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  1. !!WARNING FOR MENTIONS OF BLOOD AND GORE AHEAD!! "These crosses all over my body," There were many times the Adunian imagined how she would die… "Remind me of who I used to be..." Living in the shadows of her past of a failed community… The shadow of her Sister she had long craved to be free from… That heavy cross that hung around her neck… "And Christ forgive these bones I'm hiding..." She had thought she finally got out… Having a kid… Redith Lorcán Horisp Getting a fiance… Roylan Ser Grant Making new friends… Gaining new Family... Aiyeis Acal'Turrii "From no one successfully..." But magic was never a gift… Not when it was dark in origin… It was a trade- and in the end The price had to be paid… ‘Shink! A spike sliced open her throat, a very real sense of fear going through her- just like when an arrow from the past had struck her trapezius. Though only this time, she could feel her life slipping as she fell to her knees- the sands below her staining in deep crimson. It was almost like drowning again… that feeling of burning in one’s throat as water invaded their lungs and nose- but only this time… it was thicker- her own essence spilling past armored fingers as the sound of her sword slipping through her fingers was barely heard. Pain… Panic- Oh how it filled her very being like a sickness. Her Genus she used now flooding her lips, her lungs, her heart straining to keep on beating! But it all stopped with one Final ‘Squelch!’ Everything eased away… the pain quickly snuffed out as Basha found her eternal rest… Her face forever morphed with tears and fear at what had transpired. Basha never thought she’d pay her price in Blood, and die doing it… But perhaps- finally… she could go home… Basha Tallis Horisp Formerly; Basha Tallis De La Croix Step-Sister to Meredith Nazenna Horisp 'Sister' to Aiyeis Acal'Turrii Mother to Redith Lorcàn Horisp Fiancée to Roylan Ser Grant Friend & Student to Madoc'Lur Friend to Hesperia Hargrave Made on May 26th, 2022 Died on May 28th, 2024 Age 129 (born during SA 53)
  2. The sharp thwack thunk of wooden practice swords echoed in the Vilac fighting pits of the brisk Petran River Valley. A young boy stood there, no older than seven, with stark, Novellen features of dark red hair and stormy gray hues. A fire burned within these eyes. The fire of drakes and gods. An elder man stood above the young boy, with long blonde hair, flowing down his armour. Sir Gwendel Simon Vilac, knight of Petra, father of Casimir Marius Vilac. Too Slow! Gwendel swatted the sword away. A grunt from Casimir as the force of the blow ran through his arm. Sloppy! Casimir’s practice sword went careening out of his hands, landing with a soft thump in the practice sands around him. His hands balled into fists, and he launched himself toward Gwendel. Disgraceful! Gwendel turned, a practice sword striking Casimir in the back, sending the boy tumbling into the sand. The father kneeled next to his son, a face of disappointment still filled with the unyielding love of a father. He offered a hand to the boy, yet he swatted it away, standing on his own. The boy spoke: No matter what, I will stand. The clashes, clangs, and screams of battle surrounded Casimir. His brother stood next to him, fear and determination in both their eyes. This is the end. A boy, no older than fourteen, would meet his end in the streets of his home. The Archduchess and her cohort of traitors closed around him. Casimir glanced at his uncle, the Archduke Constanz, as he swung through the masses, sweeping arcs with his warhammer. Constanz made the path. Blood and bones marked his steps. The boy and brother charged after, swinging swords and spear at the bandits. Coated in sweat, ash, and blood, House Vilac left. The pillar of smoke and fire that once marked their home blazed behind them. Proud swords trudged in the mud. Friends followed, many alone. Good men and women left to rot and be scavenged by crows in the wake of defeat. Most of all, the Archduke Constanz, left bleeding in the fighting pits of Haense. Casimir left him, cowering and crying. In the face of defeat, I will stand. This is what the Church calls justice? Casimir screamed toward the pontiff. His father, on trial for the murder of a Barclay, stood unmoving. His mother wrapped her arms around Gwendel, facing judgment as one. Casimir’s body shook, the fire within him beat into an inferno. Hands held the man back. His chestplate convulsing and rattling with each shaky breath. No matter, the Church dealt their injustice. His father stripped of knighthood and any respect that a man of his caliber deserved. The Church called it a 'mercy’ to leave his mother and father’s marriage intact. Casimir called it a taunt. It was a half eaten piece of meat, thrown just out of reach of a starving dog. That day, Casimir became Patriarch of Vilac. That day, Casimir became the heretic he would die as. When dealt the injustices of man, I will stand. The booming of a war horn rolled over the mountains and into the city of Alisgrad. Thick snow blanketed the city, covering everything and everyone. The descendants had gathered for the defense of Norland. Casimir stood on the ramparts overlooking the desolate wasteland of the north. His twin sister stood beside him, brooding and waiting. Another blast of a warhorn came and the thralls began their climb. Thousands of them clambering up the mountain. The stretching of hundreds of bowstrings was vaguely heard in the distance. Then the throng of arrows firing and whizzing overhead. Men cried and fell. Casimir was struck, launching off the battlements from the force of the impact. A crack was heard. Breathing became difficult. Vesta rushed to his aid, propping him up and removing his armour. Following treatment Casimir stood, continuing the fight. He stood in the streets, memories flooding back of the Civil War. I will not be defeated this time. I will not run. Flames began to spread in the streets. Legions upon legions of Mori poured into the city. The tavern was alight in flames. Wooden beams creaked and moaned under the stress until the building collapsed in a crash of sparks. Screams of help were abruptly cut silent. The flames cleared and a figure stepped before Casimir. A Mori Dreadknight. The figure loomed over the few remaining fighters. A resounding cannon blast echoed from across the square, removing half of the dreadknight. It continued forth. Men were thrown to the side like pebbles, crashing and burning. A piece of rock embedded itself into Casimir’s thigh. He continued, fighting till he was tossed aside like the rest of them. The world faded. Alisgrad fell. When embraced in the grip of death, I will stand. The world began anew. New lands to settle. The city of Portoregne rose from the sea. Hammers rose and fell and Balian had found its home once more. The bell rang. Bandits! They cried. A simple bandit raid on Balian. Casimir rallied with his King and Ezren Kervallen, a young boy. There, they fought off the bandits in the square with relative ease. Yet, one arrow landed in Casimir’s leg. The man reached into his thigh, digging out the arrowhead and tearing with it, muscle, tendon, and nerve tissue. The man became a cripple. He wandered the streets of Balian with a distinct, rhythmic tap. Tap. of his cane. That day, Ezren lost his eye. Casimir lost more. The Vilac lost pride in himself, pride in who he was. If my pride is shaken, I will stand. There, Casimir awoke. On that wretched battlefield. The plain that has haunted his nights for decades. The cold grimy grip of the mud on his features. But this was no longer a dream. He awoke different. His armour was still drenched in the sweat and blood of a battle. Yet his breastplate was torn to shreds. Large razored marks ran the length of the proud metal. Casimir’s vitals exposed to the putrid outside air. Even more still, Casimir’s right arm was gone. His shoulder reduced to a pulp of twisted and jagged metal. But, no blood poured from the injuries. Casimir glanced around. Flames licked at the dead around him. Men were speared through, and large monsters littered the battlefield. Manticores, trolls, thundermaws, and the like all lay strewn about, cut to shreds by the Descendants. The fighting raged on elsewhere, on the plains of eternity. Forests burned, and men screamed. But Casimir was alone on this desolate plain. He trudged along the field to the familiar grave. Casimir’s own body lay there. Lifeless eyes stared up at the sky, his hand reaching out to touch the sky. Storm’s Fury and Inferno’s Embrace lay across from the corpse. One was shattered in the blade. The other stood proud, even as the fires blazed around it and its wielder lay cold in the mud. IT IS DONE. A familiar voice spoke from behind Casimir. He turned, spying the young child, who spoke with an ancient voice. The child held the small blade that he held every night. The blade he used to save the Archduchess’ life. Tears flowed from Casimir’s eyes, down his face, and onto his ruined armour. “You damn well know it is” Casimir said to himself, stepping toward the boy. I HAVE ONE LAST QUESTION FOR YOU VILAC. “Ask away, you wretch. I am powerless to stop you” Casimir grunted. His eyes flickering down onto the blade below. DID YOU LIVE? A stunned silence enveloped Casimir. He staggered away from the boy. The boy that was himself. A young Casimir bright with life and passion. The boy that was the man’s past. Every action, every word, every thought, and every regret made flesh and bone. More tears streamed down his face as he reached down and clutched the knife in the child’s hand. “I..tried. I tried to live for Viviana. For Gwenyth. For Annette. For them all. I lived more for my family than I lived for myself. I burned my life for my kingdom, uncertain of its future.” Casimir paused. “I failed..didn’t I?” YOU LIVED MORE THAN MOST MEN DREAM OF. YOU ARE A DRAGON. THE FIRE OF HOPE BURNS IN YOUR HEART. YOUR TIME MAY BE AT ITS END. BUT LEGACY CARRIES ON. Casimir trembled as he took the knife in his hand. Its blade shook as he turned it on the boy. His past. YOU ARE REDEEMED IN THE FIRE. He plunged the blade into his past. The boy faded in a blinding light. The fields around him shook as fissures broke the plains apart. The sun broke the clouds, flaring in brightness. Flames licked higher into the sky. Casimir extended his arm, feeling the warmth one final time. A light formed within him. Expanding and flaring. Until he too faded in the aether of time. Casimir Marius Vilac 100 S.A. - 183 S.A. 29 B.A. - 112 B.A.
  3. The Death of Apek'Gorkil . . . . . . As a young orc, Apek was taught hardship. He was taught to fight and fend for himself. He always strived to be better, to do better, and to become stronger. He would tend to watch the sun as it set; it would always make him think of those he knew who had fallen and wonder when he would meet the same fate. In his younger years, Apek had been an excellent fighter, rising in strength and strategy. The young uruk had claimed the position of Targoth. Apek would continue on to lead as the general of the Iron Horde in the battle of Westmark, ultimately winning the battle as the uruks general. . . . As the Great Aevos Coaliton War ended, the uruk's position as Targoth also came to an end, with the uruk out of work, his home paying reparations, and in poverty. He would go on to travel around Aevos, killing, robbing, and defeating many people, including beings and monsters. . . . Apek'Gorkil's death would occur during a visit to Numendil, a great templar he had encountered many times before in the land of Minitz, who caught his eye when they both locked eyes. Apek had fought the man before, but nothing had come of it in the past. The fights always ended in a stalemate. Apek would end up dueling the great templar. He fought valiantly, but so did the templar. In the end, Apek was on his knees. The next moments, occurring in a flash, the templar would thrust an Azhl blade through the uruks helmet, slitting his face. It would all happen so fast—a guttural, raw scream that tore from his throat and resonated with pure agony would be the end of Apek.
  4. [!] An artists depiction of the landscape the travelers saw. Ralf Kanadia, and his long-time friend Henry Venlic II would find themselves exploring the continent of Aevos. The two, wishing to go visit the land of Kyo-Kuni found themselves a tad lost, watching as the landscape around them was one charred and corrupted. After much exploring of this strange terrain, the two travelers found themselves at a dark keep atop the ashy terrain. Thus, the two being the curious sort approached the keep, climbing up some scaffolding and started to cross the bridge towards the keep's entrance. The two would make it to the door, considering what their next move should be. While the two were thinking… Mori-Yu, a corrupted Hei-Zhu clambered down the walls of the wretched keep with a chilling agility. His glowing orange eyes glinted malevolently as he scrambled to stand upon the bridge, blocking the path of the two robed visitors who approached the keeps entrance. A twisted yellow grin spread across his grotesque face, revealing jagged teeth. “Unfamiliar…” The creature would utter towards the two. Henry Venlic, a seeker of knowledge and adventure greeted the towering monkey with a courteous nod. "Ah yes, unfamiliar to these parts, but you might have heard of me," He said. "I am Henry, proprietor of alchemical arts and knowledge, seeker of the arcane, and grand chef of sausage rolls." Ralf Kanadia, his companion, stood beside him, an elderly yet sturdy man with grey hair and a mustache. "We are but two travelers, seeking grandeur experiences." Ralf stated simply before introducing himself. "I am Ralf Kanadia, proprietor of Venlic's Retirement Home, seeker of power and knowledge, practitioner of the waltz, and assistant sausage roll maker.” From the shadows, Tezellion'uth's gravelly voice echoed, "Who in Ixiris' name are these creatures?" He would query, with the two adventurers re-introducing themselves in turn, with Ralf additionally explaining that the dark keep piqued their interest. "You are mistaken." Mori-Yu drawled in response. "You are not known to me." The hulking demonic ape rapped his knuckles against his chest. "I am Mori-Yu, Infernal Ape of Hexicanum, keeper of the moonlit flame, the last of the Chi Masters of The Poisoned Jungles." After some back and forth chatter, the monkey gave his club a few practice swings. "To enter, you must do combat." Tezellion'uth's eyes gleamed from under his hood demanding a fresh male corpse, his gaze affixed at the two travellers who dared tread upon the keeps grounds. It appeared that whether they wished to take the trial to enter or leave, fighting would be inevitable. Mori-Yu drew his shield out and gave his club another practice swing. "To enter, you must fight!" The demon boomed once more. Ralf, being shoved forward to fight the ape by Henry would draw his blade, challenging the monkey to his trial of combat. Mori-Yu huffed, growing impatient. Without waiting for a response, he launched himself forward, swinging his club in a wide arc. The blow sent Ralf flying against the wall, blood spurting from his mouth. Despite blocking the blow with his blade, the sheer veracity of the strike still rang true. The monkey would swing his club onto his shoulder, saving it for later, as he attempted to bring down his shield upon the elderly man’s head. "Now it's not nice to strike someone before they get their turn to fight back." Ralf murmured, coughing up more blood. "Now face my resolve." Summoning all his strength, he slashed at Mori-Yu's stomach, black ichor spurted from the wound, surprising the monkey. Despite the injury, the demonic monkey would succeed in making his mark, plunging his shield into the elderly man’s head. Enraged, Mori-Yu swung his kanabo down in an overhead arc, aiming to crush Ralf. Mori-Yu would find his swing unnecessary as the blow from the shield knocked Ralf unconscious, his corpse falling into the pit below, impaling the man on a spike. Mori-Yu, peered over the man to ensure Ralf wasn't up to any trickery. The old man's luck had run out, and with a final breath, Ralf's life would come to an end. Around the same time, Jasper the Jack lunged at Henry, wrapping his arms around him. Henry felt a searing pain, like hot needles beneath his skin, as his life was drained from him until all but a little bit was left. Henry would fall unconscious, and would be carried into the keep, swapping between the states of being consciousness and unconsciousness. During this time, The Venlic would see his dear friend and longtime companion dismembered and take a vow of revenge against them. Henry would later on be found by several dwarves in the Urguani Capital, unconscious. Rest In Peace, Ralf Kanadia [ 39 S.A. - 182 S.A. ]
  5. Perhaps, this is hell. Tchort wandered the putrid hallway, the silken, scarlet robe that once adorned his ravaged and scarred body in pride now completely ruined, devoid of its faux-divinity. His dirtied face ran red, two dark, scabbed spots where his eyes should be, a dried waterfall of blood running down his cheeks and neck, blending into cloth. His scarred hands ran across the pus-covered walls as he whispered his mantra without end. Your seat is stained my Lord, And your tears carmine red. A man is dead; a Prince is born, All men should die so a Court is born. All hail the King; A Prince of Nothing. Yilth’r Marog. His hands led him into an open room; a throne room, it would seem. He fell onto his knees with a weak thud, hands trailing across a damp, torn carpet that led further into the royal hall. Upon reaching what he deemed the throne, his frail figure rose, placing its’ mass upon the great stone chair. Within moments he saw once more; a sight without seeing, a vision without light. There he sat, atop a rotting chestnut chair, hands and feet nailed to the wood, yet he struggled not. The newly acquired vision led him to pace around the great hall, head frantically locking onto the nearby environment. With his feet he felt the ground, one not made of stone or plank, but gray ash and dead, wrinkled roots. His eyeless sight then trailed, seeking to find the source of such massive roots, yet they found nothing - nothing but a great, endless and dark void stretching in every direction. — The Prince was at peace, it seemed. A sigh of relief was given, as five figures then approached with a lazy step, each older and increasingly marred by scars than the one before it. Friederik, The Gelt, Horus, Ifan and Aesyr. The nailed man counted, each name spoken with a tremble, of both pleasure and terror. The figures stood a few feet before the chestnut chair, glancing at each other and sharing whispers, only occasionally shifting their gaze towards him, as if with disgust and admiration. They walked onwards after a short while, each passing by the chair, stopping momentarily as family members would before the coffin of a loved one. Tchort tried to move as they passed out of his vision, yet the chair stood stalwart, intent on staying in place. Nothing would help him now. As he turned to face forwards, an antique closet appeared in front, where the five men once stood. He looked down at his body, and the nails that bound him to the chestnut prison were gone. He rose, shaking and trembling as if he had not stood in years. With slow, irregular steps he made his way towards the closet, opening it. The inside was empty, save for a human’s left ear and left hand, laying in a small puddle of blood on the bottom. He knelt, hesitating if the offerings were to be picked up or left alone in their rest. The Prince signed the Cross, and stood back up. With a slow, jerky motion the closet was shut, and he moved back to sit atop his throne. The closet then changed into a visibly older one, and as the Prince noticed, he tried to stand, yet his hands and feet were bound by nails once more. The closet opened without a sound, revealing a man standing inside; A malnourished, contorted figure caked in dried blood and vomit, a descendant’s entrails hanging around his neck like a noose. With a heavy step the figure left the inside of the closet, and the martyr noticed that the other was missing his left hand and ear. — Tchort inhaled as to speak, and the figure spoke alongside him, word for word. Perhaps, this is home. It was then that a great urge arose within the man, and he could feel it rising within the standing manifestation of the Larian Wretch as well. With a final weep, a final look around the endless void, the duo began to sing a prayer. Oh black bird, Sing me your song of sorrows. Cardinal! Cardinal of midnight soot! What do you spy at the bottom of the well? Tchort felt a fire igniting beneath the seat, slowly pecking at his cold feet, as if he was nothing but carrion left for vultures. His fingers began to elongate, skull cracking and growing a snout, legs forming an extra joint. I see a weeping devil damning hell, Dancing, Dancing with its ghosts in its watery halls. A primal hunger took control over his body, and he thrashed, his jaws snapping at the man who only stood and observed, cracking lips singing, as did Tchort’s, involuntarily. It’s shadows sold, It’s children drowned, And it’s God, ever smiling? The skin began to melt, that inkling of flame transforming into a great pyre with Tchort at its center; his malformed, charred carcass screaming the remaining words of the song. O, little devil, crying in the well. Why do you weep, O why do you weep? Little devil, dying in the well.
