancellor, Ledicourt d’Azor, and his Council of State, managed the realm ably and with little difficulty. Save for one issue in 1815, when Tiberius Hartcold, a traitor to the Empire who had fought with the Sedanites during their rebellion, was captured and executed by the Emperor via nailing a wig to his head, little disturbed the peace of the realm. It appeared to many that Emperor John’s reign would take the course of his father’s, though perhaps with even fewer disturbances. Little did the people of Oren know, the events of the coming years would make this hope short-lived. The prelude to the Tenth Nordling War began with the visit of an unnamed fatherist priest to Providence in 1816. A fatalistic and evangelist sort, the preacher took to the streets to proclaim that the end times were near and that the Empire would soon sink into a sea of fire. The populace of Providence, staunchly Canonist and righteously annoyed with the priest’s antics, savagely beat the man for his false-prophecies. By the time a few ISA soldiers arrived to apprehend him, he was on the verge of death. Later that night he would perish while confined to a cell within the Bastion. The second, more infamous, incident occurred several months later, and is subject to much scrutiny and controversy. The official narrative, propagated by the Kingdom of Norland and used as the defining casus belli for the coming war, states that brigands from a group called the Sons of Horen raided a few farmstead on the outskirts of Norland, slaughtering several cattle and injuring a farmhand. According to both Norland and the Sons of Horen themselves, the latter had ties to the Empire and the Canonist Church, and was said to be acting on their orders. The Empire and the Church disputed these accusations, alleging that the Sons of Horen, a group that had never been heard of before, was created by Norland to stage a false-flag attack against themselves to justify a war against Oren. A handful of later historians, utilizing census information found on a few supposed Sons of Horen, believe the attacks to have been staged by lingering elements of the Josephite Mafia (though the Josephite Party had officially been disbanded by this point). A Norlandic replication of their sacred burning bush. Said to be the most advanced work of art in Norlandic history, date unknown By 1817, the ruling King of Norland, Sven Edvardsson II, had what he needed to make his demands. On the 13th of Godfrey’s Triumph, 1817, he officially released a series of demands to the Empire, foremost among them being reparations for the slaying of the fatherist priest and the damages dealt by the Sons of Horen raid. Himself having ascended to the throne just a year earlier, the bellicose and warlike Sven desired to cement his rule by uniting the disparate clans and factions of Norland against the Empire. Additionally, since the expulsion of Haense from the Empire in 1786, the three powers of Norland, Haense, and Urguan had been consistently joined together in an alliance known as the Iron Accord. Sven II believed that upon declaring war on the Empire the rest of the Iron Accord would come to his support, but he was woefully wrong. Inexperienced and ill-trained in matters of war and politics, the King Sven would soon be dismayed to find out that Norland would fight the coming war alone. Knowing that war was soon to come, Emperor John made immediate preparations to mobilize the Empire. The ISA, though still strong, had been subject to untimely resignations and budget cuts in the aftermath of the Sedan Rebellion, as it seemed peace had been well-secured. The well-liked and esteemed General Peter d’Arkent, Duke of Sunholdt, had died in 1814 of old age. His replacement as General, William Darkwood, the Baron of Darkwood, was a loyal, hardworking, and experienced man; however, his time as an officer had been spent managing logistics, not soldiers and combat. Few of his subordinates liked or respected him as they had General DeNurem or General d’Arkent, and he was a below-average battlefield tactician and campaign strategist at best. Knowing the limitations of the current ISA leadership, the Emperor appointed Iskander Basrid, Count of Susa and hero of the Sedan Rebellion, as Field Marshal. A popular figure within the Empire, and the husband of the equally-beloved Princess Imperial, Elizabeth Anne, the Count of Susa was the perfect man to lead the war effort. Although he was only a major in the ISA, his appointment as Field Marshal gave Iskander effective control of the entirety of the Empire’s military resources. To supplement the current ISA forces and give his new Field Marshal an effective fighting force, the Emperor also tasked the retired Franz Sarkozy and Simon Pruvia, the Viscount of Provins, with finding mercenaries and allies. The official declaration of war came on the 13th of Godfrey’s Triumph, 1818. A day later, the garrison of Southbridge came under attack by a raiding party of nine-hundred Norlanders. Having been led to allied Urguan weeks in advance in preparation for the official declaration of war, the Norlandic force caught the garrison of Southbridge by surprise, driving them out despite possessing fewer numbers. However, the fighting was restricted to a few volleys of arrow fire, which resulted only in a few minor injuries. Led in person by Donovan Freysson, their tribal war leader, Norland had scored the first victory of the war. It would turn out to be a minor affair, though, as after ransacking Southbridge, the raiding party was forced to withdraw back into Urguan after receiving word of a large ISA force bearing down on them. Urguan’s role in the war, though expected to be large, turned out to be fairly minor. Caught unaware by King Sven’s sudden declaration of war, the Underking had not yet mobilized the clans of Urguan and made war preparations. Furthermore, several years of drought, crop