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  1. TO ESCAPE DAMNATION Part 1: The Run Lurdoic ran into the woods, leaving the capital of Urguan behind. A city he had known so well for many decades. He propped himself up against a tree, sweat pouring from his brow as he recounted what occurred…. The Nephew… he raged. The boy would sooner plummet to his own demise than besmirch the reputation of his clan. Lurdoic did not know whether to laugh or curse, so naturally he defaulted between both. The plan was going smoothly… the ghoul attacked as he intended. The ghoul left the note. Lurdoic lured the King to the house… and then the damned child claimed the incriminating letter and ran to his death off a cliff. Lurdoic pondered for a moment. He had ignored the King’s orders to back down from the chase, he had effectively led the boy to his death. All eyes were on him now… but he was safe. Safe from Urguan. He made his way to a companions fortress at ?????? and provided the news to his co-conspirators…. He was permitted to stay for as long as he desired. The heat would die down, it always did. He would weather the storm. A stone month or two… and things would be fine. “You Coward…. Running again? Hiding again? You can do it for as long as you like. The end result will be the same.” The voice penetrated the Irongut’s skull. Lurdoic hid in the corner of the fortress, placing his hands on his face. [!] “In the end… you shall die.. And when you do… which God will bargain for your soul?” Lurdoic hid in the corner “Shut up…. Shut up” he repeated, but he knew the voice spoke true. He had hidden himself from his own people. He had drank the blood from their corpses…. He was darkspawn. A Vampire. Not for a month, not for two… but for ten Stone months. Ten Stone months he had hidden himself in Urguan. He had conspired with HER in Urguan. He knew his duties. He even accepted them, but the doubts remained in his head. What was he to do…. What was he to do… and then it came to him. A plan that had been conjuring in his head for awhile. THE ULTIMATE ESCAPE FROM DAMNATION. Lurdoic was tired of running. Tired of lying, tired of being the Hidden Light. Tired of being under the thumb of the Brathmordakin. He will escape, he will fight. The lies would end, once and for all. The Irongut made his way back to Urguan. Part 2: The Fight He would not go without his farewells. He would confess everything, rub it in the faces of those he had hid it from, and then escape to eternity. Escape to freedom. He marched into his home, ensuring no one knew of his entry into the city, began writing letters, and then…. A.K entered his abode. A.K. was Lurdoic’s closest ally and friend, and thus, the Irongut explained the plan to his compatriot. A.K. was horrified at what Lurdoic intended to do. They debated, they argued… but the Irongut’s mind would not be changed. A.K. gave up trying, the Irongut would not be swayed… so A.K. had one last request. A Final Duel Between Friends Lurdoic accepted. It was the least he could provide. Lurdoic marched his friend to the mountains, and so began their duel. A.K. immediately went on the offensive. Lurdoic dashed away, placing his voidal anchor to the right! A.K. blocked the anchor, Lurdoic dashed again… and then… A.K. threw a leather cape over Lurdoic’s face… The Dwed sank to his knees. The concept of what he was planning to do finally hit the Dwed like a carriage. Lurdoic’s face was sent into the grass, wallowing in despair. This was it. The recipe to escape damnation, the one that the voice spoke of. It was to become a Voidal Horror Lurdoic would lose the very essence of his being. He would leave everyone behind. His memories, his flesh, his soul. Everything would disappear. Lurdoic stared up at his friend, his face muddied with grass and dirt, and then finally spoke his words. “I have lived a life of sin…. I hated the Brathmordakin, so I wanted to spite them by becoming an abomination… I wanted to seize my own fate… and this pathway… this escape, is the only way how… but I am afraid… I must admit that. I have made ill choices with my life, and I regret what I have done, but this last action… will be my choice. MY decision. I will channel my own fate into my hands and abandon this realm.. But I owe it to Urguan to tell them the truth of what I have done….” He would glance back at