  6. Audrina Amicia von Theonus S.A 87 - The First Seed S.A 182 The aged women had trouble deciding what was real or what was a puzzle piece from a previous memory trying to force itself into the present. Although making new memories were rather clouded at times, she would always relive the times she was with her parents, her cousin Alex, and half-brother Godric. It was too much so, she would begin to think the past was the present. Raised well in a humble house within the Reinmar settlement outside of Haense. Audrina recalls the times she spent running up and down the docks dodging the Waldenian Walrus that laid in the beaming, hot sun. Her moments where her nose was deep in her journal laying amongst the roses in the Rozenfield. Sometimes even picking them to give them as a gift to her lovely mother, Annette. If she wasn’t studying or gossiping with her kitty, Honey. She would receive defensive training from her father, Karl. Which did wonders for her as she grew older. Leading her down a path of being recruited into the knight's order within Minitz. Fulfilling most of her duties and trials until a message was sent from GOTT. One she could not ignore. Disappearing for decades on her quest. However, she couldn’t leave her duties with her family unfinished. As the confused, Waldenian woman made her way back to Petra. Returning to a new home once more, she gave her heirlooms to Therese von Theonus and Konstantin von Theonus, the two members who she saw as children of her own. Living a new day in the peace of retirement as she made her way down the dirt path, following a figure, unknowing that it would lead her to the Seven Skies. Only a single letter was left behind: OOC:
  7. The sounds of Pluck, Skrrrr, Pluck, Skrrrr became Rosemary's whole world in the past few years. Waiting as she had for over 50 years to take her to the seven skies had proven fruitless. Many things in the woman's life turned out that way, it was only to be expected. Needle in Pull the thread Needle out Knot Clip Repeat. Her veined arthritic digits worked slowly, painfully slowly as they sewed large patches of fabric together. Her room became a storehouse for all the colors of the rainbow, draped across every surface. Pluck, Skrrrrr, Pluck, Skrrrr Even as she felt her bones creak, her skin prick against the needle, her eyes unable to focus on the small stitching, she carried on. Magda, her handmaiden of elder age herself did other works. The diligent maid placed an order with the local carpenter for a large basket- the blacksmith for a metal basin. She sought cartons of oil and brought them back to Rosemary. Pluck, Skrrrrr, Pluck, Skrrrr Rosemary was never as good at sewing as her mother. Even now, her stitching was askew, jagged and unrefined. Her mother often sat at the dining room table in old providence, hand mending the never ending tears in Rose’s elder brother's wardrobe. Brothers- initially she had three. Two are the same as her blood, one adopted. So very different to each other, more tempestuous as their ages decreased with each addition. Rose was the baby for a long time, worry free as her brothers made sure she would be able to play without fear of the turbulent politics. They tried at least. Pluck, Skrrrr, Pluck, Skrrrr- Rosemary's hand paused, shaking as it released the needle and made its way to the loose skin around her neck. A choker necklace, frayed at the edges and dulled by wear. She wore it and others like it since she was the mere age of six. Seldom had been privy to the knowledge of why, and those who were told are long deceased. Even dear Magda had not seen the horrendous scar beneath the cloth, a gift from one she trusted, and one who wore green. Pluck, Skrrrrr, Pluck, Skrrrrr She grabbed another piece of fabric, attaching it to the last. Night would fall, day would rise, and she would sew. Her mind often wandered to long forgotten places. A dock, in the cold north of Norland. Red trees and mountains cradled the stone encampment resting upon the river. She held in her hands a rod, and a bucket sat beside her. A man of green cloth sat beside her- she thought for a moment to be afraid. Green had caused her scar, yet this green was kind, murmuring an explanation as he showed her how to cast her line. His hazel eyes met hers, their hues the same. Pluck, Skrrrr, Pluck, Skrrrr, Prick A spot of blood pooled from the elders finger, she reached for a box of bandages she had off to the side for this very reason. The pain was so minimal, she hardly cared anymore. There had been worse done upon her. “Filthy dirty commoner!” her hands dropped the bandage roll, her eyes clouding. “Commoner, Traitors blood runs through you!” crack. The girl's fists hurt, her cheeks burned, nose in a constant state of askew. It did not matter though, she was simply the henchwoman to the caller. Anastasya, she was the demon in Rosemarys young life. Princess Anastasya Barbanov would let her cousin Nikoletta do the dirty work. Rosemary knew why they disliked her, though she could not accept it. Eirik Baruch, her first friend. Whenever she was not being beaten by the girls, she was like a duckling to his side. He was kind to her, unlike many. Feelings beyond friendship kindled inside her soul, but how does a traitor's daughter of Oren be with the Heir to the Baruch name? She doesn't. Pluck, Skrrrrr, Pluck, Skrrrrr Anastasya and Eiriks' arranged betrothal was announced at his coming of age gathering. The entire ride home, she wailed to the sky's about how unfair it was. She did not choose to be born a commoner, she did not choose for her father to betray his nation and become a ferryman. She did not choose for that same father to be captured because of her. She decided then, she would stay away from Haense then on. Most of the pain she had experienced was done so in its borders, how foolish of her to not know that it simply follows her like a dark shadow. Haense, oren, it mattered not where she was. It loomed. Rosemary set down the cloth in her hands, a break was needed. She called Magda to bring her hot cocoa. The handmaid used to tease Rosemary for her childish tastes. A comfort the hot mug would bring to Rosemary as she recalled her eldest brother Samuel who would always buy her chocolate from beans n’ baubles. Samuel was the only one of her brothers she could talk to about her heartbreak. He was kind, comforting the broken teen girl that she was. He supported her as she set her mind to other things. As she reached adulthood, she opened an aquarium shop, and was introduced to a young man one moon younger than herself. The mug grew cold in her hands, and she set it to the side after but two sips. She chose not to remember that man's face anymore, though she could never forget his piercing blue eyes. Rosemary chose to only remember the outcome of marrying him. Two children, and a new father. Rev Vuiller was more of a father than her own ever was, and especially her stepfather who did not even see her as his own daughter. The scholarly man often chimed to others that Rose was his favorite daughter, and everytime it warmed her heart. She loved her Pa, and he loved her as his own. She picked up the fabric once more. Pluck, Skrrrrr, pluck, Skrrrrr Vuillermoz. Her new home, one far larger than she could ever dream of having. Her husband, the heir and her daughter a spunky girl. She often found herself chasing the little one around new providence, the child on adventures with her cousin. She never wanted their world to be rocked by war, but it would be twice. Rose did not involve herself in politics, nor could she even recall the reasons for the first of the wars. She knew it had to do with her adopted uncle Duncan, and if her memory served, a goat. Or was it a sheep? Eitherway, it took her mother and brothers away many times to the battlefront. It never felt too close though, too real. She still ran her shop, and apart from a minor fire caused by a raid, she was untouched by the conflict. But her brother was not. “SAMUEL!” She cried in front of the grave site daily. Thrown from a bridge by a man in green. The greens, the ferrymen, her friends, her enemies, her uncles in bandanas. How cruel was it to have your own brother killed by those you learned so much from, even if in secret. They could never be trusted. Pluck, Skrrrrr, Pluck, Skrrrrr Rosemary had become barren after having her second born, Samuel. He was premature, labor induced by a traumatic fall whilst helping her young brother in law. He was born blue, unmoving. She thought it so cruel how the world would take her child so soon after her brother. But she saw him, the red coat from the corner of her eyes and the soft hazel eyes. Her baby would live, though weakly. Pluck, Skrrrr. The second war could not be avoided by Rosemary, for it came knocking at her door with the force of a platoon of soldiers. It had been less than a day since the announcement of a rebellion, of the start of the brothers' war. A misinterpreted message brought Prince Fredericks' army to Vuillermoz where only Rosemary, her daughter, her cousins' babies and her daughter's cousins rested. They spared no pity towards the unarmed women. Bleeding from an arrow in her flank, she finally heard her mothers voice call out, pleading with the army. Everything would be alright, her mother was here and surely more would come right? “What are you doing, mother” “Saving you” They stood in the sitting room of the keep, blood and bodies all around. Her mothers husband, her mother, and her. “You side with those who did this!” “TO SAVE YOU!” “Get out” Rosemary had never shown such disgust. Her mother was with those who did this. She let them into the keep, she caused the slaughter of those lying around them, those who had truly come to save her. The blood of Ivan var Ruthern was on her hands, and in a way, rosemarys. She was the reason her mother had access to this keep. Who would suspect the future vicountess’s mother of such heinous crimes? “You are no mother of mine” Pluck, skrrr, pluck, skrrrrr BOOM The war was lost, and so was Vuillermoz. Rather than allow the new king to occupy the keep, Pa had chosen to obliterate it instead. Bundles of dynamite made short work of something so safe at first. They hadn't even finished scrubbing the blood from the stonework. They traveled a long distance, south past Urguan, across the sea. Finally, they could travel no more and sought refuge at the spring of St Lothar in the deserts of Almaris. They had nothing but the clothes on their backs, but she kept on for the sake of her growing children and her Pa. They were all she had left. It seemed like a dream. Long hard years turned the desert into an oasis. Their family took up within one of the largest residences in the grand duchy, her pa taking his place as the duke's right hand. It was comfortable, albeit hot. The past seemed like a long distant nightmare. It was hot here though, too hot “JOHANNE!” flames lapped the residence of the Aquilae. Her pregnant daughter was trapped on the top floor, head gasping for fresh air from the window. She called back frantically “Father, where's father!” Rosemary knew where her husband was. She had passed the charred body on her way to the upper floors. “Don't worry about him, he is fine” she would lie. Grief gripped her heart, She thought perhaps the fire had started because he was making her one of her favorite sweets, as she always asked him to do. But something felt off. STAB, Skrrrr, STAB, Skrrrrr She found the note, as the ashes settled. She wanted to scream, cry, plead. How could he do this? After all she had done. She kept his secrets, fed him. The bony hands stabbed through the fabric, ripping it. Rosemary came to her senses, muttering about wasted cloth. She had thought about it- accidentally leaving an oil lamp alit beside a curtain as she slept. But she was a coward, too scared of death yet yearning for it so deeply. Envy, envy, envy. Letters upon letters came year after year, at first almost a cascade, but slowly dwindling to a drip. Each carried a black seal, a name crossed out of her pocketbook. First was her mother. She had reconciled not long before the letter came, connecting over the shared hatred of her stepfather, and Primrose’s now ex-husband. A fire had broken out in the Gendik residence, and a body was found. All Rosemary could do was laugh, a dark abysmal misery befalling her. It had been a year since her husband's untimely departure. Her skin grew thinner, wrinkles and gray hairs looked back at the young hazel eyed girl she expected in the mirror. The vanity accumulates black stamped letters year after year. Not even her grandchildren could bring the elder from her room tucked away at the back of the estate. It was a miracle Magda was able to pry her from her seat when the mori overran the continent. What would it be like, to watch them break down the door and end her suffering? She would never know, her handmaid had other plans. There was little change, once she settled into Portoregne. She oft looked out the window, towards the sky. How exhilarating would it be to touch the clouds once more within a basket, carried by a colorful balloon? Vuillermoz had always had a hot air balloon. Her husband proposed to her in one. But not here, the tradition had died with her Pa Rev. Magda had inquired on her behalf a couple times to local artisans, though the concept was unknown or too intimidating to most. Pluck, skrrrr, pluck, skrrrr The pieces of fabric came together after years of toiling. Bandages covered Rosemary's thin skin from the constant prick of the needle. Magda paid some local boys to assemble the basket and heating apparatus. The balloon’s cloth was a shabby affair, it would be a miracle if it even held air. Slowly, the handmaiden let rosemary outside to the coast, the hot air balloon already inflated and held to the ground by a rope. Rose smiled as she looked at the cloth. Magda had stitched the pattern of Aquilae on it behind Rosemary's back. She withdrew her hand from Magda’s arm. “Finally, finally” she wheezed, stumbling towards the basket in her haste. Magda did not stop her, nor help her further. The maid watched sadly as her mistress beamed with a joy not found since her childhood within the candy store of beans n’ baubles. “Magda, come here” she called, and the maid obeyed. The servant was handed a book “Please make copies of this, and give them to Duke Johann Vuiller, and Laurelai Holly. Do with the rest of the copies as you wish, it matters not to me anylonger.” Magda looked at the books title, ‘Rose’s wilt’. Below the title read ‘The Autobiography of Rosemary Cooper, Gendik, Vuiller’. FWOOOSSHHHHHHH Magda looked up from the leather bound tome to see the basket rising. She had not noticed the elder had tossed the binding rope from the undercarriage, releasing the tether. Rosemary did not look back, only forwards across the ocean she set as her path. “Samuel” she smiled ear to ear. After a short time of watching the balloon fly into the sky above the waters, the balloon was seen to rip apart. Down, down the colorful rainbow fell, a speck in the distant skys of the horizon. It took several days for the currents to bring the basket and waterlogged cloth to shore. It was no wonder the stitching failed, it was a miracle to have worked at all. A simple announcement from the duchy of Aquilae was sent out once the basket was recovered. A simple announcement from the duchy of Aquilae was sent out once the basket was recovered. Rosemary Vuiller 1828-1978 Daughter of Primrose Gendik and Arlo Cooper Wife to Kristian Vuiller Mother to Johanne Vuiller and Samuel Ludovar Grandmother to 12 Great Grandmother to 11 Great Great Grandmother to 11 Great Great Great Grandmother to 7 “Even a traitors daughter can one day become beloved"
  8. 𝓛𝓪𝓼𝓽 𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓒𝓪𝓿𝓪𝓵𝓲𝓮𝓻𝓼 It was an early hour when the Knight of Midden arrived upon horseback at the delivery of his first born and only son. His wife, Sophia, having bore the brunt of an excruciating childbirth lay still moving with the babe in her arms upon a small bed at a local tavern somewhere in the south Middlands. It was true Radmir was no outlaw, in fact those who took refuge in the Exilic Kingdom still remembered him fondly despite his unforeseen political movements; still he was hunted, twice he had fought off bandits upon the road claiming to fight for the falsely purported dead at Johannesburg. The man swiftly dismounted and lurched to his wife, while he was gravely saddened and even heartbroken Montalt men did not cry- he was taught such with swift beatings from his father the “Cow Count.” With his wife dying and newborn barely uttering noise he whimpered from his grizzled figure to her. “You did well, my dearest love. Godan has for you a seat at his bountiful table. Me and Mickael will join you there when he deem it right.” Warmly, she smiled as he patted her head; he had entrusted the ancestral blade to his brother- when it was time his son would wield it. All the while Radmir made to give the servant girl his son to keep safe while he spoke with his wife. It was not known if Radmir was ill, but in private words with his wife he spake of the future of the family- and the continued effort to restore hope to their line. Either through failing health, or upon finding out that his wife was Hyspian and therefore his son was “half-hyspian” Radmir suffered a heart attack following his wife’s departure from this earth. His final words are said to be: “Hyspian?- grahh ahhh-“ He was forty years of age. Death Poem: Murder, I did not Steal, I had not even thought Though my home remains in ash, And my enemies strike my people with their lash. Dearest GOD on high, if not your servant, what am I? To fight for a lost cause, to face servants of IBLEES claws? Such devotion I hold, alone, true. For my love was not for country, glory, or honor; It was for you.