failures, and economic instability had rendered Urguan unable to effectively field a large army for the time being. Although small bands of dwarves could be spotted joining their Norlandic allies, and Urguan officially announced that it would honor the terms of the Iron Accord and join Norland in the war against the Empire, the Underrealm did little more throughout the war than serve as a staging ground for various Norlandic raiding parties. A further blow to King Sven’s cause was dealt when Haense signed the Greyspine Convention with the Empire, a pact of neutrality officially mediated by High Pontiff Jude II. Fearing defeat were he to join Norland without Urguan’s support, and not wishing to join a pagan offensive against a Canonist nation, King Heinrik II of Haense agreed to refrain from joining the war in exchange for the promise that no Canonists would be harmed. It is said that when he received the news, the Norlandic King broke down into a nervous wreck. Without his two strongest allies, Norland would be forced to fight the war alone, though they did receive substantial support from the Ferrymen mercenaries. Emperor John, on the other hand, found himself enjoying a strong position. A week after his treaty with Haense was concluded, he received word from the Viscount of Pruvia that the Consul Olivier Renault de Savoie of the Free City of Luciensburg had agreed to lead his personal mercenary company, the Metinan Company, in support of the Empire in exchange for some monetary considerations. Although Luciensburg was a young city, founded by Savoyards exiled from the Empire in the aftermath of the Sedan Rebellion, the Metinan Company was professional, disciplined, and effective. For his part, Olivier Renault had little love for Norland and was sympathetic to the Empire, only joining the rebellion against it in the hopes of restoring it to its past glory. With this contract formed, Emperor John now had a strong core to augment the ISA regulars. The Empire’s strike back came on the 1st of Tobias’s Bounty, 1818, in the dead of winter. The Count of Susa, leading a small Imperial raiding party of a thousand men, rode through the Duchy of Elysium, the largest and most powerful of Norland’s vassals, putting the main city to the torch and capturing the Duke of Elysium himself without losing a man. When the Duke of Elysium was brought back to Providence, it was advised by Archchancellor d’Azor and Franz de Sarkozy that he be executed, but Prince Philip, the Duke of Crestfall, overruled the two. He made the Duke of Elysium sign a treaty officially withdrawing from the war before setting him free (the Duke of Elysium would later renege on the treaty, citing that his signature had been made while under duress). The next year, 1819, was marked by small-scale raids and skirmishes fought between the professional cores of the Imperial and Norlandic armies as both nations mobilized their full might. Both nations burnt farmsteads, villages, and mills as they sought to demoralize the populace of the opposition. Much of the Lower Petra and the Grenz of the Empire was left in ruin, though not irreparably so, while almost the whole of Norland was sacked at some point or another. On the 16th of Horen’s Calling, 1819, the Count of Susa led a force of one-thousand to raid Elysium again, but was ambushed by a force of over two-thousand led by the Duke of Elysium. Outnumbered and taken by surprise, the Count of Susa commanded a stout retreat, killing nearly a thousand Elysians while suffering only a few hundred casualties of his own, but was forced back into the Grenz. Donovan Freysson’s raid into Providence on the 13th of Godfrey's Triumph, the first anniversary of the start of the war, was far more successful. Storming a few undermanned, outlying forts protecting Providence, Donovan’s force of one-thousand two-hundred killed and wounded nearly one-thousand three-hundred ISA soldiers and came close to capturing the Archchancellor. It was only the intervention of the city garrison itself that forced the Norlanders to withdraw to Urguan. A few more minor skirmishes were fought throughout the year, but few were decisive. The next year, 1820, saw more of the same, though it was here that the war’s longest battle was fought. From the 7th to the 8th of Tobias’s Bounty, a force of around one-thousand two-hundred Norlandic-Ferrymen raiders led by Donovan Freysson fought bitterly with an army of three-thousand five-hundred ISA-Metinan soldiers commanded by Olivier de Savoie. Around the towns and farms lining the Southern Highway of the Lower Petra, the two forces did battle. While Donovan’s force performed admirably against the larger Imperial army, they were worn down over the course of the two days’ worth of fighting and were forced to retreat. Despite both sides having seen their fair share of successes, it was evident that the Imperial’s overwhelming advantage in manpower was the decisive factor. As King Sven gathered his army, Donovan’s own raiding parties grew smaller and smaller. By the spring of 1821, the war chief received word from his king that in a few months’ time the Norlandic host would be marching south to join forces with Urguan, which had managed to raise a small army of its own. Donovan protested this action, advising the king that it would be wiser to prepare Norland’s defenses for an imminent Imperial invasion, which would come with a larger army than they could muster. The king, desiring a quick blow to end the war, rejected these plans, and authorized one last raid into the Empire before the war chief was to join the main Norlandic host. This raid would come on the 17th of Horen’s Calling, 1821. Having already ridden north to take command of the main army, Donovan Freysson had allowed the Ferrymen one last raid into Providence, ostensibly to disrupt the mustering of the Imperial army. However, unbeknownst to the war