his friend and ally. “Write a different story…. Learn from what I’ve done and avoid my path. Take your own will into your hands… and enjoy your life… look after Aedan and Renny for me” Lurdoic and his friend would embrace, the first and the last time. “I will respect your choice, Lurdoic. Do what you will” Lurdoic nodded “I’ll give them a show” Part 3: The Escape Lurdoic entered the throne room. It was time. There was no going back now. He had sent out letters across the Kingdom, declaring that he was going to make a speech. He would leave it a surprise for them. This would be the last speech the Irongut would make. He knew his time would be limited. The moment he made his confessions, he expected to be attacked immediately, therefore he kept his gaze firmly on the crowd that was forming, beginning his speech…. And then… he spotted them. Gallio, Hana and a Mossborn Golem. They rose up onto the platform, and Lurdoic immediately detected their intentions. They threw bottles of salted water at him. Lurdoic was prepared and expected them to make a move, and quickly dashed down from the platform and into the crowd. GET HIM NOW! The attackers declared. Lurdoic was immediately pummeled to the floor by Obok Metaldrinks. Lurdoic barely resisted. “DO IT NOW YOU FOOL! NOW! NOW!NOW! BECOME ONE WITH VUUR'DOR” Lurdoic almost let out a laugh. His confession was not necessary. He drew out his fangs, showing them for the entire throne room to see, and made his confession. “You halfwits! What do you think I was planning to do! Well, you give me little time! Yes. I am a Darkspawn, a Vampire. Right under your noses for Ten Stone months!… yes… I conspired to take down Tuzic! He told me I was damned, so I wanted to bring him down to damnation with me!” The axes, swords and spears pummeled down onto the Dwarf… but it was done… the ritual had been completed. A mass of horrific tendrils sprouted from the Dwarf, pouring out of his voidal strained skin. His mangled and butchered corpse released his higher form.. A Voidal Horror. Lurdoic Irongut reached a higher state of being. His identity, his name, his thoughts… all incomprehensibly altered by the ritual. Lurdoic was no more, and now a Voidal Horror hovered over the throne room. Immediately, the throne room began to fill up with Dwed. The bell was rung. A case of catastrophic proportions as the Voidal Horror spanned the room. Attacks were made on the eternal being, and the being squealed in response, leaving a trail of black blood and mold. The being had finally escaped the clutches of mortality. It could only cackle and roar, making incomprehensibly noises, mixed with speech. It entertained the presence of the Dwarves…. “KILL, KILL, KILL” It bellowed. Its fear of death conquered. Part 4: The END Thromdrick Irongut entered the haul as the battle between the monstrosity and the Dwedmer continued. He called upon the same Mossborn golem to aid him. He was well equipped with Vuur’dor, and knew how to contain the abomination. As projectiles flew, and swords were sent through the air, he lifted himself up, courtesy of the golem, and raised his staff. A black Orb present in the middle. The Voidal Horror twisted and writhed as the attacks came in force. Then, it spotted the orb. It was naturally drawn to the artifact, taking it lightly as it began to amass around it. Digging its tendrils into the black chasms of the orb. The undying horror’s thoughts could not be penned down… but it saw a familiar face in the crowd. A girl, A Dwarven Girl… who…. For a brief moment… The being known as Lurdoic snapped back to his senses. Lurdoic stared into the chasms of the orb, and at the girl. He knew what the orb was for. Containment. Memories of old returned to him. Memories of his service to Urguan. He had lied, he had deceived… but there were moments that he did enjoy his service, that he wanted the best for Urguan. He continued to stare at the girl.. His daughter.. the gift of his wife Crera... and then realized… perhaps service to something… perhaps service to someone is nae such an ill endeavor. He gave the girl one last wave of his tendril,. and then the horror marched right into the orb…. He had escaped damnation and fear, but had chosen to stay with Urguan, with the people he knew well… forever, inside the Orb.
  2. 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!