  9. Peace at Last (PK) ☩ When he awoke, the world was hazy. Waclaw Jazlowiecki descended from his bedroom in Nowa Warsovia, his limbs moving as if through syrup. He was dying, this much he knew. It had been a long time coming, he could only elude the embrace of eternity for so long. His mind began to wander, the events of his life playing out once more in his mind. Faces not seen so long they had almost been forgotten wormed their way into his memory once more. Scenes long since relegated to dreams and nightmares, re-enacted in a shadowy pantomime. He- -ran along a bustling city street, eager to catch up with his companions. “Eloise, Isa, wait up!” He called after them, lagging behind but running as fast as his five year old legs would carry him. “Hurry it up, Ginger!” The blonde girl called back. “We’re all meeting at the fountain!” His brothers, Aleksander and Witold, had teased him relentlessly for befriending girls, but he didn’t care, if Aleks tried anything Waclaw could just put him in the mud. Again. He rounded one more corner in Minitz, coming to a stop at the fountain and taking a deep breath. He- -held his sword tightly, looking up at his Father. Swords flashed against firelight in the night, steel clanging against steel in the all-too familiar cacophony of battle. This was… Adria. He would have recognized the surrounding city anywhere. It was the site of his first battle, after all. Men cut down in fruitless assaults on the castle, Adrians slaughtered in counterattacks, all culminating in the final, desperate sally that pushed the men of Haense and Aaun from the city. The twelve year-old boy had done his duty that day though, and most of the blood on his armor was not his. He- -cringed as the Mori’quessir cannon blasted another chunk of the wall away. He was running out of cover. He had come up to Norland against all common sense to help his friend Rosalind in, what he hoped, would stem the tide of the growing invasion of Almaris. It appeared increasingly hopeless as yet another chunk of wall disappeared in a clash of stone and iron. “PULL BACK FROM THE WALLS!” A voice rang out. A scared, desperate voice. They were all scared, he supposed, some were just better at hiding it. He didn’t want to be scared, he hated that he was scared, but these Legionnaires seemed damn near invincible. Then, almost as if on cue, a hulking figure crossed into his view, a Dreadknight- a creature of nothing but armor and foul magic. They all pulled back towards the gate of the city, making a final stand by a massive tree. He needed to survive this, to get back home. After all, his father- -Gestured to Waclaw from the Comital throne of Warsovia. “And so-” His father’s powerful voice rang out throughout the packed hall. “-I am, as of today, abdicating in favor of my eldest son, Waclaw Jakub Jazlowiecki.” Waclaw, only fourteen, was taken completely by surprise and made his way to the foot of the throne that was, inexplicably, his. “Friends, citizens, and all gathered today-” He began apprehensively. “-I was not expecting this honor. However, I accept it. I will lead our people into a new chapter. An era of peace and prosperity. I gratefully honor the trust you all have placed in me and will do my utmost to ensure that my reign is a Boon- -LOAD UP THAT PLATE!” His cousin called over the sound of battle below. They were in Karosgrad, holding the Harbor gate against the Mori assault. Yet another infantry formation was reduced to paste by the combined cannonfire provided by the Lechian Artillerymen. Things were going… refreshingly smooth. Nation after nation had fallen, and Haense was the last human nation worth defending that remained free. Four years passed since he first fought them in Norland and he had fought in damn near every battle since. Exactly one positive thing had come in the last few years- Isavella. She had gone missing while hunting and only recently stumbled back home. He… had been holding onto feelings for her. If he made it out of this, he’d act on them. But first he had to survive this fight. “Aleks!” He called. “Swing to the right! We need to hammer that damn siege bug!” The cannon fired once more, right into the mouth of the Devourer of Dobrov, causing the monstrous creature to flee underground with a shriek. They had bought themselves even longer to ensure the evacuation’s success. With a nod of satisfaction, he wiped the sweat and grime from his face. “Right. Now for the next problem.” He sighed. The Count of Warsovia- -stared out over the Failor countryside, the township slowly rising around them. After narrowly surviving the Fall of Almaris, he had begun working with the house Ivanovich to build a new home in safety, away from the hell that their continent had become. The Lecho-Raev Commonwealth had been an experiment for him, the first real test of his leadership, one he’d liked to believe he passed with flying colors. Nonetheless, he couldn’t shake the feeling- -Of nervousness growing in the pit of his stomach as he stood before Karl and Annette, Isavella’s parents. “I… would ask your blessing to marry Isavella.” He finally said. They had been courting, both officially and not, since just after the Battle of Karosgrad, and he decided it was finally time to make it official. He was nervous, however, until the older Waldenian man smiled and the woman embraced him. “Treat her right.” Karl requested, a command Waclaw had no intention of disobeying. He nodded- -“I do.” He said to the priest, holding his Isavella’s hand as the priest performed the rites of marriage. His eyes flicked out over the small crowd in the chapel, family and friends. Eloise, Calla, Theoderic, Artel… all people he was honored to have at his side. “Then-” the priest began. “-I now pronounce you husband and wife.” Waclaw smiled and leaned in, sealing the ceremony with a kiss. Isavella was his wife. Despite being a hardened veteran of a dozen battles already, he felt giddy. He- -smiled proudly, holding the squirming infant, his and Isavella’s first child. They had named her Roza, after Rosalind who they both had believed died a few years before. He would make sure this child of theirs would make sure never knew the chaos and war they did. She would live in a time of peace and happiness. After all, the role of a parent was to ensure their child lived a better life than they did. And, god- -As my witness, I will dutifully serve the Crown of Aaun to my utmost for as long as I live.” He repeated alongside the other two men knelt before their King. Their ruler smiled at the three. “Rise, knights of Aaun. May you hold your oaths.” Waclaw felt a sense of satisfaction as he accepted the title, knowing he had done his part. Two decades of fighting battles for King and Country. Things had been moving steadily uphill for both him and his country since they had first settled on Aevos, and now he was at the apex of his life. He knew not what the future held, but he would take it in stride. He had his duty to perform, and he would see it done even if it cost his life. The- -smell of the dead bodies littering the streets of Whitespire was nearly overwhelming. The scene inside the Council chambers had been predictably terrible. King Edmund, Waclaw’s cousin Heinrich, his friend and commander Leopold, all dead. Betrayal and blind fury grappled within his mind as he roamed the blood-soaked streets. Light glinted off something familiar. No… it couldn’t be. However, unwillingly, he moved to investigate the object. Much to his horror, it… it was. His wife’s necklace, a gift he had given her. A third emotion entered the brawl for control of his mind. Anguish. He cradled his wife’s body, holding her wordlessly as tears, long since thought dried up, began to flow. How would he explain this to their children? Roza was practically attached at the hip to her mother, a veritable clone but without Isavella’s ferocity. Krzysztof would likely take it better, but… there’s no way to take news of your mother’s death well. He sheathed his sword- -coming to a standstill next to his King, John of Aaun. Veletz, the successor of Adria, and likely ultimate mastermind of the attempted coup that had claimed the lives of so many, was finally surrendering after a long and brutal war. With this foe gone, maybe he could finally rest. War had been what he knew, what he had excelled at even, but now he just felt… empty. Like a bowl long since drained of any contents. Some vestiges of what once were remained, but he was, for lack of a better word, finished. He had instructed that his notice of abdication be published after the Veletzian capital was demolished, and he intended to make full use of his retirement. He- -reached the bottom of the stairs. He was old by now. Older than any member of his family that he had truly known. He sat himself down in a chair by the fire and reached for a quill and parchment. He began to write, excising in detail his final goodbyes to those he was leaving behind. His hand wasn’t cooperating nearly as much as he’d like. He felt tired, fog beginning to cloud his vision. He shook his head, clearing it slightly. If he fell asleep now, he wouldn’t wake up. He wrote as if he had no more time left which, in honesty, he didn’t. The last letter finally finished and sealed, he sighed and relaxed. The quill fluttered to the floor beside him. He took a breath and smiled. And he knew peace. Requiescat In Pace: Waclaw Jakub Jazlowiecki (1908-1973) The Following letters are addressed and delivered in private, do not metagame this information. To Krzysztof Jazlowiecki ( @Traveller): To Calla and Eloise von Theonus ( @carebear& @Rosey): To Marisol Solis ( @beetle): ----------------------
  10. TW: Suicide, Emotional Writing _____________ Outside of the remains of a once great kingdom, one might find a letter with no address. __________ To Those Who Remain, To my remaining friends, this is my final farewell. It’s time for me to leave this realm, with a heart full of broken promises. I am Enomi Dravnu, former noble of a far away kingdom, former resident of Nor’asath. Both of my homes have been lost, with nothing left but ashes and loneliness, it was not meant to be. I am Enomi Dravnu, former partner to a suicide victim, former partner to a man who went missing. Both who had promised not to leave me behind, but both have forgotten their promises. It was not meant to be. I am Enomi Dravnu. When I first arrived in Nor’asath, I was a broken girl with little hope. The time I had spent there was some of the best time of my life. I finally had a place I belonged, where everyone could accept me regardless of my birth. I was truly happy. Regardless of me looking different from my family. Alas, good things do not last, as it was not meant to be. Despite that, I did my best to continue to bring happiness to the land I now called my home. But it was not meant to be, as the remains of an abandoned kingdom were simply crushed by a meteor, a meteor who did not worry about what it’s destruction might do to the poor souls who considered it’s target their only home. Their only source of comfort. Their only source of camaraderie. Alas, it was not meant to be. All that remains is the memory of burning flesh. All that remains is the broken promises of those I loved, of those who left. All that remains is a broken soul, a tired soul. A soul that simply wishes to rest. I’m sorry to those who remain, but do not weep for me. My time in the mortal realm was never meant to last. Instead, embrace those you hold dear to you. Keep your promises. As for me, I’ll finally be moving on to my final chapter. As the water fills my lungs, I’ll be swept away to a better land. Those same waters who brought me to Nor’asath in the first place. Those same waters who doomed me to lose yet another place I called home. I won’t lie to you all, I’m scared. But fear has become a constant to me. Fear of heights, fear of storms, fear of losing people, fear of being alone, fear of scaring others away. Alas, I cannot run from my fears. The only path left is blocked by fear, after all. What other choice do I have but overcoming it? At last, this is my final farewell to you all. I truly hope you are able to live a life happier than mine, more fulfilled than mine. A life with those you love. Please, for my sake, hold them close. That’s my final wish as my soul makes its way to Star’gush. From Your Friend, 𝕰𝖓𝖔𝖒𝖎 𝕷𝖔𝖆'𝖈𝖍𝖎𝖑 𝕯𝖗𝖆𝖛𝖓𝖚
  11. The Falling of A Blue Salvia _____________________________________________ The 18th of the Amber Cold As the Blue Salvia Flower falls, a story would be shown as to Meira Kervallen-Elmwood's true colors. *A flashback through her life unfolds before her eyes from start to finish as if she would be no more.* Meira had a struggle for her life going on adventures, going places, seeing things, having fun, and doing some pranks as a child. Growing up in a happy family, she was shown her true, colors for the first time as a child. "I see pink! Pink is all I see mat'er! 'nd a little bit of blue too!" Her mother turns to her after performing some sort of a spell and asks "W'at do ye' see now?" Meira's mother questioned Meira. "I... I don't know w'at t'ese colors are." She'd reply to her mother. Her mother then pointed to each color and told her each color until it was time to go out and about, the spell went away and all she saw, was pink again. She went on with her life as she saw it in her normal state, but sadly never saw purple as a colorful color. She grew up in her life fighting for her home and friends. Friendship was the only thing that meant anything to her to those who knew her well. She had a bow custom-made to her. She bought it from the man not knowing who the individual was officially. And to this day always brought it, and never missed a single shot when wielding the bow as her main weapon. She was a proud archer, fighting for her pride, fighting for what she thought was right, fighting for what she believed in. She was the best among all those wielding a bow. However, things changed a lot when she followed her mother's dream. She took over Ravenmire, to follow her mother's belief and try to bring pride onto the lands to make things enjoyable. Always was happy, always working around, and was always busy but able to help those in need. She needed help choosing who to help her as her delegation. Though who better to go to than her friends, including the one who made her, her primary weapon. At that point, things kicked off fast and everything went to plan as she then ventured on making more and more friends. She made friends across the lands far and wide, though she was always able to make time shooting with her favorite bow. Before leaving for good, she was able to shoot her arrow once more at target ranges and moving animals. Though something, took her by surprise, causing her to fall limp in a pool of her very own red ichor that had poured out of her. Her amber-colored eyes shutting as she was passing knowing her time had come and now onto her new adventure. Now seeing her fellow fallen friends, as she entered into the land of the fallen, she would show each and every one of them a smile from ear to ear, as she had always shown to nearly everyone. The background being in her favorite color, cotton candy pink, with her blue outline popping out in the background. Down came what appeared to be a rain of blue Salvia flowers as she looked about. She heads further into the fallen pink lands, and turns around offering a gentle hand to the next person to join her, saying "Trust me, it will be okay!" in her cheery way with a smile to them... whoever it might be. Then continue forth to an edge and fall to be among the flowers of that she truly adored in life in all of their true colors. _____________________________________________ In Ravenmire, her will would be sent out to her family and friends by a raven as a symbol it is from Ravenmire. ((OOC: Only those who are pinged or named or a part of ther group/family is part of can read those sections of the will.)) To Bo Rostova @moosehunter123@Aces__1, To Hacket Hemoss @Hacket, To Kelton Thorne @RedResult, To The Rex of The IronHorde, Klog'Akaal @LobsterLarry, To Vlachia @chaotikal, To The Kervallen Family Far and Wide, @KaptainScarlet@ECS1999@Lmcfc@Snow1770 To The Valiant Seekers @Roguechaotic, To The Entirety of Rhosmark @mojanghunter, _____________________________________________ Now everything below this message is OOC. This is just my goodbye from LoTC entirely. I'd like to thank everyone that I have roleplayed with and around and even those I have talked to only in ooc manners. I enjoyed the roleplays I have encountered, the ones on stream and off streams. Unfortunately, I realized I cannot stream LOTC very well, and streaming is what I wish to do. I will admit, I have gone through the good times and the hard times on this server, but with every beginning, is an end. To all those I have wronged, I am deeply sorry that I have wronged you in any way shape, or form. This is my goodbye from lotc, honor is honor and I wish this gets passed around, hold your honor above everything else, this is just a game to be fair. Who knows, maybe I will come back in the future to have fun, if I have lost all motivation in my future or something exciting is happening. I stress this part heavily though, do not be afraid to be perma-killed, sure you lose items you gained on the persona, but your persona's legacy still lives on to those you interacted with. Do not be the 15 thousand death warrior NL that never perma-kills, takes all the fun out of roleplay. We all want enjoyable roleplay, so make it more enjoyable, make it better than what it is right now. I believe that you all can do it. Speacial shoutout and respect to all you fellow military veterans, active duty, guard, and reservists (Yes Space Force and Coast Guard counts lol), y'all are the real ones, and glad to call you a brother, sister, and everything around. HUA - Heard, Understood, Acknowledged, and I hope every day you all come home safe and enjoy life as it is tough. With all that said, for the last time, peace out, stay safe, and have a great time on lotc!