chief, plans of the Norlandic march south had been intercepted by the Viscount of Provins and Anastasia O’Rourke, the Countess of Halstaig, who had relayed the information to the Count of Susa. Not wishing to squander the opportunity to smash the Norlandic host before they could unite with Urguan, the Count of Susa and Emperor John himself had departed with the main Orenian army mere days before the Ferrymen raiding force had arrived. When they did finally reach Providence, they were surrounded and slaughtered by the city garrison, led by Erik var Ruthern, the Count of Kositz. This would be the penultimate action of the war, and the last threat to Providence itself for over thirty years. The final battle would come on the 4th of Tobias’s Bounty, 1821, at the Battle of Outer Arentania. Unaware of the incoming Imperial force, the King of Norland had ordered his army, numbering about four-thousand two-hundred, to march through the outer edges of the Empire in order to reach Urguan faster. Although winter had set in further north, the first snows had yet to reach the center of Almaris, and the terrain was still suitable for marching. On the eve of the 3rd of Tobias’s Bounty, the Norlandic army had come to a stop in a valley surrounded by great hills on each side in order to camp for the night. King Sven, against the advice of his chief war leaders, had refused to send out any scouts or place pickets around his camp, believing his army to be completely safe. The Emperor and the Count of Susa had reached the area just hours after the Norlanders, and the two had wasted no time making preparations in the dead of night. Although Emperor John was in nominal command of the Imperial army, he lacked battlefield experience and had not seen action for years. True command was given to the Count of Susa, who, through consultation with his staff and the Emperor, devised a plan to bait the outnumbered Norlanders into a trap. Possessing an army numbering nine-thousand four-hundred, the Count of Susa ordered it to be split, with one-thousand six-hundred men of the Metinan Company taking positions on the hills to the south and the rest laying in wait near the more rugged cliffs to the east. The smaller force, to be led by Olivier de Savoie, would pose as an isolated raiding party and bait the Norlandic host into charging uphill, while the rest of the army, led by Iskander himself, would swing around and hit the Norlanders from the rear and flank. From the east, cannonade fire, directed by the Countess of Halstaig, would pin the Norlanders in place and keep them from fleeing. After the plan was confirmed by the Emperor, orders were distributed, and the men and women of the Imperial army went silently to their assigned places under the cover of night, not alerting the Norlanders. At dawn the following morning, the Norlandic host awoke to see a small force of Imperials, less than a third their own size, shouting and jeering at them from atop the southern hills. Fearing it was a trap, Donovan Freysson and some of the older clan chiefs advised King Sven to pull back atop one of the hills and take a defensive position. The Norlandic King merely laughed and accused them of cowardice. Instead, he took the advice of his younger, more impetuous vassals to heart. He gave the order to prepare the army to advance south and sweep past this meager force. Within two hours it was done, and the king gave the signal to advance. From the cliffs to the east, the Count of Susa grinned while his own men suppressed their cheers. The Norlandic foot had made it halfway up the hill to meet Olivier de Savoie’s force when suddenly horns, drums, and shouts from the east could be heard. Within minutes, over the rolling hills, the great second force of the Imperials, numbering seven-thousand eight-hundred, could be seen bearing down on the Norlandic host with Iskander Basird, dressed in brilliant gold-encrusted armor bearing the sigil of his house, at the head. It is said that upon seeing that he had been trapped, King Sven II took the fastest destrier he had and fled immediately, sparking confusion within his ranks. Not knowing whether to retreat with their king, brace for impact, or continue to advance, the Norlanders fell into a confused panic. Donovan Freysson attempted to rally the army to make a fighting withdrawal, but they were soon struck from the front by Olivier de Savoie and his portion of the army. Moments later, the advance elements of the main Imperial host had reached the rear and flank of the Norlandic army, pinning them against the Metinans. Well-placed cannon-fire from the Imperials struck the very center of the Norlanders ranks, turning the confused mess into a sheer panic. Overlooking the battle from the cliffs of the east, where the artillery had been placed, was Emperor John VIII. According to popular rumor, he had made a bet with the Count of Susa and General Darkwood as to how quick the battle would be. The Count of Susa had predicted under five minutes, General Darkwood had predicted within five to seven minutes, and the Emperor had predicted within seven to ten minutes. Keeping track of the time, the Emperor recorded the battle as having taken five minutes and seventeen seconds, giving rise to the popular moniker The Five Minute Battle, for the Battle of Outer Arentania. It is also said that after receiving his winnings from the Count of Susa and the Emperor, General Darkwood bought a month’s supply of wine for each of his men who had participated in the battle (perhaps the only time he enjoyed the popular support of the ISA). Emperor John VIII overlooking the Battle of Outer Arentania, 1821 Whether the account of Emperor John’s time-taking is truthful, it cannot be denied that the Battle of Outer Arentania was one of the quickest engagements in known history. Within minutes, the Norlandic host had been shattered: around four-thousand one-hundred