  3. PAPER The gardens of the Heather Palace. A singular question seemed to rattle in Josefina’s head as the days became longer. As she became more content to sit still, surrounded by the laughter of others, rather than take part herself. What became of a life? Some, she knew, were written in sand and washed away by even the most gentle of waves. Fleeting and temporary, and ultimately unwritten or forgotten as the world carried on. Others left the proof of their existence in flesh. Still more were scrawled onto paper, to persist or crumble away to dust with care or lack thereof. And a minuscule number of lives were carved into stone and metal, untouched by time. As she lay on what she suspected would be the bed she would die in, Josefina wondered. What would define her life? What would become of it, after she had gone? She had raised fortresses and cities from bare patches of earth, and carved the most stubborn of diamonds into thousands of different shapes. Surely, she had left a mark on the world, even if none remembered that it had been she who had done so. Would her children ask the same questions when they too faced the end, like Amaya had as she held her hand? Would her grandchildren, and their children? As one moves through life, and adjoining lives fall away, Josefina found that one gradually forgets what had once been as clear as glass. After all, she could not say she remembered Esfir’s face, nor Anton’s or Inessa’s. Vladrik’s too had been lost to her, and she was sure Matviy’s would have gone with him to the Skies had he not had a portrait drawn. She could not remember the voices of her parents, nor those of her friends. Anabel came and went like fog on a hill, Georg flew in and out of her vision as a swiftly passing cloud, marked by paperwork, long nights, and a gratitude for the man her sister had married. Edith was only a warm, smiling face in the corner of her eye and a gentle hand on her shoulder. Niamh had become no more than a shadow. Josefina could not remember the idle conversations, nor the quiet moments. She could not clearly picture anything that hadn’t left a scar. These days, all she could remember is that she had loved them all dearly, and missed them just as much. After all, her heart had always bled far too much for them. One face, though, refused to be forgotten. It had been carved into her heart, along with a smile, a laugh, a vow. It had left her years ago, she didn’t care to remember how many, along with the man who bore it, but its image had been tattooed into her soul. She had lived only twelve of her ninety-five years without knowing him. She grew with him, she laughed with him, and she lived with him. She wondered if her life would be written with his when she passed. He stared back at her through her sons and grandsons, and his voice filled every silence. Manfred looked at her with his eyes, eyes he had passed down to his sons and daughter. Konstanz bore his smile, and Georg, named after a King long passed, had gotten his temper. Little Winifred, the most like her, had gotten his heart. Her eyes and ears were tricking her, she knew. A pale imitation of the vivid nightmares her mind had conjured when she thought him gone a lifetime ago. He had given her everything, after all. How could she ever forget him? She had been a mother to many more than four, and he had never begrudged her the need to care for as many as she could, nor her need to worry and fret over him. She had loved abandoned children, and those without any parents to call their own, as if they were hers. As if they were born from her own flesh and blood. She had taken care of Aleksandr, Ileana, Fabian, Matthias, and Wilhelm, for they had let her, and she had happily done so. Had she given them enough? Would they forgive her if she hadn’t? With a soft, barely there breath, Josefina fell into sleep, and suddenly she was twenty-two again, and the tiniest baby rested on her shoulder. Mist filled her eyes as she rocked him, soft humming rising from her chest to lull him to sleep. The child slumbered on, and the world spun on its axis, and there Manfred stood, seventy-three and long since grown, dearest Ravenna beside him with her hand on his shoulder, Alfred and his siblings standing around them. Her arms were open to him, as they always were. As they always had been. And as her eldest approached and laid his head on her shoulder once again, Josefina sighed, content. All he had ever needed to do was accept it for what it was, comfort. Her golden son, with a heart as soft as the metal itself. “You have been the best parent anyone could ever pray for. As perfect as Saint Julia herself.” Little Georg, cradled securely in her arms, struggled and writhed against the blankets she had swaddled him in. She supposed that was fitting. He always had been more content to wander through the world than put down roots. And then he was sixty-eight again and supporting her as she struggled to stand. All Josefina could do was stifle her tears. How she had missed him, her wandering son. Winifred skipped ahead of her next, a carefree smile on her lips, and laughter in the air. Her only daughter. Dear, shy Winifred. A child with her hair and her temper and the name she chose. Josefina wondered where she was now. If she was happy. If she had found all that she sought out of life. She would be sixty-four now. Josefina had celebrated every birthday, she had prayed every day. She wished she had been able to say goodbye. Konstanz came next, her youngest, the final gift God had given her, with his dark blonde hair and his green eyes. The perfect mixture of her and the man who changed the course of her life with a mere word or two. He was so very gentle as he grew, she liked to think at least a little of it had come from her. And then there he stood, the first to help her to her feet when her legs could not hold her, sixty-three with a heart of steel, and Josefina felt pride swell in her heart. The world changed again, and she knew motherhood no more. Youth surrounded her, draped itself over her in waves, and Josefina barely breathed as a shadow she knew she would never forget appeared in her view. Wilheim, all of twelve years old, sat astride his horse with that same confident smirk that she had missed so dearly, and as she reached out to settle her hastily crafted handkerchief in his hand, Josefina realized her body didn’t ache as it had from missing him. This was where she first felt as though all the light in the world had first dawned on her and her alone, even as his shadow bore down upon her. This was where they had begun. Where it had all begun. “You always were the only one who found ease in defeating me, dear.” As she took his hand after bouts both won and lost, Josefina smiled. She was content if this was to be eternity, and even if it wasn’t, she was content to see only this glimpse of what was. She was content to rest.