  12. When Luck Runs Out [PK] Ser Audo Weiss ‘The Raven’ 96 SA - 174 SA, 14th of The Deep Cold “War!” Forceful was the demand made by the raven-haired boy with ice-blue eyes: the young, lean and scrawny visage of the eldest Weiss child. He opted to toss a dragon figurine at his brother and raise a terrible metal-cored training sword bestowed to him by king Karl III from the local Von Draco smith. Focusing his aim through his glasses, he set his sights on the eldest of his younger brothers. The steps began with a light thunk, then heavier ones as he crossed the modified, open space of the Weiss mansion in Karosgrad: two houses forcibly merged by the Ambition of their father as they masqueraded in faux-noble wealth. “No.” Came a simple reply as the dragon toy scraped to a stop against the brother’s foot. Raising a finger to turn a page, the brother flicked it over without raising his gaze. However, he could feel the boy’s discontent as the thunks silenced only a step or two away. Only then did his eyes break from the written pages to his older brother, “Audo, you always beat me and you’re always the soldier. It bruises and hurts.” With a sharp intake of breath, Audo considered retorting but relinquished his fixation when understanding of the plight set in. “...Okay.” His sword lowered in defeat as silence fell between the two. Unsettled by it, Audo shifted. However, his younger brother seemed comfortable as his gaze, satisfied, returned to the page. The ooze of silence continued, until Audo asked: “Whatcha reading, Viktor? We haven’t been out - where’d you even get a new book?” His steps strode over as he leaned all-too-close to Viktor in an effort to see the book. The colourful illustrations almost seemed alive, with a little monkey and his strange, magic adventure seeming little more than something amusing to pass the time for children their age. “The Great Sage,” Viktor responded, though his shoulders rose and fell in an indecisive shrug, “Someone dropped it.” Peering at his brother incredulously, Audo began to frown. “You stole it.” A sharp motion finally came from Viktor as his head snapped up. “No, I didn’t.” “Yes, you did!” “No, I didn’t!” Swivelling on his feet, Audo then yelled: “Papej!” He called, and continued – louder - at the lack of notably reply: “PAPEJ, VIKTOR STOLE A BOOK!” Silence. Then, grizzled, Felix Weiss emerged from the closest stairwell with a heavy-headed boot upon the floor. Having returned the night before, late, bloodied and battle-worn, he’d closed himself away the rest of the evening and for the better part of the day. His gaze dragged to the bickering boys, then to the shredded, strained infernal banner that adorned their wall. His gaze lingered as the bickering grew, until the noise became like an incessant itch: “Enough!” His voice seemed to rattle the house to the children, and each fell deathly quiet. One thunk, then two, then three sounded as his boots crossed the floor in a steady, persistent rhythm - observing the two. “He stole it!” Audo then piped suddenly, the first to break silence as an accusatory finger cast towards Viktor. “A strange blue man in the street dropped it.” Viktor followed, “He let me have it!” Audo became more incensed by the added details, opening his mouth to continue to prater. “Ah,” Came Felix’s drawl, “Keep it.” Audo’s gaze turned to their father, wide. “Sounds like Wright.” He moved a hand over to pat Viktor, who simply gave a hint of a smile at the decision. “A strange one; he does do strange things.” Strange it was, perhaps a guiding hand or perhaps a warning for what lay ahead. A road of magic and the incomprehensible would follow the family. And, ultimately, become part of the fall of a hero. “Tonight, there will be no civilians.” A foreboding rumble rippled across the skies as Felix Weiss made some final adjustments to his son’s – and heir’s – helmet. A boy just the age of nine. An unintentional knock led to the young boy struggling to unclasp the helmet to right the fragile glasses that sat beneath. Audo Weiss had his reservations about the oncoming siege. Everyone could feel it coming and each day, each hour, each minute that passed crept ever-closer to battle. A primal fear rotted in his gut – one of getting hurt. He’d seen many times how his father had returned home ghostly and crimson. And yet, death was foreign. However, he had confidence in his father in only a way a child could. And then there was the thought, a foolish yet persistent one, that this was his chance: his chance to help papej be free of his turmoil. Gruelling and unforgiving, the battle on the Eastern front had been slow and chaotic. One could describe the entanglement as a battle of wills. When one side was pushing, a stubborn counter-attack would push right back. Amidst this, Audo had a place even if it was, at best, sketchy. In formation he could barely keep up a shield that matched him in height. Underequipped, he had no spear to effectively contribute to the backlines. It would be of no surprise that even though he fought alongside the likes of Sebastien de Savoie and Aleksandr var Ruthern, aiming for the legs as Dame Tarvisha Markov had taught him, the boy was woefully outclassed. Despite this, he aided in felling two inferi invaders and never broke rank. Given his small stature and the much greater threats around, he had been pushed and shoved – thrown, even – but no inferi had seen fit to swing their gargantuan warhammers and greatswords upon him. Perhaps he was battered and bruised, but he had come out of the thick of the battle rather well for wear, aside from being black and blue and having lost his glasses. As Karl III danced with the Prince of Carrion behind of the hill, Audo Weiss – only able to make out the blurred world beyond his shattered glasses – sobbed in the single remaining arm of his father as he was passed a flask of Carrion Black and, later, he would cry into the arms of his only friend, Veronica de Pelear. Death was now a neighbour. “I WANT TO BE A HERO!” The deep bellow fanned out from the roof of the Knight’s Keep where Ser Vladimir ‘Hothand’ and his newly accepted page stood. Raising his hands to fiddle with the goofy white goggles that sat about his neck, Audo stared at the man – an adult – with bewilderment. Though that soon gave way to a smile then an unfamiliar giggle as the puerile notion resonated in some walled-off depths of the child. How long had it been since he had laughed? In the presence of this fearsome warrior, this knight, he could for there were no inferi to infest his thoughts under his wing. “What?” He blurted out through his chuckles. “That’s not a reason to be a knight!” “Of course it is. Heroes protect people.” The knight replied nonchalantly, pulling his gaze away from the distant walls of the Red Gem to peer down at the boy of ten. A thoughtful silence settled before he then asked: “In chess, what is the most important piece?” “The king.” Came a prompt reply, draped in a naïve innocence but also an eager energy. A dip of Ser Vladimir’s head signalled a confirmation. “And who is the king we protect?” Audo’s brows furrowed in thought as the question presented an obstacle. “The… people?” He answered tentatively. Subtly curling, the lips of the Knight portrayed a hint of amusement. “Close.” All except the wind fell silent, for the boy was stumped. In his own experience and juvenile perspective, he had no concept of how precious children like himself were. Thus far, he had been a tool to defend an abstract concept of The Future; he was blind to how he could be it. However, this blindness did not limit him forever. Gradually, in the years to come, Ser Vladimir would chip away at the blockages in Audo’s view until the answer became apparent to him much later down the line. Children were the future and Audo would see to it that they were protected and, in turn, taught to protect others and themselves. “You will be Great. I see it in you.” Felix Weiss declared off-handedly, yet with such unshakeable certainty. His eldest son sat by him at their family dining table, listening and learning. Such words passed through Felix’s lips like water, yet they were boulders. Time and time again he would repeat such grand claims with practiced ease. Greatness. What was greatness to a boy of twelve? Was he great because he was warded under his Serene Highness, future king Georg I? Was he great because, as cupbearer, his life was a shield for that of king Karl III? Was he great because he was a veteran or perhaps because he had undertaken the path of Knight? Did greatness rest in politically representing his family? Or, perhaps, the investment he’d made in helping to raise his younger siblings with an overworked father and a long-gone mother deserved the description of ‘great’? Or, maybe, greatness would lay only in his future as patriarch. Whatever the answer, the weight of expectation would remain heavy. In war, every battle became his battle. In politics, every ladder rung became a necessity. In family, every failure was his own. “Vy will refer to ea as Ve Bandit King Overlord I ve High Bandit Order!” Audo grinned with a staggering amount of overconfidence as Princess Veronica de Pelear resigned herself to the role of Bandit Minion for the next full day. Over the years, the two had shown themselves to be an inseparable pair. Yet still fresh from the days of being a commoner, the baronial heir carried himself in an abrasive yet charmingly worldly way. His tendencies had a way of endearing adults and, yet, despite his dabbles in other friendships he failed to find many close long-time friends beyond that of the princess. Iskra, ever-distant, was wary of the lawful authority Audo wielded as a member of the brotherhood. Carice von Augusten Audo certainly considered a friend, though later misplaced trust would shake his confidence even under his own future roof. Eirika gave some glimmer of friendship if it was peered at through a murky lens. Regardless, time was always thin for Audo and not enough could be given to sustain a high-born girl of such energy. Sir Milonir of Whitehall – a disgusting boy of acne and stench and debt – did indeed, later, go from admiring Audo to being his best friend. However, what true friendship they had was marred by a feeling of bitter betrayal, forever relegating the once close friendship to one of utility. Ki’el certainly shared a connection at times. The men were good to each other – looked out for each other. And yet the diverging lives of each brother-in-arms led to tragedy and yet another betrayal. Ki’el’s capture and execution was personal. Another friend would not be found for decades to come: Demitrey Novikov. Once a simple brother-in-arms met on the battlefield, the two would kindle a friendship which Audo would find profoundly similar to that of Sir Milonir. Perhaps if they had met earlier, a closer bond would have been forged, and though Audo cared for the man a certain professionalism was pervasive in their relationship. But, then, as the Ambition of each family grew, Demitrey proved never to forget their bond – an act so profound that Audo carried his gifted cane from the moment it passed hands until the moment he was felled. So, Veronica was always special. She had seen his tears and his joys. She lived through his complications and problems. She helped him build a better life. She helped him be a better man. They spat and argued, and at times drifted as life weighed unforgiving on their minds, and their suffering festered. Although time and duty dragged Audo from the likes of giving gifts and letters, on occasion grand gestures were made apparent, not the least of all in his lengthy endeavor of acquiring Pablo, the panda Veronica came to love. She was there from the beginning but did not see his end. Her loss to the Veletz League was grating on many, and the proceeding failure of the De Pelears to notify him of their intent left a resounding sourness in him. And though he doubted he could, he released the paper lantern she desired at her funeral – albeit, having climbed high and after many had departed. As it drifted away on the winds, Audo reflected on her words to take care of himself. How terrible he was at that task, but with aid from Demitrey and even his usually spiteful son, Walter, he found a path forward. One day, they would dance again. “**** duty.” Audo’s mouth fell slightly agape at the words of the king as he languidly sprawled upon the bed in his chambers, listening to the young man drivel and struggle between ideals of love and responsibility. And then, it was Audo’s turn to listen as Georg I relayed the story of his love for his first queen, Esfir. A speech and talk quite unlike that which Audo would expect where in equal parts responsibility and duty came to be but obstacles between the two. Although Audo failed to grasp the emotional resonance of the king in the moment, his encouragement proved vital in lieu of a trusted guide to courtly romance. “Take a year to travel the world – it lets the hearts entwine.” The king eventually bid, “And listen to the whispers of your heart.” With his peace said, Georg waved his ward from his chambers with a waft of his hand. And so Audo listened, learned, and promptly undertook the challenge of courting Princess Veronica which eventually blossomed into marriage, with an underlying sense of unfulfilled adventure. Though in all their years together never did they find the right year to travel the world. “Take this to remind yourself of the man tu will not be.” Maria held an outstretched piece of shattered glass to the young man, now finding his own path in life, who sat pushed back into the wall, shaking and weak. Vomit splattered down his chest-plate in runny chunks, his feet crunched on glass shards, his eyes and lungs burnt from whiskey forced into them from what should have been a guiding hand. Drunk, the alcohol in his system rendered his thoughts a muddle, yet he felt starkly sober. His snap to reality was unavoidable after such an ordeal with his father. And to be sent away? To an abbey? In Balian? His murky mind ran rampant with half-sloshed ideas. Yet, his hand stretched out shakily to take the shard from Maria. The gesture perhaps contained an element of care which sorely lacked in his once single father. Perhaps, though, it was the sheer authority the act exuded to which Audo responded: a familiar feeling. Or perhaps it was an overwhelming need in the moment to focus on anything but the responsibilities forced on his shoulders, but after years of rejecting her he finally asked: “…C-can I call you mother?” Maria peered at the shambling, beaten wreck that was Audo. “Of course, hijo.” “Vy must listen to him. His word is mea word.” Felix Weiss told a young Haus and a young Sierra. Audo stood off to the side, awkwardly shifting his feet as he averted his gaze from the conversation. His fears and worries on leading, his inability to wrangle his siblings as a leader was beginning to wear him down terribly. Perhaps he was not meant for this role – perhaps Haus would make a better heir or Sierra or Via. Despite his best attempts Sierra had grown into a public menace. He loved her dearly, truly, but the extent of her defiance was terrifying. And Haus – could he even put that into words? The little brother he tried to train, to love, to protect. The one who ran away with a word. The one that no matter their connection only seemed able to speak down to his older brother. All Audo had done had only made Haus fear his word. Was Audo so wrong in the choices he made? In wanting to protect the choice of his younger brother, he seemed to only force him further into the depths of Ambition. What was he to do with him running away to far-off lands, unwilling to listen? What could he possibly say to ease his mind on The War with The Owl where upon he acted like a madman, striking wildly at family in the square of Karosgrad? To merely look upon Haus wrenched to mind a catalogue of mistakes. Everything about him embodied heart-break and surely Sierra was headed down the same path. He had not managed to do anything to stop either of them. How was he ever supposed to lead? Despite his fears, his relationship with Sierra would mend with time. Haus, however, remained a distant creature. They maintained a strictly utilitarian connection, at least until their very later years. They almost - almost - came to be brothers again. Yet, one more betrayal sealed a hatred so strong that Haus would contort from a figure of heart-break to one of loathing. An ally of the enemy. An ally of The Owl. Haus had contributed to the twisted fate of Walter Weiss. “Vyr life is over now.” Came the words of Felix Weiss as Viscount Audo Weiss took his place upon the Ivory Throne, accompanied to his left by the Viscount-consort, Princess Veronica Weiss. Audo’s gaze turned to the hall lined with banners, busts and mounted heads. Looming, reality felt like it came crashing down and yet he took a breath and puffed himself up as his own father bowed before him: the man he loved, and hated; the man he duelled almost to death; the man who had set his path with no choice. And now in all his authoritarian humility took on a supportive role. All from then on became sacrifice; a lamb to the slaughter. Perhaps that is what Felix always understood or perhaps that was the understanding he gained during his tenure. Whatever the case, the Ambition so heavily pushed by the elder had done its work in the minds of his children, none more than Audo and Haus. As Haus tread the world, Audo remained by his blood. Under Viscount Audo Weiss, Novkursain expanded. The Five Maxims of Pride were penned. The title of Lord Marshal was one he did not accept nor strive for, yet he ensured another Weiss bore the sash of the Royal Captain. He became a crow knight: the only peer of his generation to balance his title and his duty. He excelled in a knightly capacity, becoming the first Weiss Knight Paramount after establishing a new library for the knights, establishing a hall of history and forging a positive reputation amongst the peoples. He served diligently under three kings, abiding by the First Maxim: Karl III, Georg I and Aleksandr II whom to each he bore a different relation. Though not sought, he was donned with the task of being a Crown Jovenaar and saw that duty through, too. The halls of Staalgrav became ever-more decorated with trophies of war and conflict from across the realm - undead dragons, Rozanian invasions, Mori’Quessir, Orkish incursions, Adrian and Veletzian foes, to simple banditry. The family expanded and grew stable, setting the foundation for The Age of Lions. They survived and re-settled on new lands, with a new Staalgrav. The history of the Weiss became a sentiment to revere, and the dead were honoured with a newly founded crypt. Between the weight of his hefty responsibilities and his reluctance to speak or word himself with his family for fear of hurting them, and the drain on his sanity it took he struggled his way through leadership, too. Familial ties were hurt and mended, especially those he relied on. Veronica and Audo share a bond of support, and one of ferocious arguments, whereby insecurities gnawed at their marriage and yet, they came to find unity each time – even if it took time. From Viktor he grew distant after his betrayal, but they came to an understanding and repaired. Stanislaw was busy spreading the word of GOD, but Audo always bore a special place in his heart for the man - his Golden Baby of Karosgrad. Martina rebelled against her father, but in her later years they came to grow closer when Audo’s support of her and the family never wavered. Karl became his student, yet his ever-curious mind led him elsewhere in the world. Y’vette grew to have a taste for adventure, eventually from one of which she would never return. Even his nieces in Raelle and Rosalind grew despite being hidden early in their lives: Raelle, a distant blood-kin – at first a traitor, before some semblance of reconcile and distant support was found; Rosalind, the second daughter Audo never had who grew into her own, similar show of Ambition. Walter, too, even couped his father, leaving a looming shadow in the family. And of all the pains he faced, the rift with his brother hurt most for it truly became an irreparable schism. For all his faults, he loved the family dearly and for all his woes, the spark of the future – the children – were bright. “Va ve Maan.” Audo stated – clear but quiet over the corpse of his father. A strike to the heart by the Mori’Quessir, deep in the failing Fen defense had sealed the fate of the elder Weiss. Having retreated with the carcass early and at the whim of his comrades, Audo could only reflect on how his father had been beside him. He had been right