of the men who had marched south with King Sven lay dead, missing, or captured in the aftermath. Among them was Donovan Freysson, who had been captured by Olivier de Savoie personally after a duel between the two of them. The losses by the Imperials were minimal, though most had been suffered by the Metinan Company, who fought primarily against the Ferrymen mercenaries, perhaps the stiffest resistance to be found in the Norlandic army that day. By the next day, the Imperials resumed their march towards the border of Norland, preparing to invade the kingdom. It would never come, as within days of the expected Imperial offensive into Norland, King Sven offered terms of peace. Norland would withdraw from the Iron Accord, cease all expansion to the south and the east, and pay forty-thousand minae to the Empire in reparations. The Emperor agreed to a ceasefire, and for the next two years the two sides would haggle and negotiate, but by the end the terms would remain the same, save for some minor additional territorial clauses. In this time, the Metinan Company, reeling from their losses, threatened mutiny against Olivier Renault, citing unpaid wages. The Savoyard was forced to disband the company and return home to quell internal tensions within Luciensburg, which had suffered adverse economic effects from the war. Despite this, the ISA remained strong, and additional recruits were drawn from the Grenz to supplement them. However, they were unneeded, as on the 9th of the Sun’s Smile, 1823, Emperor John officially announced that the peace talks had been concluded. The ISA, which had been stationed outside of the Norlandic border on-and-off for two years, was finally allowed to demobilize and return home. Two months later, on the 10th of Sigismund’s End, the Treaty of Providence was signed, officially ending the war. Despite the immediate challenge that he had faced upon ascending to the throne, Emperor John had acquitted himself well in the conflict. The whole of the Empire had rallied around the war effort, and Norland’s overwhelming defeat in the war had broken its power. Even today, the kingdom has not recovered from the loss of manpower, prestige, and honor from their failed invasion of the Empire. So thorough was Emperor John’s victory that an entire week was devoted to games, festivities, and feasts in honor of the victory. The strength of the Empire had been proven once again, and it seemed that a new age of glory would soon be upon Oren. The atmosphere was jubilant, the ISA was bristling with new recruits, the economy, boosted by Norland’s reparations, was booming, and the courts were consistently filled with the dazzling lords and ladies of the realm, all enjoying the fruits of triumph. However, famously, or infamously, the rest of Emperor John VIII’s reign would be characterized by the same quietness and stability that had been expected of it at the start. His reign is best-known for the Tenth Nordling War, but it only occupied five of his twenty-three years of rule. What, then, can be said of the remainder of his reign? In truth, it is little much, and it is these years that the harshest critics of his reign point to. While this period was a peaceful, prosperous one, it also was plagued by a decline in the ISA, the looming succession of the unpopular Duke of Crestfall, the stagnation of the government, and a plummeting interest and participation in the Imperial Diet, and the Rosemoor Movement. One understated issue to emerge came from within the Church. Tragically, the sensible and prudent High Pontiff Jude II had been assassinated by Norlandic agents in 1820, which made him a martyr to the Imperial cause and drove several members of the clergy to more openly support the Empire. However, this void was one that could not be filled, as with Jude II died the line of pragmatists that had governed the Church (save the interruption with Owyn III) starting with High Pontiff Pontian II in 1702. To follow would come a line of Haeseni Pontiffs, primarily from the House Barclay, who were far more interested in attempting to expand the Church’s social and political influence. Jude II’s successor, Tylos I, was an archconservative, former soldier and politician in Haense, and possessed little of the sense and diligence of his predecessor. For fifteen years he absently sat atop the Pontifical throne, doing little, harming the Church, and causing the faith’s influence to wane in the Empire. While Emperor John wished to continue the policy of his forebears by refraining from joining in political affairs, the deteriorating religious situation gave rise to political factions inspired by Tylos I’s cultural beliefs, but repulsed by his laziness. The Risorgimentists and Adrianites were both reactionary parties that attempted to form in the late 1820s. Conservative, despising liberal thought and institutions, and devout followers of the faith, they sought to take charge of the Empire’s moral and spiritual character where the Church had failed by radically altering society and returning it to its more feudal, decentralized roots. The Emperor, a staunch opponent of those who sought to alter the status quo, heavily suppressed the two parties and their associate organizations across the Empire. From the dissolution of the Josephite Party in 1815, the government had been dominated by Ledicort d’Azor’s National Party ever since. However, by the middle of Emperor John’s reign, a breakdown of interest in the Diet had become a noticeable issue. With opposition parties either being repressed by the government or struggling to win against the Nationals, few except the most staunch allies of Archchancellor d’Azor continued to take interest in politics. Election after election, voter turnout plummeted, incompetent candidates found seats in the House of Commons, and few bills were produced from the Diet, and fewer still sensible enough to be approved