  4. 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.”
  5. [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.
  6. -DA KLOMP TO DEFY- -ANZ FATE- || Imperial 1962|| S.A 167 || Under the blazing sun of the Honorbound lands, the Urukhim would gather around an oval pit of dirt. From honouraries that possess the soul of an orc and goblins that tinker away on their newest creation, to Wargoths of Klans and large Ologs, digging into beasts as large as they. All of them - were here to witness a fight. A KLOMP! A CHALLENGE TO ALL OF URUKHIM! The young Thraalûk'Gorkil, rode into the pit with his MIGHTY Gorkil-boar. With an estimate from the sight of its sheer size and mass, one would guess it was around 550lbs heavy and 6ft in length. Thrallûk’s legs are wrapped around the boar and his hands held a MIGHTY glaive. A blackened orcish polearm forged from black ferrum. It is composed of a lengthy [6½ft] wooden shaft that features slayer-steel rings and a curved blade that protrudes [3½ft] outwards. At the base of the blade, silver elven hair from the victims of the coalition war is hung proudly. Despite its fearsome appearance, one can spot an eye for its inner beauty and its successful craftsmanship. It is truly a weapon to hold with honour and skill. The Boar itsef was decorated in powdered, bone white ritualistic circles. It looked angry, blood-lusted like the rider himself. Its tusk bearing and hooves within the mud - preparing to kick off when needed by its rider. “THIS KLOP AM UNTIL AZH OF TE KLOMPERZ FLATZ! BOTH GET WEAPONS OF THEIR ZCHOOCIN, BUT TEI KAN NUB USE MOJO, ALKEMI OR OTHER SKAH LIKE THAT FOR TE KLOMP! NEITHER OF ‘EM HAS ANI ARMOR EITHER!” called out Kretz’Ox Wargoth of Klan Ox. “BOTH START ON A STEED, BUT IF TEI FALL OFF TEI KAN NUB GET BACK ON! AZH OF UZ ON TE SIDE WILL REMOVE TE STEED FROM TE KLOMPIN PIT!” “IF TE YOUNG URUK WINZ, HE WILL GET TE WHITEWAZH GOB’S FLAT BODI AGH ITEMS. BUT IF TE WHITEWAZH GOB WINZ, HE WILL GET TE URUK’S BODI AGH ITEMS! ALONG THAT, HE WILl be all…” Gob Ztabba-Zniffa would tune out the rest - he knew the rules of ‘The Klomp’. The goblin would hop onto his stocky wagh-pony. While it dwarfed in size to The Gorkil’s mount, just like its rider. it had a fierce look upon it. Gob would unfold his javelin from the side of the mount, grabbing hold of it while Kretz’Ox read the rules - his Falx sitting on his hip. A crude, curved weapon made for the purpose of dismembering the opponents in the 'Ten Year War'. It measures 30" in it's total length - 1/3 of it being the handle made of Petran oak wrapped in leather, allowing it's used both hands and a shield. The weapon's blade is made of ferrum that's sharpened on one edge. It's at a slight angle and curves at the top - allowing it's wielder to cut through even the toughest of leather and flesh. A little excited grin would appear on Gob’s face as he faced his opponent in a do-or-die situation. Perking up as he heard the call from Kretz’Ox if he’s ready, giving a thumbs up. “ZQUEEEEEEEEEELLLL!” Called out the boar! The rider yelled out “WAGH!” in response. His Glaive preparing itself by reaching outwards in protection. “BOTH AM REDI! THREE.. DUB.. ANZ.. KLOMP!” Kretz’Ox yelled. . . . . . . . “Ow” comes quietly from Minto’Lur A nod from Gutlug’Lur as he watches the might displayed. Gob however, has no thoughts as he watches his own horse being thrown at him - even if he could move, his torn up body would not save him. Flashes of memories flood Gob’s mind. There’s been no peace in his life - growing up admits the ‘Ten Years’ War.’ There’s been no growth - only thing he’s got to show are feeble attempts and failure. It’s been an endless struggle - to make others respect him. He will never see the fruits of his labour - for only now have the first puds begun to spurt from the ground. His brain tries to grasp onto anything good in his life - anything. Friends he’s made.. Starting with Barnabus, Lady Angelina, Abbess Rebbecca.. People who cared for him.. Juniper, Pinebaron, Rhosyn Cardinal Casica.. People he’s learned from.. The Reinhold ‘Room-mates’, Kretz’Ox, Friend… His comrades in arms.. The Von Theonus House, The Ausecan Corps, Krognag… His friendly rivals.. Rigoberto, Marcus Galken.. People he’s saved.. His adoptive son, Queen Catherine I, The People of Petra.. As his own horse casts a shadow over him - Gob blinks, a flicker of a thought in his mind: “MI JUZT BEKAME AHN ZQUIRE! NEVAH AHN KNIGHT! IZI ZUKKZ BALLZ!” THE BELLS ON THE GOBLIN’S HAT WOULD RING FOR THE LAST TIME AS HE’S BEING FLATTEN’D! … LITERALLY!
  7. Deep within the embrace of a tranquil forest, far from the hustle of civilization, Sir Damien de Salia sought solace in the midst of towering trees and a carpet of fallen leaves. The sun's rays filtered through the foliage, creating a mosaic of light and shadow on the forest floor as the knight engaged in a private communion with nature. In this secluded haven, Sir Damien's sword sliced through the air with grace and precision. The rustle of leaves and the occasional chirping of birds bore witness to his dedication. Unbeknownst to the knight, a subtle transformation was unfolding beneath the emerald canopy. As Sir Damien's practiced movements continued, an uninvited adversary seized the moment. A sudden tightness gripped his chest, and the once rhythmic dance of blade and skill faltered. The forest, a silent guardian to countless secrets, watched as the seasoned knight grappled with an unseen foe, the serenity shattered by an internal struggle. Time slipped away like the gentle breeze that stirred the leaves. Far from the vigilant eyes of fellow warriors, Sir Damien's prolonged absence became a silent chapter in the forest's ancient story. The knight's fate remained a secret shared only with the rustling leaves and the murmuring stream. In the heart of the ordinary forest, Sir Damien de Salia confronted mortality in solitude. His training had a purpose beyond personal mastery – he was honing his skills to defend Balian from the looming threat of the Veletz army. As the shadows of the forest embraced him, his last words echoed through the stillness, carried away by the wind, "Protect... Balian... and the realm." The trees, standing as silent sentinels, bore witness to a departure that went unnoticed by all but the whispering winds. The knight who had sought the embrace of nature to refine his skills met an end obscured by the very tranquility he had cherished, leaving only the echo of his last breath to linger amidst the serene woods.