there. But there was nothing anyone could have done. Death was simply closer. A growing sense of doom had followed Felix since the apparent onset of his struggling heart, but even now battle took his life early. For all the pain and turmoil their relationship had, Audo loved his father deeply. Their newly rekindling relationship had seemed promising. Taking a deep breath as the battle faintly raged beyond the blackened retreat tunnel, Audo had to resolve to accept the loss of the battle, and the loss of his father. He took some solace in knowing Felix would have preferred to die in battle, even if it meant that the young boy who wanted to save his father from his turmoil was chasing an illusion. “Ea canniet watch vy suffer. Balyzm, trust us.” The Viscount whispered to his son, Walter Weiss, as they stood alone in the living room of their now-bare manor. For all the regrets Audo had, perhaps bestowing the blade upon his son was his worst. For he could bear to tend the suffering of his own heart – he could not bear to helplessly watch that of his son, just as he had watched that of his brother. “I can’t.” Walter replied, squeezing his father tighter. “… Not yet.” He continued, imbued with an other-worldly wisdom. Turning away, Audo hid his visage from Walter as he took a few brief moments to dry his single remaining eye and soon enough the stress of it reduced him to a man fighting on the floor, restrained by his son and his wife. Years of torment, years of battle and war eroded his soul. Eroded his mind. So desperately, Veronica had tried to keep him stable through one means or another. Even in himself, Audo had slipped from one coping mechanism to another. None fixed the curse afflicting his mind. His sister and brother – he failed them both. His wife – he failed her. His son – he was failing him, too. With time and restraint, the war-dog was brought to his senses. When all was said and done, a blade of glittering carbarum was forced into Audo’s shaking grasp. A bolstering of bubbling confidence rose in the knight’s chest. Shame was pushed aside and he rose proudly as any other Weiss. And when asked what he would do with the blade he replied: “I’m keeping it.” He rested the hefty blade across his lap, freeing his arms of its deceitful weight. “At least for a little while. Not forever. I just want you to rest your mind, Walt.” “Why are you keeping it?” Walter asked, outstretching his hand to rest upon Audo’s. Walter’s wisdom and need to understand was an ethereal parasite. Pulling his hand back, Audo retreated into his own confidence. “To keep you safe.” He gripped the blade. “I failed my brother. I failed my sister.” His gaze turned to his wife, “For years I’ve done wrong by you.” His gaze returned to Walter. “I cannot fail you too. Iblees can tear my soul apart – I will not have you suffer alone from this accursed thing!” Walter moved his hand out once more to grasp the hilt with Audo, tugging to take it away. “Trust me. This is your test.” Hesitantly - tense - Audo tightened his grip for a long moment as a silent stare passed between father and son. And then, he relinquished the blade back to its designated bearer. “And what do you say now, papej?” Walter asked as he peered across at his father. “My desire hasn’t changed; my words won’t change.” He offered his own palms out to receive but did not move to take the blade by force. “I trusted you. You need to trust me.” “Then so be it.” Walter returned the blade, gifting it back and forth in a display of what they sorely lacked. Regardless of their sour future, they had some semblance of trust to maintain. “… It is now yours to bear.” From the hand that had pulled the blade from the stone, the blade returned as a temporary measure. The weight of his son’s state remained heavy on Audo. Perhaps Walter’s differentness had been inflamed by the sword bestowed, and that thought could never be forgotten. “Ea shall niet return until ea find them.” The ex-paramount had made his decision. With the elf he had taken for one of his own missing, and Walter disappeared into the ether, he decided that he must find them or die trying. An incident with Veronica had left his wary of un-told travel, and the emptiness in his daily life after her death was salt in the wound. The blessed Stanislaw’s death remained raw each day: a twisted fate to have the younger die before the older. He most precious friend, Ram Battleborn, he entrusted to Rosalind Valkonen – although he still thought of her as a Weiss and as one after his own heart. To Viktor Weiss II, he entrusted the flask which had saved his mother’s life. To Viktoriya a bracelet, entrusting to her his bond and support no matter how far he went. To Marian he entrusted the past. To Ofeliya he entrusted the future, with some guiding words. There was little place for an elder head of Weiss to loom over the proceedings of the present. The lilacs he established were gone, he was too enthralled with other matters to cater to the horse breeds he had tended lovingly, and in his state away from the keep was little more than a lonely old man. The family that needed him most were lost, and it was to those who most needed him that he dedicated himself. On his person he took what he required or felt a connection to, and all else was left in the depths of Staalgrav. Few items of special note remained on his person beyond his combat gear: a poorly molded amulet proclaiming him the best father and knight, his wedding ring, a single letter written many years ago, a golden cane, an audio version of Song of the Black and a black cape he had permanently donned in the absence of his children. One child remained lost to the father forever. One had lost himself to a new man. Ser Audo Weiss ‘The Raven’ never returned alive. Ser Audo Weiss, 2nd Viscount of Novkursain and Knight Paramount of the kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska circa 500 ES With a splash and a gasp Audo rose backwards, splattered by dry droplets, finding himself planted firmly by a cloaked figure. Although he barely noticed, his body was no longer a tapestry of scars and burns – his lost eyes returned. He did notice, however, as his hands rose to grasp the arrow-shaft in his chest, that the revengeful mark which had pierced him was no longer there. A single strike. How fragile life was; how close death had drawn. No longer was he surrounded by the gloom of the Underdark, and the monsters which called it home. No longer was he surrounded by the kin that had accepted his lost state, and extended a hand of care. The figure stood hunched, gaunt, and shrouded in the darkest of blues. Embroidered with lions, her hood shadowed what face she might have. “Are you quite done?” Came her voice, something soft and motherly yet part of her tone seemed to scold him. “No- I-” He stumbled out, his feet moving forward as if there was a path to follow back before he could complete a sentence. Abruptly, a weight came crashing down on the back of his head. Despite the harsh thwack, it didn’t really hurt even if, instinctively, he raised his hand to rub at the site. Accusingly, his gaze snapped towards the woman, turning just barely in time to see her plant her cane upon the ground and fold both her hands upon it with a sense of finality. “Your work is done, boy. Rest.” Her voice dripped with authority despite its softness, and to reinforce her words, one crinkled hand unwrapped from the cane to extend an offer of guidance to Audo. Examining her crooked hand, his own moved to take it as his fierce Ambition finally relented. Despite her manner, and despite her apparent age the touch she offered was soft. After a few long moments of hesitation, he finally responded with a quiet: “...Okay.”
  13. [PK] Otto´s Last Farewell Intro: This Letter is Published posthumously by Otto´s Great grandchildren several years after Otto´s passing. Otto Wittenbach, Personal Memoires of my life. This is a first person Account of my own Life. My name is Otto Wittenbach and I know I am coming close to the end of my life as I recently celebrated my 216th Birthday! Quite the age even for an Adunian like me. It is in that light that I have finally decided to sit down and write down my own life story, Finally writing down my memoires! I have pushed this off for far too long but now that my frail old body doesn't allow me to go out in the world and travel I am finally forced quite literally to sit down and get these memoires done. So let me get started, trying to remember the earliest days of my life Part 1 My Birth and Childhood: I was born sometime in the year 1743 in Arcas.. Where exactly? On what day? Honestly I don't know it myself since I was found as a young baby by Traveling Waldenian Merchants near an abandoned Adunian Encampment. From what my Adoptive Waldenian Family told me it looked very much like the camp was raided and everyone had to leave in a hurry. I was found just off the camp near a little river. My new Waldenian Family decided to name me Otto and took me in as one of their own Traveling from market to market around the world. I think it was these early days in my life that gave me my first and never ending taste for traveling, at a young age I already met all kinds of peoples and cultures from different Human kingdoms to dwarves and elves and so much more. It was a carefree time for me but around my 16th birthday I began to forge my own plans for my life and with a heavy heart decided to leave my Waldenian family to start my own life. It was at that point where I decided to create my own family name, as again I had no idea who my birth family was. There were many names that I thought about but I decided to go for something simple trying to get as close to my birth family as I could. Simply, I was found near a creek called Witten by my Adoptive Waldenian family. A creek in Waldenian is Bach hence I named myself Wittenbach. I was ready now a self made man coming from nowhere having even crafted his very own family name, it was now time to make my mark in this world and call somewhere home! Boy didn´t I know what a journey I had started Part 2 My Early Adult Life Ah the early days… I remember them well. It took me a couple years to find a good place to settle down, still traveling from towns and cities temporarily even working in a small local tavern! It was an enjoyable experience though sadly guests were few but it did give me a great opportunity to start learning brewing Beer and Wines! While also snatching a look at some History books at the local library. But being a tavern keeper just wasn't it for me and I decided to pack up and travel some more this time further North in Arcas specifically I first ventured to Helena the Imperial Capital city. It was quite the stark difference ! so much life to many peoples there it was a truly bustling metropolis. It could have surely been a great place to settle down but it was hard to find a place to live there and even harder to start a business so I decided to continue further North this time to New Reza the Capital City of Haense. Boy do I remember that city still to this day, it wasn´t as large as Helena with its tall houses reaching to the skies but it lived in and was lively with many shops and businesses lining the streets and so many great peoples calling this city their Home. So I contacted the local stewards and looked at possible places to live and work at. I settled on a former little restaurant located at the end of a little alleyway. It was a very cute little thing and the perfect place to open up a small store ! Yes I opened a store of all things ! The Wittenbach Warehaus. A small store to start selling all the things I collect from all my voyages as well as all the things I have learned to craft and brew on my many journeys. Hence I would build a grand wine Cellar to sell all my own brews and upstairs sell many crafted Items like waldenian clocks and of course various items collected from around the world. The only thing that was missing was some sort of Sign or crest above the door. Something to greet my customers and stand out in that little alleyway. So I went into my workshop and started to work on a crest. Wittenbach Warehaus Door Crest I put quite a lot of thought and effort into this store crest as I wanted it to be a proper representation of myself and my store. So I of course first used a shield with a balance to represent commerce and trade this being the business I am in after all. Then I put the scale on a Black and white background for various reasons, for it to be good and bad, or ying and yang, showing differences but balance centered on it to balance out the black and white. Lastly enveloping the whole a green dragon, now here there is some bias as I have always admired dragons, always reading about them so why not use one of my Store crests? Surely it would look great! The dragon would also symbolize my love for adventure, the fantastical, the mysterious as well as the strength. Finally in 1761 I got to Open my store. I won't write to you that it was an instant success! And that all the people were lining up the street! Oh no far from it. It was a slow start but people did come and buy things, I advised them on gifts, presented them with my various items or talked to them about wines. This got me to know more and more people of New Reza and during my time off I would explore the city more, going into my neighbors stores and chatting with them and participating in various city wide events ! It was a lovely time only interrupted by smaller conflicts or the Imperial guards entering the city on horseback. Aye these were crazy and interesting times to live in, I must admit I did try to get into the local politics candidacy in one of the elections, although I did manage to get some votes it still wasn't enough. So politics was not my calling… Faith I suppose had other plans for me. It wasn't long until I came across a flier about the Opening of a Museum in the city. It immediately caught my attention, I was always very passionate about History. After all, I spend many hours reading various books on days of old. The Flier said that the museum would soon open but was still looking for artifacts for its exhibits as well as staff to help run the museum and guide museum guests. I of course immediately applied and managed to get myself an interview with the organization managing the Museum.. A so-called.. Northern Geographical Society? (NGS). Little did I know that the NGS would become part of the majority of my entire life… It didn't start out perfectly though… The Members of the NGS did not quite trust me at first. I was very enthusiastic and all but still very new to all these people.. Most of all the president of the NGS, Celestine Herbert did not really know what to do with me. Ah Celestine… I still miss you every day, while you didn't really know me at first and what to do with me, I was impressed by you from the start. So I doubled down and did my utmost best to give a great impression! I worked hard on the research and writing assignment for the museum exhibits, traveling around the city gathering all historical information possible. I helped out setting up the final pieces and finally on opening day I was the best tour guide possible touring several groups from start to finish through the entire museum. And it worked! I gained the trust of the NGS members and most importantly of Celestine. It wouldn't be long until I would become a member myself and even become curator of the Museum in New Reza. I will admit it was a lot of effort for me, I even sidelined my little shop for a while but it was really worth it. I had found myself a great group of people who I could call my friend, true friends with friendships that would last whole lifetimes. All this thanks to the dream of one person, my dearest Celestine you made it all possible and brought so many passionate people together including myself, who knows where I would have ended up had the NGS but I certainly know I may have missed out on so much had I not decided to join it. Part 3 Scholar, Adventurer and inventor Now it's time to write about probably the most exciting part of my entire life… Although don´t tell this to my wife or children, I fear Celestine is already condemned from heaven just for writing this. Please Celestine if you're reading this don't take it too hard I do love you still with all my heart ! Little joking aside, each part of my life was special in its own way but this truly was an amazing time for me and the most adventurous and inventive part of my life. Remember I had just become curator of the NGS Museum in New Reza, I was writing and researching things but also starting on my first construction work designing a new room for the museum. I will admit I never thought I would become an architect but here I was designing new exhibit halls and new meeting rooms for the Society. In addition I started to put my crafting skills that I used for creating various things in my shop to start tinkering on important equipment for expeditions ! Celestine even gave me permission to build an entire laboratory to start inventing new useful tools for the many NGS expeditions and adventures. And yes all these expeditions.. There were so many! We quite literally went to every corner of the known world! But one expedition stuck out from all the others, the NGS expedition to the Nether.. Or also known to most simply as Hell. I remember it well. We were investigating strange old ruins to the far North of the continent trying to figure out their meaning, it was only through luck that some of us managed to figure out what they were for and how to make use of them… simply said they were a portal to the Nether.. And one had to die to enter them.. Yes Die! We all went to the lake surrounding the old portal and went into it to drown ourselves. It was… a very traumatic and painful thing to do and I still wonder today whether I am still truly alive or dead, Although my aching back and tired legs seem to remind me that I am very much still alive and also very old. Either way once we drowned and died that's when the Portal opened for us and from then on the Portal would always be visible to us. From then on the NGS would make several expeditions into the nether. Our first expeditions were just there to explore the first surroundings and then with each expedition we would go deeper and deeper… I didn't even mention yet that the Nether had no air at all! We had to wear helmets with a limited supply and the heat or the heat was unbearably hot! I am still amazed that my young self back then was able to survive through that ordeal. But enough about the nether, you are here to read about my life story and there is much more to tell, if you want to read about the nether or so many other NGS expeditions, just hop over to the NGS museums they have so many books and studies about their exploits! Painting of the first generation of NGS Members Now believe it or not but the NGS was not the only organization I had joined at that time, it certainly the one I am most known for but there was another organization or more precisely a guild that I had joined and that was quite a formative part of my young adult life, The Orrir’Ullral Monster and demon hunting guild. Now the Guild had existed for a while before but they were looking to upgrade their headquarters as their current ones were too small… Since I was now in the business of construction and architecture both upgrading the NGS museums and my own home, it seems that the Guild got wind of it and decided to recruit me to design their new Guild headquarters. So I took a several year hiatus from the NGS and moved to the furthest eastern part of Arcas to start on the construction of the new Home of the Orrir’Ullral Guild. As construction progressed I became more acquainted with all the guild members and started to get involved in their work. Having had quite an adventuring career by then it was no issue for me to join them on their various adventures going out to Hunt Monsters and demons. 