by the Emperor. Many began to regard the Diet as a useless institution, good for little else than rubber-stamping the agenda of the Azor Ministry, which was itself beginning to lose the ambition it had set out with, but events in the late 1820s turned this around. We speak, of course, about the Rosemoor Movement. The Rosemoor Movement had its roots in the activism of The Princess Imperial and Countess of Rosemoor, Elizabeth Anne. Elizabeth Anne, having herself served in the ISA and the House of Lords, and having seen her mother perform the duties of an Empress-regnant admirably, began to question why the laws of inheritance within Oren favored men. At that time, the Empire, along with most other nations of Almaris, followed a system of male-preference primogeniture. The titles and properties of a deceased lord or lady would be given to their eldest son, regardless of whether he had elder sisters or not. If the son had died, but not his son, then the titles would be given to him, and so on. Only if there were no male descendants to be found could the eldest daughter inherit. Elizabeth Anne, joined by many other prominent noblewomen in the Empire, among them Claude Elizabeth de Savoie, daughter of Olivier de Savoie, Alina Basrid, and Anastasia Victoria vas Ruthern, granddaughter of Count Erik of Kositz and the future Empress Anastasia, began a movement in support of the ‘Rosemoor Bill’, which was a bill authored by the Princess Imperial herself that would give women equal inheritance rights as men. This movement was bitterly contested by the more conservative elements of the nobility, chief among them the Duke of Cathalon. Others, such as the Viscount of Provins and the Archancellor (now sitting in the House of Lords as the Count of Azor) did not necessarily oppose the movement, but disagreed with the wording of the bill. The Emperor himself was partial to his older sister’s cause, but did not want to intervene entirely, and instead left the matter to the House of Lords. However, the Rosemoor Movement was growing, and weekly street demonstrations, rallies, and organized events made the issue of equal-sex succession the most prominent topic in the Empire. This worried the Duke of Crestfall in particular, who, as the head of the House of Lords, had significant sway over whether the bill would pass or not. During his brother’s reign, the power of the nobility had been reduced to its lowest point, and the nobility of the Empire was mostly constrained to the Augustine Palace, where they were kept docile and useless. Save a few prominent peers who joined the ISA and partook in politics, the majority of the aristocracy, until now, had been content with their soft lifestyle, exerting themselves only for the many balls and feasts hosted. If they could be mobilized so effectively here, then they could be mobilized against the Crown in an effort to champion other privileges they desired, so thought Philip Augustus. It was here that he resolved to end the Rosemoor Movement. During a session of the House of Lords in the waning winter months of 1830, the Princess Imperial officially brought the Rosemoor Bill to the floor of the legislative body. For hours it was debated over, and, just as a vote was to be taken, the Duke of Crestfall paused the proceedings. Using his powers as head of the House of Lords, he castigated his elder sister for taking to the streets with her political whims and attempting to weaponize public opinion in an effort to have the Rosemoor Bill passed. He immediately held a vote to censure Elizabeth Anne and prevent a vote from taking place on her bill. Supported by a number of conservative members of the House of Lords, the motion passed, and the Princess Imperial was barred from speaking for the rest of the session. This betrayal from her own brother struck grief into her heart and sparked outrage from nearly all the public. This only grew when, mere weeks later, the Princess Imperial was announced to have died. The Duke of Crestfall attempted to defend his actions, citing their legality, but public opinion against him had sunk. The Count of Susa, enraged, resigned from the ISA. The hero of the Sedan Rebellion and the Tenth Nordling War, having loved his wife dearly, would only be able to manage living another year without her. Even the Emperor was incensed at his brother’s actions, though he held his tongue in public. The censuring of Princess Imperial Elizabeth in the House of Lords, 1831 The resignation and death of the Count of Susa could not come at a worse time. Experienced, successful, and a hero of the Empire, Iskander Basrid had been the favorite to succeed the failing General Darkwood, whose mismanagement of the ISA had run it into near-ruin by 1830. Although it remained a popular and strong institution by the end of the Norland War, a series of resignations and discharges had decimated the ranks of the army. General Darkwood’s notorious temper and conduct with subordinates had led many loyal soldiers to abandon the force altogether and made prospective troops second-guess joining. The Emperor, again reluctant to intervene, was forced to watch as the once-proud ISA floundered during the years of peace. No help could be found from the nobility, who had grown fat and lazy within the halls of the Augustine Palace, and were ignorant of the severe lack of talent within the ISA. By 1832, only one man could possibly restore the decaying army: The Count of Kositz, who had fought for the Empire with distinction since the Inferi War and had been the Count of Susa’s right hand man. When the aged General Darkwood finally retired that summer, Erik var Ruthern was named the new General and tasked with repairing the ISA. This came just in time, as down south events were unfolding to the south that threatened to drag the Empire into war again. Ever since the betrayal of King Corwin I of Sutica, the city-state had