  8. 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
  9. "God can't save us from the hands of mortal pride; Dios no puede salvarnos de las manos del orgullo mortal." In the desolate embrace of a world torn by war, where the very air whispered tales of anguish and chaos, Apollonina traversed the unforgiving battlegrounds. News of her beloved brother's tragic fate clawed at her heart, a somber reminder that in the dance of war, no one emerged unscathed. With an age-worn visage and the remnants of lost nobility, she embarked on a journey, leaving behind the familiarity of her cottage. The morning, painted with the hues of sorrow, bore witness to her frail steps, each one laden with the weight of grief. Her grandchild's laughter, a distant melody within her mind, echoed in the background, a cruel sound to the impending doom. With the wisdom of years etched on her face, Apollonina should have known that war yields only destruction, as the cold wind whispered tales of the new war's relentless rampage. She was mistaken for a relic of nobility and became a casualty in a war that did not care about titles or lineage. Quizás ella debía dejar un mensaje. ¿O fue otra víctima más? Bloodstained fingers traced the wrinkles of a life lived fully, slowly giving way to the certainty of death as the body collapsed on the merciless ground. Her eyes settled on a single flower, a bloom among the pebbles. ¿Acaso fue una hierba olvidada? Her heart began to ache with every reminder of her losses as grief wrapped its painful talons around it. She was burdened by her memories, which ranged from the fleeting grins of her father, Ioannes, who used to work at the lecturers and give her dolls and warmth, to the joyful moments she shared with her grandfather, who allowed her to hold the name de Rivera. The cold winds of betrayal smothered the warmth of familial ties, and Petra's stoic walls bore witness to her metamorphosis into a jaded soul. Once an inspiration, her niece Renilde was destroyed by a queen's disdainful hand for family, leaving Apollonina to manage the broken pieces of her own family. Her life was intricately woven by the elusive and unpredictable dance of love. She heard of Paco-No Toni's calling to become a priest in the blossoming lanes of Acre, but she declined the invitation. Quizás debería haberlo intentado. ¿Seguiría desangrándose en la hierba del camino? In the twilight of her years, Apollonina found herself tethered to Sancho in a marriage born of necessity. While love blossomed and offspring were cherished, the scars of a love lost in time lingered, casting shadows over the warmth of her present.For years, she longed for Sebastion, a star-crossed lover lost in the ruins of Oren. Their laughter once echoed in tandem, and they faced the world together. They fought together and gathered a makeshift family. He was the wild, uncharted waters she struggled to navigate—a love forever unfulfilled. As Apollonina's eyes fluttered shut, the final notes of her life's memories played. Loneliness gripped her, and in the throes of her demise, the metallic taste of mortality filled her lungs. The question lingered: who would come to find her, the once vibrant girl with short brown hair and piercing blue eyes, now a relic of a bygone era, aged beyond her years? ¿Me reconocerán siquiera? Alba puede heredar las cuchillas. Perhaps she can finish what I started.
  10. “Someone has to leave first. This is a very old story. There is no other version of this story.” The month prior had been filled with so much joy, so much care. A gentleness that made everything so soft. Ambrosine felt like things were going to turn around for her- one way or another. A hope in her heart that she hadn’t felt in a long-long time. That hope would not last long… Blood and screams filled the air in Celia’lin that fateful evening. The sound of horse-hooves clambering upon stone, the sound of flesh being met with a blade- everything had turned so wrong so quickly. An uttered phrase of “Igne’Sae” was made, yet barely did that flame begin to alight. That warmth died just as a new warmth had spread upon her left shoulder. The smell of iron filled the air, the smell of rot as well- no… not rot… Sulfur. It was a suffocating smell- and it carried with her as she had heard the last few words of her Haelun- something she tried to hold onto. “Try and stay alive oem’ii…” Tears couldn’t bring the amount of pleads she wanted to share, how she had thought- “No- please- not again. Not again. Anything but this.” But she was not so fortunate, not like the times before. No comfort would soothe her anymore- not this time, not even the uttered apologies of one of her captors. “Please… live…” She thought to herself, but as she kept her teary eyes shut- she could only remember the faces of those she knew… Aiyeis, her Haelun Erendriel, a trusted friend Elarhil, a longtime llir Seth Calith, a Maln figure Soris, someone she aided and thought of as a friend Alistair, someone she cared too much about Ser Artel, a trusted Alchemy buddy Kendall Cooper, a momentary llir Mare, her teacher and llir Kyl’lian, an old fiance- a