2 years went by and their new Headquarters was fully built and I was offered a position as their Librarian to document all their travels, the Demons and Monsters they encountered and teach this valuable information to new recruits. I of course said yes as this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to take. In addition I had also impressed them with my inventions, which pushed them to give me a large space as a laboratory to research and tinker around for new useful inventions like the Orrir´s Hidden Blade but also my studies on Air balloons which at the time believe it or not no one really knew how they worked, I was just very lucky to be part of an adventure which a very mysterious guide who owned several of these air balloons, giving me a first eye account on how they worked. Sketches of Otto Wittenbach made during time at the Guild And yes, there were so many and all of them dangerous! I remember us flying with these very same balloons to floating islands in the sky… my balloon unfortunately had crashed and I ended up hanging upside down with my leg caught in one of the crashed balloon cords. But even more so I remembered one adventure again with the balloons where we approached a mysterious tower in the sky´s.. Guarded by a gigantic Thunder Dragon! Now remember back then no one had seen dragons in ages it was quite astonishing for us to see they still existed and for me a childhood dream come true, Although I had always hoped I could talk or even ride a dragon… but that thunder dragon instead seemed more concerned shooting out balloons down and protecting what was in that tower. At least I can say that I fought a dragon and survived! Sure that not many in this world even today could say that. Once we had survived our many adventures we would all go back to the Guild Headquarters and write down all our findings. It is during that time that I wrote several studies on all these various creatures. I had become quite the expert on demonic creatures and monsters teaching it to new and old Guild members alike to prepare them on facing these monsters in battle. I think, no I know that these times as a librarian and teacher were one of the most exciting and fulfilling times in my life.. I wish I could have done that again but sadly I had to move on and after several years at the guild it was time for me to return to the NGS and continue my important work there mostly since some things had changed… Part 4 Husband & Father I don't think I have ever said this to anyone, but the construction job at the Orrir’Ullral Guild and the job position there weren't the only reasons that I left the NGS for a few years.. No. There was another reason, Celestine. I already told you that from the first time I met Celestine I was deeply in awe and impressed by her and her work… Well, having worked over the years with her just made that grow more and more as I just completely admired and fell for her. Unfortunately Celestine did not feel the same way.. At least not completely and she also had another love interest at the time, Juan. I of course respected all of it but it was still very hard for me to be around because of it, hence why I left for the Orrir’Ullral Guild. But something had happened, Juan had died. When I heard the news I rushed back to comfort Celestine as I knew it would be hard times for her. I of course immediately started work on various NGS projects supporting Celestine in all things. But this time our relationship grew much closer than before and through friendship and love we finally decided to be together, to start a new life together as Partners now, and out of a troubled time grew a new great time with a bright future and a family together. It wasn't long until our wonderful children were born, Elizaveta, Dannika and Wolfgang. I loved each of them and they filled our little House in New Reza with so much love and laughter. I never thought really that I would have a family of my own but now I did and now all that I cared for suddenly was to make sure that they had a great future ahead of them. This is probably also why I took on the job as Jovenaar(Judge) in Haense to help guarantee justice, security and freedom for my young children. It was a hard blow then when The world of Arcas neared it end and we all had to flee it to Almaris, but to me it just gave me more purpose to build a new and brighter future for my children, so I decided to help in the Haense effort to build their new City in Almaris, Karosgrad. Designing there the main Shop street in its entirety while of course also designing a grand new Flagship Museum for the NGS. It was a lot of work but it was done. What a city Karosgrad was, much grander and larger than New Reza had ever been. Everything was grandeur now, even my shop. No Longer was it a small back alley shop no no ! Now it was one of if not the Largest shop in all of Karosgrad right in the center of the main street. This new grandeur Store would help me secure a great future for my children gathering enough money to guarantee any future they might want. And I was very proud of that store, I still miss it to this day one of my biggest achievements as a business owner. I also miss our Little Home above it. It was small, yes but it was a loving home for a young family. What a great start for all of us in this new world of Almaris, so much still laid ahead of us. Part 5 President, Builder & Family Part 5 of my memoires, While my early adulthood was characterized by many dangerous adventurers, fighting monsters but also traveling the world and researching and writing even teaching, this part of my life got to be characterized by new things, that of Building, leadership and family. The Early days of Almaris truly were a Golden age for the NGS. We for the first time had a proper flagship museum, a purpose built museum with state of the art facilities. And with that came a large influx of new members who made the NGS family even bigger. All that is what characterized my life. Now I was working hard administering things at the NGS as its Vice-President helping my wife Celestine with all the work. At the same time I would run the shop and take care of our kids. I would at times still go out on expeditions but they were far fewer for me and only joined the ones that were less dangerous, after all I had a family now I could be as careless as I was before. The years passed and the NGS Golden age continued, it wouldn't be long until I would become the President of the NGS, as my wife Celestine had decided to give over the reins and prepare for her own retirement. It was a true honor for me to Preside over the NGS, this society that had given me a home and where I have made so many friends that I thought of as part of my family. What symbolized my tenure as President of the NGS was of course buildings, I oversaw the construction of several museums for it and the renovations of them. I no longer explored or wrote as much as I used to. I took great care of the NGS. My proudest moment was the NGS 100th Anniversary, one of the last exhibits where I still actively wrote the studies for. It was an exhibit that was very important to me since I myself had now been with the NGS for 100 years! At the same time of course my children grew up to be the most amazing people, one in particular, Eliza. I know a parent should not have a favorite but the relationship with my daughter Eliza was the strongest with all my kids. We worked together quite often on NGS projects but also in our store. I supported her in all her endeavors and decisions. The Good and the bad ones. She even opened her very own store with magical items right next to my own. It was a proud moment for a father, but I was even prouder when she would become President of the NGS herself after me. Another Proud moment came when our Family continued to grow and my daughter Eliza managed to get ourselves a small plot of land to build a manor on. I of course went right to work and design and build us a beautiful Manor. We together aptly named it “Witten´s End” Witten´s End That Manor became the center of our Family and now even of our Adunian Clan, Yes our Clan. Adunians had over centuries been dispersed but slowly started to come back. Most notably several clans started to settle nearby and invited us to join their community, even giving our Family the status of an Adunian Clan. It truly was an amazing time for our entire family. And I remind everyone that my Family was not just me, my wife, children and grandchildren but this also includes all of my friends that I made around the world. Several of these friends even became official members of our Clan as they truly were family. It still brings me joy that my descendants decided to bring this view of family as the Motto for the House of Wittenbach. “My Friends are my Family” words to which I truly live by. Part 6 My dark Days I won't lie but writing this part of my life is difficult, but so is life.. Your youth will be full of adventures and laughter but as you age..well age can be a cruel thing. First it was my wife. I am of course Adunian but Celestine was not, she was a strong woman at that but it was only a matter of time until I had to say goodbye to her, sadly in the most painful way possible. A dear family friend of ours had left years before, Tanith Vursur, and my old wife had decided to go out and search for her. We both knew this would very well be a journey she would not return from. But as always I respected My wife and supported her with her decision. Many other of my Human friends also passed away while I still went on, it was a cruel time during which I secluded myself more and more as I stepped down as NGS President but also had to close down my store permanently. Yes, my store was no more… Crime had gotten rampant in the city and I wasn't spared. After I refused to pay for protection I was brutally maimed and my store was set on fire. I did rebuild but it just wasn't the same anymore and eventually closed the store down for good. Lastly the entire world seemed to erupt in wars and chaos… for nearly a century things had been peaceful or at least only smaller local conflicts but now wars engulfed the whole world which of course destroyed so much including our Manor Witten´s end. Our Family had lost its home and my grandchildren fled to find a new one. It was a very very sad time. Part 7 Old age And here I am now. Aevos.. This is my third world that I have lived in. After the ordeals I lived through I managed to find peace here in Aevos. I still visited my family from time to time of course but I decided to spend my remaining years traveling around while I still could. Before I was an active part of the world, engaging with it and its peoples, now I am just an old man standing by and watching as the younger generation now is taking care of the world. It was good to see for me that Adunians finally managed to have a Home again. I spent many days here with my fellow Adunian. Hard to believe that when I was born something like an Adunian Kingdom was just an old tale or a far fetched dream. At least I can call myself lucky to have been able to see this dream become reality. 216 years, what an age to be. I fear though my end is near so I wish you all goodbye my dear family, my dear friends, my Journey may end but I wish you all the best for all of your journeys, trust me you can have the most amazing adventures if you end up finding an amazing group of peoples to share them with.
  14. So does the Doe fall, Casted to the Sea We are not what other people say we are, we are who we know ourselves to be. Falling endlessly, feeling the wind rushing past me… i was rushing through the wind? I couldn't tell but I also couldn't care less, but during this fall I find myself reflecting through the life I have lived, the life I wanted to live, those I am leaving behind, had I made an impact in their lives? Floria reached her hand above, reaching for the sky, thoughts, no memories rushed through her mind from the earliest she could remember to the latest. “A flower, for you my lady” A red haired elf, young and cheesy trying to impress young Floria, a friend of her cousins and her first love, young and foolish Floria had accepted that flower that day while sat next to her mother and that little flower lead to so much more “what are you two doing you're going to get hurt!” Laughter filled my mind, my laughter a sound I have not made in so long, watching as my best friend at the time and cousin were sparing, messing around more like, while me, their superior was watching in amusement, is that really how easy my life had been back then? The Tomfoolery continued before I turned to “hey, how about marrying me?” It was asked in such a cheeky way I thought he was joking so how could I decline “alright why not” that simple agreement, lead our relationship in such a precarious way, I was too young, too foolish. “You’ll both get yourself killed! Dhyvo!” this time Fear ran through me, a memory of my first fight, my first time almost seeing someone I love almost die, my cousin Dhyvo thrown against a wall by a minotaur knocked out cold, I saw red, but apparently so did someone else, pushed out of a way a blurry figure ran past towering over everyone else, he dealt the final blow to the beast, I suppose I was glad, I could step back and aid the injured fallen, but before I could reach for anyone the scene changed. “Hey, I'm sorry I'm looking for Togrim? He saved my life id like to thank him” a crimson haired fellow, someone I never regret meeting “oh that's my uncle! Hi I'm Floria” my hand took in his and smiled shone my way “im Vakas” a meeting that changed my life, for the better. “Scars are beautiful, they show your strength” the scene had changed again, sitting in a garden Vakas by my side “you think?...” an unsure question came from myself with my hand reaching for my right eye, was I always that self conscious of my scars? I suppose I must have been but this man's words lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. “Grayson…” a baby boy with red hair and green eyes just born the first of Florias but certainly not the last “your going to be big and strong, just like me and your father, you have to warriors for parents after all” were my first words as a mother, my pride high, too high, but the more children I had, how those words changed, changed for the better. “Its nothing!... don't worry about it dear okay?” I stood there with Juniper, someone I had always seen as a daughter and my now eldest son Grayson. What was i trying to hide? Its all a bit fuzzy. “you’ll get better, you will… I'll find someone to make you better!” I turned and the scene changed in a house with my second eldest Theo “don't give me that look, everything will be fine” a dying woman's words, trying to console her son, but her son kept his promise someone was found someone saved his mothers life “Now... eyes… painful'' a familiar voice, said calmly but I cant remember what he was trying to say, was was he, a scream filled the air my scream a familiar agony, a once broken skull forced back into place the scent of blood filling the air, this memory so far, so distant, the sound of a door opening, panicked steps, the last of the scene my worried son Theo reaching out. Reaching out Flower in hand a wood elf, he looks so much like Theo “a pretty flower, for a pretty woman” flirtatious, and annoying ‘What… a punchable face…’ a thought said within my mind but I dare not say aloud this scene replayed over and over… no he brought different flowers for every encounter “what a strange man” finally a thought was released, but he took it with pride, that cheerfulness of his, I thought I could never get use to it, but then I could never be without it. The scene changed and the two of us holding rings we both made together finally I found my salvation in him, a loneliness I held deep within left me. “Syvis”, a struggled voice, escaped me as I plunged into water struggles, a pain in my heart. The last thing I saw was a songbird flying above my right hand reaching out words but this was only a dream. Florias eyes blurred as she called out for her husband it was difficult to breath, her chest hurting, but slowly everything stopped the pain went away it didn't hurt anymore, the life had slipped away from the elfess, laying in her bed, Letters left to the side, she had been suffering, dying and finally the suffering stopped she now rested but tears streaks down her cheeks, she had not wanted to die. Letters sat aside all in separate piles to be sent by whoever would find her body. To my children All my job entailed was to make sure you all were prepared to see the world, but I was unprepared, I did the best I could but still I failed. Theo I was hard on you as you grew up, scared, scared I'd lose you like I had lost so many others wanting you to take our life slow, not get into to much to fast, but you grew into a fine young man, raising a beautiful family of your own, I couldn't be prouder, you went through so much on my account looking after me when I was sick and dying, I can't imagine how that must have made you feel. Azra, my smart boy, saying I'm proud of you doesn't even describe how I feel, ever since you was small I watched you grow into a wonderful young man, I hope you continue on your road, you have so much potential as long as you put your mind to it, you can succeed in anything I'm sure. Nevio you've barely started your life, my youngest son, just like Azra your bright, the times you've sat with me in my office and and shown interest in my work and in so many of your books, one of the smartest people I know, keep your head high, and know your strength. Maln, I've made mistakes, I was not the best for our family, I almost tarnished our name I never for that, I was foolish and did not know best, I still don’t I want to do my best for the Kaeronin Family I want to do my best for you, I failed and all I can do is apologize I did not do better, I should have stayed within Amathine, but I did not know of our history, it hurt when I was accused of being a fake Kaeronin, I wish I had been told what I was doing wrong and taught, I should have asked. To all my children know you are all loved, I love you so much, be safe, be strong and live, live well and don't let your lives end short. Showing your strengths for all of you are precious and capable of anything if you put your hearts and minds to it, even if these days are my last, when I'm gone you will be okay. Friends Fal’leon, my uncle, of recent there was a misunderstanding, and I'm sorry for all that trouble, I never wished to try and hurt a student, to take your teachings for granted, I would never dream of doing such, but to see how that cheeky dedicant said such a joke, I understand why people were worried so I apologize for everything. Narithen, your bold as brass, maybe too much so for your own good, making jokes, and dramatizing things often will not lead to humour but troubles as you had witnessed, however your young, you’ll learn, I had joy in teaching you for the small amount of time that I did, if you continue down the druidsm path if your taught well, you'll become a fine drui, I did not get the best teaching during my dedicancy, my teacher died after I was attuned, leaving me as an attuned druid not knowing my gift, I was a druid in attunement but I wasn't one in practice. I had to hop from teachers to use my gifts but I was not taught from there, no one showed me the true drui way, and so I was an imprudent teacher, unfit to guide. Medea my Niece, I loved you as if you were my own daughter, you grew well, and now leading your own nation I am proud, I wish I had time to make amends fully, for past event clear my side, but my time has come, so I will watch from afar continue well. Vakas you were there for me when I was dying along with Theo, I'm not sure how we ended, why we ended, I was upset, so angry for so long, but I'm not anymore, know I'm not upset, I'm not angry, after everything you were there, and I appreciated that, I appreciate you, you were one of my best friends, and I love you for it. Finally to whom I view as my soulmate, someone I found when I looked into his eyes, my worries disappeared, which made me happier, then ever, for his laugh, his smile is infectious to whoever bears witness. Syvis, you lifted me when I was at my lowest, you brought joy to my life, you were my best friend but more, the one person in the world that knew me better than anyone else, you made me a better person, actually you didn't make me a better person but you inspired me to become better even gone, I will carry you with me forever, you were the one person who knew me and accepted me, believed in me before anyone else did or when no one else would, and no matter what happened or happens you’ll always have my love and nothing will ever be able to change that, sometimes actually most of the time people don't realize the best thing that could happen to them, is already right there, sitting right under their nose, and for me, Syvis that was you, for so long, I could only ever wonder and then years ago I turned to a complete stranger for comfort but instead, I found everything that I had ever been looking for, my whole life in you, I'm sorry I'm leaving so early, when we had a whole future ahead of us. With her body now lifeless the butterflies that always accompanied floria slowly started to disperse leaving the women to rest alone leaving her prayers with her family and friends. a druid as fallen.