floundered under misrule by the pagan servants of Iblees. Ruler after ruler had prayed to the gods of Hell to fill their homes with citizens, cause their crops to bloom, and fill their empty coffers with coins, but to no avail. Instead, the Lord our God looked favorably upon two individuals: George Barclay, a cousin of the Dukes of Reinmar, and Johanna Alstreim, a distant relation of King Corwin himself. Wishing to liberate her ancestor’s lands from the sin and villainy that gripped it, Johanna assembled an army of mercenaries. George, a man of martial aptitude, led this small force down to Sutica, stormed the city, and purged it of its sinful inhabitants in 1821. The two then crowned themselves King and Queen of Sutica and reigned as co-monarchs. However, since their glorious crusade, their co-reign had been tumultuous at best. King George I, a strong warrior to be sure, cared little for governance and administration. To make matters worse, he was unwilling to abide by his wife’s right to rule, and threatened violence against her were she to exercise her authority. With the far more brilliant mind of Queen Johanna suppressed by coercion, and a man who cared little for ruling at the helm of the nation, the newly-Canonist Sutica suffered. By 1832, however, King George died in a hunting accident, leaving his wife as the sole monarch. In 1834, Queen Johanna took Franz de Sarkozy, the former Imperial Archchancellor, as her consort, given his aptitude for statecraft and willingness to allow her to exercise her full rights as monarch. However, that same year, a small number of pagan vassals in the furthest corners of the Sutican desert, having long-chafed under Canonist rule, revolted in the hopes of toppling their Alstreim overlords. Immediately, the Canonist world was called to come to the defense of Sutica, and it was here that the flaws of the ISA were exposed. General Ruthern, deprived of a steady, experienced officer corps, struggled to find a suitable commander for an Orenian expeditionary force. Eventually, Erik Othaman, the Count of Valles, and Olivie de Savoie, having been a courtier in the Empire for several years after the fall of Luciensburg in 1827 to local bandits, were given command of the expedition. The Kingdom of Haense, on the other hand, was quick to send a small contingent of three-thousand soldiers to their Canonist brother in Sutica, joining with the Sutican army, which numbered seven-hundred. Before the ISA detachment could even arrive in the southern continent, the combined Sutican-Haeseni army had shattered the rebel forces in the Battle of the Rhein on the 12th of Tobias’s Bounty, 1834. By the time that the ISA contingent did arrive, the rebels had surrendered, and there was little else to do besides security operations. Although this appeared to be little more than a mild event in a war of no particular importance, the consequences of this conflict would soon come to plague the end of Emperor John’s reign, and the entirety of his brother’s. Olivier de Savoie, having garnered a reputation for his service in the Tenth Nordling War and the Sedan Rebellion, was offered lands, titles, and a place at the court of Queen Johanna of Sutica, which he readily accepted. When the queen died mere months later, on the 14th of Harren’s Folly, 1835, she bequeathed Sutica not to her sons, nor to any other family, but to Olivier Renault himself, believing that he could lead the newfound Canonist realm to heights that she had died too young to do herself. So it was, a year later, in 1836, that Olivier Renault de Savoie proclaimed the dissolution of the Kingdom of Sutica and the establishment of the Principality of Savoy, and named himself Prince Olivier I of Savoy. As soon as it was announced to the whole of Almaris that Savoy, an old, storied state that was thought to be lost to the annals of history, had now reformed, many flocked to the new capital of San Luciano. Although most of the influx came from Savoyards residing in the various Canonist realms of the world, there was also a substantial number of people who traveled to the principality in order to take advantage of the opportunity a young nation would provide. Although much of the exodus from the Empire would not come until the beginning of Philip II’s reign, many, including Emperor John himself, feared that the rise of a strong Savoyard state could challenge the might of Oren. 1836 also dealt another blow to the Imperial Crown. At the end of that year’s Social Season, an event renowned for its dramatics and controversies, the Prince Philip Amadeus, son of Prince Philip Aurelian, Count of Renzfeld, and grandson of the Duke of Crestfall, was wed to Lady Anastasia vas Ruthern, granddaughter of General Ruthern, the Count of Kositz. The spectacle was said to be one of the greatest in Imperial history, and the wedding attracted perhaps the largest crowd known to date. From Savoy to Haense, Elvenesse to Krugmar, the people of Almaris flocked in droves to see the union of these two popular figures. Although the Duke of Crestfall was quite despised by the Imperial populace, and Philip Aurelian was an obscure figure, Philip Amadeus was beloved by all. Only his peer, the Crown Prince of Haense, Sigismund Karl, could be said to match him in potential and popularity in the eyes of the world. Anastasia Ruthern herself was similarly held in high esteem, and it was predicted by many that she would prove to be one of the more shrewd and energetic consorts to reign when she and Philip’s time came. Comparisons were made between the Imperial pair and Anne Augusta and Joseph Clement, with others believing that they would come to surpass their predecessors. Emperor John, himself not one to miss out on a joyous occasion, conferred the Duchy of Furnestock onto Philip Amadeus and granted the pair a small fleet of ships so that they could tour Almaris. Prince Sigismund of