man who had her heart Valazaer, even in death- she could never have hated him Her birth Haelun Her birth father Her sister… There were many more, but soon her mind was plagued as the flames of a firepit licked at her skin- her screams filling the night air as her tears felt like boiling licks at her skin. Only did her nerves finally burn away- did her mind have a fragment of clarity- the cheery macabre sound of a woman cheering for her demise- as soon the elfess’ ashes had taken to the skies. A little lizard would watch in silence- now in the presence of someone new- someone darker. Nothing could be done, and nothing could be said. The only hope of a bright soul now burned away, only having a thought that she hoped she was remembered, and that she had finally found love… somewhere in the hearts she left behind. In the night sky- Ambrosine would fine three familiar faces- and she finally... finally, found home. Ambrosine Decebal- Made 535 Days and 22 Hours. Died; Age 132 Born; SA 22
  11. [ Lady Sierra Weiss ] The grand halls of Novkursain lay shrouded in profound silence, a rare contrast to the usual bustle of the Weiss family's daily routines. All were engaged in their busy lives, save for one exception: Lady Sierra Weiss, who rested within her chambers, battling yet another bout of ill health. Her condition had deteriorated significantly over the years, especially after the heart-wrenching loss of her beloved husband and children. Sierra had fought valiantly to hold on for the sake of her cherished family, but her body had reached its limits. After composing poignant letters to her loved ones, Sierra's chest tightened, and a raspy cough emanated from her frail form. She desperately sought the assistance of her household's servants, yet her voice failed her. Gasping for breath, she stumbled toward the door and fell to her knees. Was this the ending she desired? Weakly, she dragged herself back to her bed, determined to meet her fate with grace and dignity, sparing her family from the anguish of finding her fallen on the floor. With her last reserves of strength, she pulled herself onto the bed, her face flushed from the effort to breathe. She had been prepared for this moment for some time, and as she lay there in her final moments, a faint smile graced her lips, her memories dancing before her eyes. The memories transported her to a simpler time, a crowded family home echoing with the youthful laughter of Sierra and her siblings: Audo, Haus, and Via. In their innocence, they were a boisterous bunch, with Sierra at an age where she was not too challenging to handle. The young girl regaled her family with tales of becoming a Soldier Princesa Witch, their imaginations running wild. During those early years, Sierra had a best friend who taught her a lesson about loyalty to family. In her final moments, she wondered about Lucy and whether the girl still existed as a cursed child. Even now, Sierra could not bring herself to judge those born under unlucky stars, such as cursed beings and demons. She wondered if they felt a sense of loneliness. In her youth, she often befriended them, leading to moments of trouble that temporarily strained her relationship with her brother. Despite her youthful mistakes, her father was a constant source of guidance and support. He remained her anchor as she grew older, emphasizing the importance of family bonds. Through her trials and tribulations, she learned that blood was unbreakable, and family was a pillar of strength. Her troublesome days eventually gave way to more refined lady lessons, which transformed her into an honorable lady. Upon returning home, she discovered the beauty of love and married Carolus Colborn. This should have been the pinnacle of her life, but it was marred by the loss of her beloved father, a pain that continued to haunt her even as she lay dying in her chambers. Yet, the most painful thought was that she would leave her precious daughter, Levisa, alone in the world, a pain she had experienced firsthand and wished to spare her from. Sierra pondered whether she had done enough and whether her friends and family would remember her in a positive light or forget her, harboring resentment for her perpetual illness. As her thoughts wove through the tapestry of her life, her breaths grew slower, ushering her into a peaceful slumber. In that final moment, her mind cleared, and she saw only light. It beckoned to her like a door, and she reached for it eagerly. Upon opening it, a warm, humid breeze washed over her, making her feel young again. She stepped through and beheld the paradise her father had spoken of so many times, her namesake, Sierra. Tears welled in her eyes as she gazed upon the breathtaking scenery, resonating with the sounds of nature and the echo of her father's chuckle, sending shivers down her spine. She spun around, her eyes locking with her father's, who awaited her with a warm smile, just as he had promised. "Papej! Papej!" Sierra joyfully cried out and embraced death, rushing towards the old man with boundless love. At last, she had found her paradise, her heaven, her Sierra.