  15. "Do you know, Son of Man, what makes a man great?" "Death" In the din of the darkness that began to engulf the prince-consort as his head was crushed under the force of the creature's grasp, a memory played softly from the depths of the man's mind. “¡Madre madre!” a young boy's voice called excitedly, his small hand pointing out towards the ocean “Look! What is that?” Callista, the boy's mother, bent down beside him, smiling “That is a Bellena, a Whale. They are the biggest fish in all the sea! “ Ezren, all of five years of age let out a gasp, his eyes glittering with wonder “A whale… I want to be a whale when I'm all grown.” “Why is that hijo?” His mother looked to him, likely expecting a childish answer, or no reason at all. The boy kept his gaze locked on the immense sea creature as he answered “If I'm that big, I'll be able to protect everyone I love!” The scene was swallowed by the darkness edging around his mind, the word love echoing like a deep chasm. The memory was replaced by a singular person. Sibyl The young girl who was pushed into a small creek by that same boy. The adolescent princess, standing behind Ezren as orcs attempted to rob the two teenagers. The young woman walking from the back of the church towards him, the most radiant smile on her face. The Queen who stood at the frontlines of war for her people. His only wish was for her safety and happiness. “MALCHEDIAEL, AENGUL OF COURAGE!” The phrase that once uttered, ushered in the final paragraph of Ezren Elijah Novellen's existence. It came to him naturally, like the warm embrace of a parent. He no longer felt pain, his wounds mended, and his body ablaze with the patrons burning aura. He fought once more, remade anew and stronger than before. It was for naught but to give time- time for aid to come to his loved one. And it came as the clanging of metal and crackle of fire pierced the engulfed building. John Galbraith and Gwenyth Vuiller entered the burning church, pulling at Sybille I as she fought to get past the gate. It was enough. "Goodbye, mi amor" Sorrow, Peace, Acceptance. Once the others came, the prince-consort fell once more a final time. The fight was finished, and a victor was had, and his soul was reclaimed by Malchediael. [!] These letters and will were written up at the news of the continuation of the war, and instructed to be dispersed to their intended recipients should the Prince-consort perish in battle. To Enrico @garentoft To Ephrem and Callista Kervallen @ECS1999 @Lmcfc To Ophelia @comatoseprincess To Elianos @Lirinya To Ariadne @_yink_ To Alexandros @Harald To Mi Amor @HIGH_FIRE The Will of Ezren Elijah Novellen of Tuvia To each of my children I divide my savings to 100 mina for each child. My remaining possessions, barring the sword “Splendes Ulmi” , be divided equally amongst my children. The sword “Splendes Ulmi” shall remain in the possession of my lawful wife, Sybille I, until a time when she feels fit or after she has passed, at which point it shall return to the Peer of Tuvia, whichever is in possession of the title at the time. If the peerage of Tuvia is disbanded, the sword will be passed onto Ezequiel Kervallen or his eldest offspring, eldest grandchild, and so on and so forth. [OOC Note]
  16. “SCRISA! HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED, BECAUSE OF THEM?! HOW MANY HAVE FELT THIS WAY, BECAUSE OF THEM?!” “I don’t give a f*ck.” Scrisa’s childhood, if you could call it that, was surrounded by chaos. And she liked it. For some cruel, twisted reason- she liked it. Her mother, Ruina Sweist, crime queen of a drug empire. Drugs and excitement entered her life before Scrisa had even left the womb. Her twin brother, Mal, equally as damaged- perhaps even more so. Her father was kind when he was around. Mika Anarion. She loved him, but in the end, it was not enough. He helped her find her path, without caring what that path was. From the docks of Lubba’s Keep, to the Fennic undercity, she was taught how to steal, play dirty, kill, and at the end of it all, survive. Then, Ando Alur, the fallen city- in the wreckage, Ruina was taken into the void. Young Scrisa, plagued by nightmares of a voidal monster, dove into the voidal arts in a desperate search for answers- and for her mother. Valindra took her under her wing, teaching her all that she knew of the world. Scrisa became a voidstalker, as the horror that plagued her mind claimed to be the mother she had lost. It chided her, insulted her, degraded her- yet never once did she doubt it was Ruina. Magic, madness, murder and mayhem- they froze her heart into a block of dry ice, cold enough to burn. For some cruel, twisted reason- she liked it. She ran a successful black market, she brought terror with her name, she killed and she tortured and she smiled all the while. That was, until Juniper. This girl that she had known since her teens. . . She saw her differently, for once. Her short brown hair, fair skin, and soft doe eyes. . . Delicate hands, a fiery disposition- yet little skill or power to back it. So fragile, so broken- yet, pure. Mine. She had thought. Mine to cherish, and mine to keep. At first, it was a matter of pride- but soon, she came to realize that her embrace was one filled with thorns. So she let her go. But she never stopped loving her. She cherished the children they adopted and raised together, and mourned the death of Verena- though she waved her off as a failure. The daughter of a voidstalker, seeking druidism? She was disgraced. Then, Dasyra- and oh, how she loved Dasyra. Raised her, cared for her, gave her gifts- even passed down the arcanium sword her own mother had given her. It was these two elfesses that opened her heart fully, thawed it out. She made allies, some acquaintances- and very few, but very strong friendships. The chaos never left her life, sure- but for once, she had some sort of stability. Even as her titles of Princess of Lurin were stripped, her Anarion name torn away, and her Catacombs caved in- she had them. She had her friends. She had Juniper. “You have just killed EVERYONE I LOVE!” Scrisa saw red. She tasted red. She was covered in it. The monsters and shadows that filled her vision laughing, mocking- as she could do nothing to silence them, or prevent the scene that unfolded before her. Lanre Cerusil, at first an enemy, then an ally- and a friend she cared for more than she would ever admit. Dead. Yera Silveira, the closest friend she’d ever had. Dead. Juniper Rose, her one true love, despite all they had been through. Dead. Even in her last moments, Scrisa’s heart sank like it did every time the Oyashi elfess entered her view. The weight of having what you so want in reach, but know better than to grab it. Knowing a butterfly’s wings are fragile, albeit beautiful. Her scarred flesh painted red, her brown hair damp with ichor, and her eyes lifeless. And her lips, calling for her son. Scrisa lay there, a sword through her shoulder, her leg shattered, and her lungs caved in. Blood splattered with every scream and sob, each word scraping through her throat, clawing out to call for those that could not reply. Her friends- no, family. The only family that had never betrayed her. And there they were. Dead on the ground, slaughtered like pigs. I don’t understand. The words were on repeat, flowing as quickly as her blood did. She was born into crime, into chaos and war- she was bred to fight, to kill, to survive. So how did she die so easily? How did she fail? Where was the strength that she had been born and raised to wield? As the sword entered her chest, and pierced her heart, thoughts flooded through her mind. Despair. Rage. Terror. A desperate urge to stay alive- though it would matter little. A hurricane of thoughts and feelings flooded the voidstalker’s already crowded mind. Too many emotions, too many people to wish well, too many to wish death upon. Yet in the center of that storm was the singular feeling that this could not be the end. In her last breath, she trained her gaze upon he who had betrayed her. And she cursed him. There were no letters. There was no will. For the Fallen Princess did not intend to die.
  17. Fabula honoris et mendacii Within the confines of the Vlasto villa, Leonardo takes a seat and starts reviewing his journal. He flips back to the first entry and reads, "13th of Sun’s Smile, Year 140. Today I equipped my Ma. . ." Upset that he couldn't fix his past, he stopped abruptly. Leo threw his Journal against the wall and started pacing the room, memories of his frater Tullius, late friend Marcus, and young Lucius haunting him. As Leo peered out at the Vrbe, he found himself unable to escape the weight of his past. Troubled, he made his way to Tullius' room and began to write a note: "Frater, Praeteritum ferre non possum. accipere locum praetoris et abdicare se non recuso, nec frater sum nec pater." Pinning the note to the door, he left for the tavern to drown his sorrows in a bottle of wine. A yawn escaped him as he popped the bottle open and took a sip. The wine cleared his mind, and he was once again alone with his thoughts. Reflecting on his past, Leonardo made his way to the Curia leaving his journal on his brother's seat as a last feat of honesty to his family. Leo called for his horse and made his way down south, finding his way to Haelunor. Leo dismounted from his horse and removed its saddle, letting it free. Before stepping onto the bridge connecting to Haelunor, he took one last large swig of the bottle before throwing it onto the ground. As he found his way further down the bridge, Leo peered over the edge, memories flooding back. He started to tighten down his Lorica Segmentata. Leonardo climbed up onto the railing, his mind flashing with images of the past. Turning around, he whispered, “Mendaces non habent honorem.” With that, he jumped off the edge, facing the night sky. His body spread out, waiting for the water to hit him and slowly take him underneath the surface. A few bubbles rose to the surface, but no struggle was seen. The body of Leonardo stayed beneath the surface, departed from life.
  18. [!] A rough depiction of the corpse of a man not many have cared to notice. The day was fresh and new. A man trudged along the northern forests smelling of fish and doo, holding nothing but his old, original, fishing pole and a twisted leaf filled with green. There was a strange feeling in his stomach. Something wasn’t right. . . He was hungry! It was another day, another krawn for the young fisherman apprentice. He was fourteen, alone, homeless, and stunk of fish guts. As the highborn children played games and gossiped in the old tavern, the alienated teen slammed his heavy net of fish of all sorts onto the table. As time went on, and the apprentice rid the fish of their entrails in public view, all of the children left. All except one. All except her. Fish. Reliable, high in protein, and sustainable. When living alone in his youth, nobody ever gave him a second glance. No one ever offered him water to drink, or fish to eat. Eventually, he even resorted to thievery. He stole not food, but a simple stick with a string and hook attached to it. It was not enough to feed a town, but plenty for the starving child. “Those were the days”, relented the now sixty year old man. This day marked the 50th year he was alone. Perhaps he didn’t need a companion, perhaps he only needed fish and orcish kief. A long journey lay ahead of the now experienced fisherman, now turned salesman. It was a new city, new opportunities, and a new image. He called it ‘The Dream’. His debut came on the day of debutantes. Royals and peasants alike loved his recipe of fish. However, the prospect of free cod roused suspicion, and apparently, enough suspicion to have him removed from the palace premices. They all sneered, whispered, and gossiped about the outcast. All except one. All except her. Fire popped and embers rose from the pit. For some odd reason, it was warmer in the north. How strange. . . Has spring come early? It didn’t matter. All that mattered to him now was that the war that plagued the once cold land had come to a bloodless conclusion. With that messy ordeal done and the war over, he could rest easily knowing that his friend was safe. That she was safe. “Politics? You want me to get into politics?” The royal fisherman looked up towards the Duchess of Valwyck in confusion. He was not an educated man, let alone a smart one. His short time spent in libraries was used to sell snacks for the younger scholars. Perhaps he was meant to be more than just some fisherman. Perhaps he was finally going to escape his endless pit of loneliness. No longer would he have to sit alone for hours on end at the side of a bridge. When the day came, the man nearing thirty collected the most votes. It was astonishing. How could a random fisherman dominate an election with many educated individuals running against him? Who knew? Who cared? “It’s probably nothing”, the fisher thought. After all, business was poor and his pockets even poorer. In the end no one truly cared about him. No one ever talked or conversed with him, or others like him for that matter. No one did. All except one. All except her. Cactus Green. It was the orcish variety. The normal stuff was tame, too tame. The elder needed something to take the edge off from the stresses of the world. It was a poor addiction his old friends, now long dead or forgotten, warned him of. Regardless, he was still an avid user of the herb. It was exhausting his retirement funds, exhausting his health, but he still yearned for more. It became a dangerous obsession, but he was obsessed with many things. The green. . . fish. . . h- Suddenly, his head snapped as he noticed loud noises in the distant hill south of his position. Curious. . . What was going on today? The Peoples Duma. A failing institution settling into a new world. Somehow, and in some way, a fisherman not only landed himself into politics, but found himself leading it. The Grand Alderman was once a homeless fisher boy from Karosgrad. Despite the honors of holding such an office for over a decade, he despised it. It caused him much stress to a worrying degree. His personal habits became worse and even impacted his performance. At one point, he found himself running the fastest general election in the Kingdom’s history, with candidates being chosen, votes being cast, and results being announced all within the span of an hour. It didn’t help that there was a session to be held afterwards. It was too much for him. By the grace of it all, his worries would soon be resolved as the true leaders, the likes of Lord Speaker Otto Ludovar, took control of the situation. It was a resounding sigh of relief for him and the kingdom. Who could blame him? He was, afterall, just an ordinary man. Not even educated informally let alone to the highest degree. The man spent more time in the royal kitchens and developing menus than he did writing bills that would impact the lives of the population. It was a calm and relatively normal life. The man could not handle that sort of stress all at once. He’d rarely ever seen that kind of resolve in anyone. All except one. All except her. The screams resounded and the madman dashed as fast as he could! Armed with nothing but a sword, a fishing rod, and cactus green, the fisherman chose to hold the pole in one hand and green in the other. He was clearly mad, he knew he was risking his life, but he ran towards danger regardless. And then, he saw. . . Retirement. It was the only way he could ever escape into a life he wanted to live. The life of foraging and living off of nature’s grace. There were successors lined in his place, as now he was an old man. A young Marian Blackwood, now Weiss, continued politics. The Boy Baron Henrik Amador took his seat in the unified Duma. Finally, his days of public service were over. In what he thought would be his final act of any importance, the unknown man raised a boy from homelessness after a daring fishing trip, and transformed the lad into a fine chef in his own right. This was it. This was his lasting legacy. He would abandon it all for a life of calm and tranquil simplicity. All of it. Well. . . All except one. All except her. -A mass of poor and desperate bandits fought atop the hills of Waltonburg. The Triumphant King himself rallied a tired band of warriors in the hopes to drive the men off, and rescue his Queen. The fisherman was furious. After peace arrived to all of humanity, she was still a target. Still in danger. . . Shouting on the edge of the hill, the common man under influence screamed towards the mighty King at top of his lungs “WHAT THE F-” This wasn’t the expected outcome. A victory? In a duel against the leader of warriors? He was an old and retired fisherman. The Veletzian townsfolk and warriors looked at the man in awe, as he helped up the defeated Marshal Hendrik Van Aert. By the sheer grace of either luck or newfound skill, an unimportant fisherman single-handedly rescued the beloved People’s Queen. He did it, not for reward, or for whispered rumors of affection, but because his closest friend was in danger of death. There was nothing beating him that day. He would kill a thousand Marshals if he had to. No one could have stopped him. All except one. All except her. -UCK IS GOING ON?! ONE JOB!” The audacity. . . And to a King no less? Well, no one really taught him courtly manners, and the man was so far gone from society he doubted if he would ever be let back at all after a comment like that. He didn’t care, nor plan on it. His victory in politics. . . his triumph against the enemy Marshal. . . his very survival to sixty years of age. . . all of it was just luck. For his entire life he relied only on luck and lived on it. In that desperate battle for life, the man somehow impacted lives, inspired bards and poets. . . he even made a few friends along the way. None were closer to him than her. He would soon find himself close to her one, final, time as a bandit sought to slay the Queen in his dying breath. There were no sounds of glory. . . No screams or warnings. . . There he stood, a man who either had nothing to lose or nothing at all, as he lept towards his world. In the end, as he tumbled down the hill with a sword in his lung, alongside his wounded friend, he died as he lived. . . Homeless Filthy Unknown Unimportant And- [!] A note would be found bloodied next to the dead fisherman’s wound. By sheer luck, it seemed the letter’s envelope was only bloodied, but not the parchment itself. When opened, it read simply: “Ami, In my lifetime of knowing you, I realized that you were always the one saying thank you to me, and not the other way around. Today I return from my fishing trip, and I hope this letter finds you well. Thank you, for everything. Know that if I had to do it all again without a single word of gratitude, that I would work just as hard. It was never for me, or for the Kingdom. It was just you. It was always only for you. Your far, yet close friend, Timmy” For her. -=-=-=- REST IN PEACE TO A LOYAL FISHERMAN KNOWN AS TIMOFEI “TIMMY, THE KING WHO STAYED AND EMPEROR OF FISH” PETROVICH
  19. A Long Dream In the dead of the night, a young-looking elf with tousled, dirty blonde hair toils tirelessly in the Workforce Building near his residence in the Cargonia District. His cerulean eyes, mirrors of the vast ocean, scrutinize each item he handles. Faelion steals a moment for respite. His arms extend above him gracefully, a hand caressing the fatigue from his other limb, accompanied be a refreshing "Eeeeaaagh... Aaaahhhh..." A melodious contentment echoes through the walls of the Workforce Building. Amidst the tranquility, memories of Lumia's wedding surge. A mixture of exhilaration at the use of fireball and a cloud of worry spawned by Scrisa's assault on the Golden Lubba's marriage. The thought of flinging fireballs makes his heart flutter. Fireballs, of all things. Faelion's shoulders sag, a heavy sigh escaping his lips, before he resumes his work. In the silent night, atop Lurin's Workforce Building, a bright, luminous light—brighter than the noonday sun—emanates from within, leaking through the windows. A voice can be heard, "Faelion... It's time for you to wake up..." =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! The jarring sound of an alarm clock shook the room in the early morning. "Hey! Go down and eat your breakfast, young man!" Aurelia, a woman in her late 20s who bore a striking resemblance to an older, gender-bent Faelion, stood over her slumbering younger brother. She tried to rouse him with a mix of authority and care. "5 minutes..." Faelion muttered in protest against his older sister. He grabbed a nearby pillow, covering his face, attempting to reclaim the remnants of sleep. "You'll be late for your first day of class," Aurelia reminded him, forcefully snatching the pillow Faelion had used to shield his face and giving him a gentle pinch to coax her little brother to get out of bed. "Alright, alright. Ow! Stop pinching me, Sis," Faelion groaned, trying to shake off his older sister, all while feigning resistance to convince her that he was already awake. Aurelia stood up from Faelion's bed and observed the young man, crossing her arms with her right foot tapping rhythmically on the wooden floor. "You'll go back to sleep once I go down on my own." "Fiiiine." Faelion reluctantly rose from bed, finally yielding to his older sister's persistence. As Faelion ambled through the city, making his way to school, he vividly reminisced about the dreams he had. His mind replayed scenes of proud warriors going to war, incredible wizards flinging powerful spells, vast lands and frozen wastelands, forests with towering trees, encounters with demons and dragons, and witnessing unspeakable horrors. Amid these dreamt landscapes, Faelion found kindness, and, more importantly, made friends along the way. It was indeed a long dream—one he wished had never ended. Waiting for the bus to school, Faelion glanced at his watch and realized he had ample time before its arrival. He opened his new college notebook, a fresh canvas for this chapter of his life, and grabbed a pen. In the notebook, he inscribed these words: "I dreamt for miles; now reality smiles. Grateful for the journey, it was a dream that turned. Thank you." "I dreamt for miles; now reality smiles. Grateful for the journey, it was a dream that turned. Thank you." ~ FIN ~