Haense, himself also in attendance, is said to have spoken with the newlyweds, and all three of them excitedly discussed their plans to better the world of Canondom when their time came to sit the thrones of their respective realms. The wedding was a resounding success, and it appeared that, even with the mild difficulties of the past decade, the future of the Empire remained bright. However, only two months after the wedding, the Imperial couple were found to have disappeared from the Empire. A search was conducted, and it was soon discovered that they, along with a handful of retainers, had taken the ships gifted to them by the Emperor and sailed east in search of new lands. The reason behind the infamous flight of Philip and Anastasia is unknown. While the Duke of Furnestock himself, upon his eventual return to Almaris twelve years after, would later claim that he and his new wife did not wish to accept the burdens of the Crown, and instead desired to live a life of obscurity elsewhere, that has not stopped continued speculation. Some believe that the Duke of Furnestock harbored a grudge against his grandfather, the Duke of Crestfall, and had no desire to serve him. Others allege that the Duke and Duchess of Furnestock had been implicated in a plot to either overthrow Emperor John or the Duke of Crestfall, leading either to their preemptive flight or forced exile. Despite the unclear circumstances at the time, the effects of Philip and Anastasia’s departure were felt bitterly. Having accrued a large following throughout the Empire and being seen as the hope of the House of Novellen, their absence left a hole that could not be filled. As with Savoy, the ramifications would soon come to bite the Empire in the back, but not as long as Emperor John held the throne. Unfortunately, that time would not last for much longer. Now eighty years of age, it was clear that the Emperor’s time was soon to come to an end. While the Emperor’s personal involvement in day-to-day affairs had expectedly decreased as he aged, the Council of State had not adequately stepped forth to assume these necessary duties. Archchancellor d’Azor, although having begun his ministry with earnest and zeal that was characteristic of him, was now at the head of a lethargic, slow government. To make matters worse, his rumored involvement in the assassination of his daughter in 1827, and the sudden disappearence of his well-liked Vice Chancellor, Keaghen Armas, caused public opinion to sour on the Nationals. The instruments of state, once renowned for their efficiency, productivity, and ceaseless work, were now beginning to slow down. Seriously-needed reform and rejuvenation was put off for years. Still, the realm enjoyed its peace, and the government, while slow, was not failing. The last months of Emperor John’s reign were without strife or controversy, and his time came to a close, it is said that so too did the last quiet days of the Empire fade with him. On the 12th of Owyn’s Flame, 1837, Emperor John VIII, having battled an illness for the past three days, died quietly that evening. It is claimed by many that the death of his beloved sister, Elizabeth, the wedge driven between him and his brother, Philip, and the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Furnestock, deprived the Emperor of his will to live, and it may be that it is the case. For the last year of his life, the ever-jubilant, affable Emperor sunk into a dour reclusion. He took few guests, ate and drank little, and rarely left the confines of his room. While a broken heart was not the true cause of his death, his living conditions from 1836 to 1837 certainly did not prolong his life. When his death came, Emperor John VIII was widely-mourned by nearly all of the Empire. Although he made no great conquests nor radically altered the nature of his Empire, he had, as his father had advised him to do, reigned capably and securely for twenty-two years. The life of the average Imperial citizen had improved during his reign, and the economy had flourished. Even at the end, when conditions had degraded from their heights in the mid to late 1820s, the effects had yet to truly be felt. Had a man more capable than the Duke of Crestfall ascended the throne after Emperor John, it can be reasonably assumed that the problems that emerged would have been better-addressed. Furthermore, few scholars discuss the impact of the Tenth Nordling War, and how it definitively broke the power of one of the Empire’s more persistent enemies. While the Kingdom of Norland would continue to join coalitions against the Empire, it would do so as a minor partner, and its contributions to any given war effort would remain minimal at best. Even today, Norland remains a husk of the great power it once was. While few rate John VIII as among the greatest of the Emperors, none rank him low, and indeed it can be argued that if one were to live through any point in history, the 1820s stands as one of the better choices. However, this does not entirely exculpate Emperor John from the flaws of his reign, nor does it presume that only the sole actions of his successor cause the Empire to later teeter on the brink of ruin. While Emperor John’s inability to sire an heir has been previously discussed, and will have its consequences examined in full later, Emperor Philip II would have a number of problems to contend with upon his ascension to the throne. A decaying ISA, a lethargic government, a growing rival in Savoy, and the lack of interest in the city government of Providence and the Imperial Diet all began in the 1820s. However, in keeping with the liberal attitude of the Novellens, Emperor John rarely took matters into his own hands. It is here that the greatest failings of liberalized, democratized government begin to show. When power is too greatly delegated to those unfit for the responsibility of it, and possess neither