  20. A RITTERS END Leutwin Barclay strolled the tourney grounds just outside of Haense -- Soon followed by a rustling sound that came from the bushes and nearby trees, causing the aging Knight to halt in his tracks - then trailing his gaze towards the commotion. A pair of blue eyes looked upon the man through the darkness. “Who’s there?” Leutwin softly called out cautiously, squinting towards the general direction of the figure. The Barclay received no response - and slowly walked towards the eyes, keeping a safe distance. “Hello?” He called out again, keeping his tone calm. “If you submit to your death, it will be painless, if you struggle, you will feel pain. If you escape, you will be haunted.” The stone figure boomed out, standing at 9 feet tall. The sounds of horses galloping in the distance approached them - Leutwin recognizing one of the horseman’s armor, though unknowing of who the man, Sir Rurik Brezwyck, was. Leutwin gazed to the two horsemen, finding humor in the fact that he thought he was being saved by a Veletzian. The other Veletzian went to fight the being Leutwin had come across previously. Soon after - Sir Rurik trampled Leutwin’s lower body with his horse. “For the sake of my children, don’t do this,” pleaded the now trampled man with a pained voice – Sir Rurik’s visage formed a sly grin as he swung the blunt side of his lance to Leutwin’s temple, knocking him unconscious. Sir Rurik’s brother-in-arms assisted in fighting the unholy being – leaving the Veletzian Knight to grab Leutwin’s body and throw it over his steed. “Y will be back, borsa!” Sir Rurik called out to his comrade, galloping away from the scene to make way for Veletz. Upon arrival, Leutwin was tied to a wooden log planted into the enclosed grounds of Veletz. The movement awakened the injured Barclay from his unconsciousness – the mere question, “Why are you doing this?” escaped his lips. Sir Rurik’s eyes widened in shock upon seeing him regain his consciousness. “Don’t do or say anything stupid, and vy won’t be harmed.” The Veletzian warned, robbing Leutwin of his belongings in the process – most importantly taking his dagger. Leutwin began to pray under his breath, but was interrupted by Sir Rurik forcing his mouth open, “Y almost feel pity,” He coldly stated, attempting to push the dagger into Leutwin’s mouth to butcher his tongue. The Barclay’s eyes widened - a gasp escaping from his lips as he soon found himself digging his teeth into Sir Rurik’s fingers. This action prevented his tongue from being cut out — Sir Rurik flinched away, “Vy really want to die, da?” He questioned, his voice growing gruff. A horse approached soon after - his injured brother-in-arms dropping from the horse, lying on the ground with a wounded shoulder. Sir Rurik turned his back to Leutwin to tend to his friend’s injuries. Leutwin slowly took the opportunity to attempt to free himself from his binds - sawing the rope against the wooden log. Sir Rurik, anticipating this action, swung around to wrap his left arm around the Barclay's shoulders - using his right hand to plunge the dagger into Ser Leutwin’s heart. Leutwin’s eyes locked onto Sir Rurik’s - his face now turning a pained, reddish hue. His mouth opened to speak -- though nothing came out as death soon met him. His head bobbed back then -- his now lifeless eyes facing the sunny skies of Veletz. Sir Rurik returned Leutwin’s lifeless body to Minitz, curling him into the corner of the city, close to hidden - but easy enough for him to be found. The Veletzian then sent off a letter he had written to Leutwin’s brother, Matthias Cardinal Lotharia. Ser Leutwin Barclay 1916-1959
  21. MORS OMNIA VINCIT EST Marcus never wanted to be a leader; the thought was always with him as he looked out his window at what he had helped build. He looked away from the city he had spent the last few years building with his best friend Tullius, and looked down at the plans for further expansion in the near future. He lets out a yawn as he looks over the plans once more; a tired expression on his old face. Yet, he kept working on the plans for this was his duty as a consul of the Caelian people. After a few moments, he would let out a sigh before going to grab the bottle of wine he kept on his desk, bringing the bottle to his mouth he starts to down the liquor. A moment of pure bliss, Marcus sets down the wine letting out a sigh as he looks out the window at Caelia. His mind started to wonder again, at the issue that was plaguing his mind; the issue of how to get the resources for the expansion of the city. Standing up from the desk, Marcus walks out of the room and into the stairway as he takes his first step down; he pauses midway through the step and starts to fall. Grabbing his chest as he continues to fall down the spiral staircase, his memories would start flashing before his eyes. A young boy fighting off the other tribes with everything he had but still failing, watching his mother die by those same tribes he failed to stop. The same boy now a young man leaving the south and moving to a strange land ravaged by war, a man who would see the same horrors he ran from. Joining a warband to fight off the invaders of his new home, a man being captured and forced to confess false treachery, a man who lost his arm in battle for his new home, the lord of his new home threatening to kill the man for teaching a young boy about his homeland. Flashes of his memory seem to go faster and as he hit a wall he would fall down a second set of stairs. Now the man can be seen going through a tunnel fighting anvil cultists. The man arrives from the depths onto an island, building a wooden camp with his people, starting a successful business after leaving said island, getting kicked out of his new home, moving further north, meeting a woman and getting married. He would have children of his own before that same wife would perish. Regretful, and then moving past it, building something new. Marcus would utter a yell of pain as he hit the third wall, his blood all over the stairs as he kept on falling, the memory started to slow down once more and he finally landed onto the ground. Marcus tries to sit up but finds that he can’t; he starts to cough up blood. He goes to blink his eyes as blood comes from a large gash on his forehead and enters his eyes. Slowly he would let out one final breath of air and close his eyes. He would hear a shout from the distance but would no longer care who it belonged to for now he finally got to see his beloved once more. SOMNVM QVIETE SCIPIO VIR
  22. Princess Verónica Weiss Circa 147 S.A. Verónica had been within the courtyard of the Valdev palace before they had gone to meet with their allies on the battlefield. She kept to herself on the side, a knot in her gut. She watched as everyone was chummy with each other. She didn’t offer much in terms of conversation with anyone, it wasn’t that she was being offensive, it was just that those there would rather interact with others. This was her normal, and she had accepted that. Granted, earlier in the day, she spoke with Mikhail and had a rather touching conversation with him. Other than that, she wordlessly went along with everyone as they headed out. During the Battle of the Westmark, Verónica had fought along her fellow soldiers with pride, helping slay the Veletzian foes where she could, and following orders within the ranks. She had been struck by a lance on a retreat called, which had knocked the wind out of her, reducing her stamina for the rest of the fight due to her age.. Yet she pressed on. During one of the times they had fallen back into the treeline, she found herself next to Mikhail Valkonen- offering him a reassuring nod that they were going to be all right in the end. That they were going to make it out alive.. Oh how wrong she had been on her end. Within the heat of the battle, an unknown Veletzen soldier ended up setting their eyes upon Koneas Amaya. Verónica had dutifully stayed as close as she could to her queen, on the field, this allowed her to see the attack attempt. She made her way over; quickly taking action. She raised her Princessa Fatal, a blade made for her by Demitrey Denodado, the sword being her go-to weapon. Her blade parried the long sword of the Veletzen’s, having swung it to her right. The two were mostly left alone as the war waged on around them. With her no longer being a spring chicken, she was easily slain, not having the ability to back up fast enough as the enemy soldier brought their blade up and slit her throat. The red liquid sprayed out like a fountain and covered them as the enemy set out to join their allies. Verónica hit the ground with a thud, time had slowed for her as her life flashed before her eyes. She lay in a pool of crimson that started to gather around her and sink into the earth below. After the battle had been lost, both sides were able to claim their dead. A young Konrad Stafyr had found the Princess’s body first. He screamed out “NO!” in a disdained and agonized voice that carried across the gore-filled field. His cry caught the attention of the now-dead woman's niece. Rosalind Valkonen who now knelt across from Konrad as he took her helmet off, praying that it wasn’t who he thought it was.. Once his fears had been concerned. He desperately attempted to find a pulse in a panicked state. None was found.. Rosalind gingerly did her best to clean Verónica’s paled face off before they could get her out of there and returned to her family Verónica awoke within the seven skies. Her joints didn’t ache and she felt young again.. Her hair was longer than it had in years, she enjoyed her long hair and her face and body were no longer scarred. Before she knew what was really happening, she was walking through a set of pearly gates with others around her who had also fallen during the battle. She ended up stopping at the group that was there for her. To greet her in the seven skies. Finally understanding where she was. Verónica started to weep “No!” She exclaimed in what was utter defeat, crying sheer agony on the spot. Her mother, Laurelie wrapped the newly deceased in a hug “It is alright bebé” she shared in an attempt to comfort her “Ea did niet even get to say goodbye-” she whimpered back in dismay “Ea.. did niet get to say goodbye..” she repeated. Joining everyone within the seven skies should have been a happy occasion but for Veronica. In that moment, it was nothing but a feeling of sheer defeat. Princess Verónica Frisketa Isabella Maria Lucia Elisabetta Weiss died in the Battle of Westmark on the 10th of the Grand Harvest, 159 of the Second Age. Verónica leaves behind, her husband. Four children, two daughters-in-law, and ten grandchildren. Please do not meta-game these letters. Each character listed would be given an envelope that was sealed with spring green wax stamped with the Weiss lion, instead of a sun behind it, there was a lightning bolt. Audo Walter Karl Viktor Martina Mikhail Rosalind Raelle Marian Sofia Y’vette Cesar Demitrey Amaya Roui Konrad Glorier Nova Amethyst
  23. Of Ash and Earth – By Law, Honor and Loyalty 20th of Tobias’ Bounty, Year 105 Second Age “All forces halt! We set camp here.” The commanding voices of the coalition army leaders echoed faintly in the ears of this aging man. Frankly, he did not even want to be here. But the King ordered and by law he was obliged. By honor he maintained a stern expression and his silence. By loyalty to those he left home back home he marched. The ruins of the two castles they sieged in the preceding months still looming in the distance, dark shadows against the pale moonlight on this evening. Weary dark grey eyes, lined with wrinkles from the many decades he had to shoulder. He glanced around camp, men and women gathered around their campfires if not asleep or on night watch duty. From all walks of life, each with their own path through time and existence. A wondrous thing indeed. Strange how a man finds time to contemplate such. But given the years of time he has been granted on this world… if there is nothing better to do with it, then why not dabble in philosophy. 21st of Tobias’ Bounty, early morning A horn blares, followed by drums thrumming in the early morning. Awoken, ate some cold rations, geared up. Breathed deeply for a minute to push out the pain in the bones and limbs. The years even wear down those with the most iron constitution. Such is the fate of humans. “Assemble, assemble! The enemy is on the march!” Now in the early light of the morning everyone was the same. Drab in heavy plate armor that rubs open the skin and makes muscles sore at the end of the day. Good protection, but uncomfortable. Better safe than dead though. The column began to move. 21st of Tobias’ Bounty, midday They circled them like vultures. But vultures wait, these didn’t. Pelted with arrows and javelins, the lines marched forward. And back. And forward. Whenever the King and his men commanded. “Headless chickens.” The man murmured. His heart was pumping. Not of joy, not of anger, not of disdain. But only because it was a physical exercise. At that age to be expected. Cursed heavy armor. “Formation about face!” the command comes. The column turned and so did he. By law, honor, and loyalty. 21st of Tobias’ Bounty, early afternoon Frantic and in disarray. The King was struck down. Alive? The remaining forces remained composed. Into a forest they went. And then back out they marched into the open fields, through a tunnel. But the vultures were always present, picked at them. Back and forth. The man eyed the men on his left and right to whom he has grown accustomed. Left one was the same. Right one… was a different face. Closed up the gap, the youngster who was there earlier was no more. Likely bled out in the forests they just left behind. “Headless chickens.” The man grumbled. “Troops, about! We march for the forest!” the command came again. By law, honor, and loyalty, he marched. 21st of Tobias’ Bounty, late afternoon The clash of metal was deafening, for the first time the vultures closed in. Mounted riders crashed down into lose formations. The trees helped and the coalition footmen were able to pick off a few, but under tremendous losses for themselves. A distant command rang to the ears of the old man, as he avoided a charging rider by ducking behind a tree. The plate clad coalition soldiers began to trudge off. Wait. There he was again. The young man who was on right in the morning. Panicked. Running away. For his life. “Headless chickens.” The old man grunted, took a breath. Pushing out the pain, pushing out the tiredness, pushing out the years. He began moving, just to see the young man being ridden down by the vultures. Though this close… not all of them are vultures. Some fight for law. Some for honor. Others for loyalty. And of course, money. Can’t blame them for that. The man moved between the trees as swiftly as he could. But by then, it was already clear that it was too late. The broken up formation, dispersed among the trees had moved on, back to the tunnel. The armor heavy. The breathing hard. “I guess it is time to go.” The man said. --- 21st of Tobias’ Bounty, Year 159 of the Second Age. Thondorus II. Stafyr, Line of Hanethor, aged 105 years, dies in the battle of the “Ashen Skies”. His body falls to Earth in the forests South-West of Brasca. He leaves behind no children. --- “I am sorry, Arthur-Konrad. That took me a while.”
  24. - PENNED BY THE HOUSE OF DRESNAY C. 1954 The House of Dresnay has now entered a period of grievance, the recent events in this saints week have brought great distress to the Baron and his Siblings. Their Mére, Marie Capucine has officially passed away. Over time she had been ill though hiding it from her enfants out of concern for their emotions. She wanted to see them happy and worry-free before her passing and she was granted that by GOD. The Family had called a dinner as they typically would any other month. Gathering their entire family including the Blanchets, Maries family before she wed… Everything appeared to be fine until she began a spurt of coughing.. blood was splattered onto the napkin she had coughed into. This had been a recent occurring thing when she coughed as of late. She attempted to explain to the group she was fine and it was merely wine that was left lingering in her mouth. Though they hardly believed it they seemed quite weary trying their best to continue on the dinner. Her lungs had been failing her, though tonight seemed to be the night they would officially give out. Marie appeared fine for a few seconds after her coughing… She blinked slowly at the group in as a small smile made its way onto her face. Then Suddenly she collapsed onto the table, her children rushing to her side in a panic tears streaming down their cheeks. She gently pulled them in for one last hug, placing a kiss on their foreheads. Her sons then took her hands sobbing claiming that they could call for the doctor. She declined “It is mon time, Je shall meet tu Père.. Tu all shall do great things in life, and protect each other. For mon sake..” Taking her last breaths that night as she gently held her sons one last time… Her grip grew weak as her eyes shut now she took her eternal rest. Ascending to the Heavens to reunite with her Husband Tristand I.
  25. A Melody Must Have an End How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. The flood of memories rushes by, giving one last adieu “Oh! My little butterfly!” a Voice came, my dearest aunt “Come give Aunty a hug” My earliest memory by far, the woman always came running over with that big childish grin of hers and would swoop me into her arms just as she did now but as she got to me the scene changed. “Grandmama?...” My grandmother passed away and my mother was struck by grief. I had stayed with my aunt for a long time, so long, and my mother followed not long after, my father was never around. I was left alone, or so I thought. “Look what I've brought for you! It's your favourite, but don't tell your mother” Sweets were held in front of me by my dearest aunt, a woman who never let her smile fall in front of me, it was infectious indeed, I was not much of a people person at all, but looking back at it I missed out on a lot, and now all I have is regrets on not trying to do more with my life while I had the chance “It's alright, you alright, things will get better soon” My last memory came to play, my aunt hugging me while we were in our darkest hours. Falling into complete utter oblivion, My eyes slowly fell due to my attacker's actions, but it wasn't all bad, I got to see the birds fly one last time before nothingness. Greyed skin and life taken by force, a body was found under the gate arch of Vikela, this body was unfamiliar to most, but to those who knew the woman, to Medea who found the young woman she was almost unrecognisable Melody de Astrea, she was drained of all blood, with two puncture wounds upon her neck an obvious attacker. However, that did not seem to be the killing blow. Whether or not this was the work of one person or if there was someone else to give the final kill would never be known, From the look of her dissected body it seemed as if someone had studied it like she was someone's science project, she did not at all look like her former self anymore, and the only thing left behind by the sick attacker was a note simply saying. “Thank you for participating” As if it had been all but a game to them, maybe to taunt the deceased loved ones more Melody de Astrea had not lived a long fulfilling life, before this horrid day, she had already been withering away from poor health, her time had already been approaching but it seemed someone had plans to bring her demise much, much sooner. For she had been expecting her demise due to her health a singular letter had already been written to whom she cared for most, to who had looked after her, but sadly this letter had never been finished Dearest aunt Medea You looked after me like I was your own, and for such I can't thank you enough, our fates intertwined from my birth, I would have felt so lost if you had left me alone, being born as your niece had been the greatest treasure to me, to be able to grow and follow you, you shaped my life, but if my time does come to pass by, I wish you to know to look to the skies in hopes a bird flies by, I watched from the window as the birds flew by gliding through the shadows of the clouds up in the sky, I've laid my memories and dreams upon their wings, and in my dearest memories, I see you reaching out to me, and if I should leave this lonely world behind I hope for you to only carry on and remember that… [!] the letter incomplete one would never know what the dying woman had been trying to say at the end of her letter to her aunt. [!] With her Body now buried Melodies of life now gilded forever more amongst the winds of time. Sleep well little butterfly, Melody de Astrea
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