the training nor the innate competence to wield it, the functions of the state wither. Had Emperor John not been so reluctant to sweep aside these supposedly sacred institutions and either reformed them or abolished them as needed, then perhaps the Imperial administrative apparatus would have remained healthy. Furthermore, although this was an unforeseen problem with the general dynastic aim of defeudalization and centralization taken up by the Novellens at large, and not solely a mistake of Emperor John, the growing decadence and uselessness of the aristocracy deprived the Empire of a critical source of talent and manpower. While nobles of before provided service to the Empire as politicians, councillors, and the leaders of armies, in the Petrine Empire they simply paid a small sum of taxes. With a strong ISA, bristling bureaucracy, and functional Diet, the drawbacks of this could be easily overcome, but as those institutions began to crumble, some of the flaws of the great Petrine project began to emerge. Still, it cannot be said that Emperor John VIII’s reign was poor by any measure. While his time is often overlooked in the modern day, given the more exciting events during the reigns of Peter III, Philip II, and Philip III, and he is rarely looked to as a guide by young, energetic monarchs, those who are old and wise frequently consult the deeds and mannerisms of Emperor John. Triumphant in war and peace alike, he accomplished something few monarchs in history, especially those upon Almaris, can claim to have obtained for their own realms. It is for this reason that, despite its problems, his reign ought not to be looked upon with a cynical, loathsome lens, but instead be appreciated as one of the last times the Empire enjoyed its unmatched supremacy in the world. Vale, John VIII ‘the Good’ 3rd of Horen’s Calling, 1757-12th of Owyn’s Flame, 1837 (r. 23rd of Sun’s Smile, 1814-12th of Owyn’s Flame, 1837) O Ágioi Kristoff, Jude kai Pius. Dóste mas gnósi ópos sas ékane o Theós. Poté min afísoume na doúme to skotádi, allá as doúme móno to fos tis sofías kai tis alítheias. O Theós na se evlogeí. The reign of Emperor Philip II and the Aster Revolution shall be covered in our next volume of The Decline and Fall of the Holy Orenian Empire.
  25. THE TEMPLE OF THE ENTWINED STAR GOD The Slumbering One, "The Glodites" The Prayer of the Slumbering God "But the Dream, and the Slumber." [!] Strange Posters, Letters, and Pamphlets would be thrown about the poorer slums of Almaris. ============================================================================================================== Greetings Dreamer, Long have WE watched you sleep. Unaware of the reality of which blankets you, and clouds your vision. Praising false Gods such as the canonist "Creator", the "Brathmordakin", and the "Aspects". The Aenguls and Daemons you so fear are but mere illusions, aspects cast by the Slumbering God. Have you ever felt their watchful gaze, as you sleep? The eyes are always watching, Dreamer. The Slumbering God has begun to awake, and their power can be felt all throughout the realities. His chosen champion, Glod Grimgold, has manifested in this reality as his "living aspect". Everyday, our spells grow stronger. Now, it is time we reveal ourselves to the world. If you wish to join our Temple, you must prove your loyalty. The youth of Almaris are unguarded. They walk the streets without guardians. Babies are left in cribs, in unlocked rooms. Take these sacrifices, and slay them. Their blood will mark your initiation into the Temple as an Acolyte. If one is unavailable, the sacrifice of a Canonist Priest, Brathmordakin Forgeguard, Druid, or Paladin will suffice. Do not feel this is an impossible task - work in the shadows, and slaughter those who work against the Dreamer. Seek out the book known as "The Chronicles of Glod" to begin your path to enlightenment. To show you apart of our powers, the back of this note will include a single spell from our Arcanium. Once you feel the gaze of our Lord, you will know you have become a true "Glodite", and have entered our rank as an Acolyte. ============================================================================================================== MYSTERIUM SOMNIUM ARCANUS ____________________________________________________________________ __________________████____████________████____██████________________ __________________████____████________████____██████________________ ______________________████████████████████████______________________ ______________________████████████████████████______________________ __________██▓▓____██▓▓████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░████▓▓████____████________ __________██▓▓____████████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░__██████████____████________ __________░░░░▓▓▓▓░░░░░░░░░░░░▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░░░░░░░▒▒▓▓▓▓░░__________ ________░░░░░░████░░░░░░░░░░░░▓▓▓▓▓▓██░░░░░░░░░░░░░░████░░░░░░______ __████__░░██▓▓░░░░░░░░____████░░__████████____░░__░░░░░░████░░__████ __████____██▓▓░░░░░░░░____██▓▓░░__████▓▓██____░░__░░░░░░████░░__████ ______████░░░░____░░__░░░░██▓▓████████▓▓▓▓░░░░░░__░░░░__░░░░████____ ______████░░______________██▓▓████████▓▓██______________░░░░████____ ________░░▓▓▒▒______________░░▓▓▓▓▓▓██__________________████________ __________██▓▓________________▓▓▓▓▓▓██__________________████________ ____________░░████__________________________________████____________ ______________████__________________________________████____________ __________________████████__░░░░░░░░░░░░░░██████████________________ __________________████████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░__██████████________________ __________________________████████████████__________________________ __________________________████████████████__________________________ MYSTERIES OF DREAMING ARCANE
  • Create New...