  12. Across the snowy city of Haense, in a house that was once filled with happiness and the joy of a family, lies the cold body of Daniel Ketch, a man who now resides in that very same house, which is now filled with dust and loneliness. And although he passed away alone, a smile could be seen on his face, for he knew he'd finally be reunited with his loved ones. Three letters could be seen organized from left to right on the table next to his bed, each of them addressed respectively to Gregorious Roa, Rosa, and lastly, his family. Gregorius Roa You're probably the only friend I have left, and even though you're insufferable, I'm glad I've lived long enough to keep being your friend. Looking back I might have missed a lot of things when I said that I would rather die than becoming a Roa, but seeing you raising a family made me want to do the same, and that gave me the opportunity to finally be happy again, so I'm thankful for that. And lastly, I have a request for you, I know you're already old but please, stay with your family a little longer. I've already seen most of your children such as Aurora, Percy, and Gven and I saw how much they love you, so please stay with them as long as possible and try to be a better father than I was. Rosa Rosa, you're the one who made me want to keep living even though I couldn't anymore. you were my hope,pride and joy, and I couldn't be more happy than I was the day I found you wandering in Haense. I know that nowadays you're busy with all of the new things in your life, but if you ever feel sad, or unworthy, I want you to remember that your grandpa will always love you no matter what. I wish that that one day, you have the chance to find someone you love and remain by their side as long as you want to, so as my last request, i want you to be happy. PS:I've also attached the recipe of those cookies I used to make for you. My dear family Family is a strange concept, some say that your family is composed of those who share your blood, while others say that family is shared between those you feel happy and comfortable with. In my case, I'd have to say that the second option is more appropriate, because even though I lost mine once, I had the chance to build another one. So this letter is addressed to all those I consider my family. Tobias, my dear son and his daughter, Rosa, Luke my one and only husband who helped me overcome all of the hardships in my life, Gregorius Roa and his family who inspired me to raise one as well, Leon, who by asking me to join the warband, changed my life as a whole and allowed it to become what it is today, all those who served the theodoric's warband and shared this same feeling :Valens, Reeve, Siegfried, Damon and everyone else. And last but not least,all of the friends I made throught this beautiful journey I call life.
  13. [Kipchak Helmet worn by Saxton Von Stroheim at the time of his death] ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A deluge of rain fell across the surface of the Ritter Tower whilst Saxton faced down a goliath warrior alongside his brothers. "Barbarian, Heathen, Scum!" Saxton mutters through gritted teeth; he's faced this Barbarian before, 'The Lord of Bones' they called him. A behemoth Frankish warrior, wearing bits and pieces of stolen Minitz Lamellar, in their first encounter Saxton's shield and armor was shattered by a single blow from the Frank. Fighting him alone was suicidal; but he wasn't alone, both of his brothers stood beside him, both were knights, both were templars. With such allies' victory was all but guaranteed. The Stroheims began to close in, Saxton made the first move; reeling back his Warhammer and swinging it toward the Barbarian. However, The Lord of Bones was fast for his size; the Barbarian swung as well, slamming his hammer into Saxton's. A thunderous BOOM rang out as the two hammers clashed. Saxton staggered back as his hammer was flung from his hands. "Boomsteel ?" he nearly gasped. Before the Frankish warrior could follow up with another swing both of his brothers kept him occupied. One of the brothers, Peter, clashed his hammer with The Lord of Bones'. Boomsteel clashing with Boomsteel, causing another Thunderous clap to ring out. The other brother, Robert, blinded The Lord of Bones with a radiant light bursting from his body. Saxton saw his chance; he had no powerful weapons or holy magics like his brothers, but he did have his instinct. And now his instincts told him to strike. He unsheathed a kriegsmesser, gripping it in both of his hands before lunging at the blinded Barbarian. Victory was all but guaranteed, but not without a cost. Saxton swung his messer down at the Frankish warrior, yet instead of cleaving his head in two he only managed cut deeply into the shoulder. Before, he could react or adjust Saxton felt something, a sharp and crushing pain in his chest, then he heard it. The sound of Thunder boomed from a-top the Ritter Tower and as it did Saxtons body was flung from the walls. As he fell, he felt pain for a short while, then he felt cold, and then nothing. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  14. Mi Nepos was a complicated man, he was a fighter, a drunkard, a scholar and lastly he had a heart of pure aurum. Lucius Ramneseii Brutus died way too soon and way too violently for my liking and today is the day we make a vow as a people that we will not let any more of our own die to the servants of the wealthy one. For too long we have suffered at the hands of many different groups; in the deserts of Almaris it was the numerous desert tribes and in the distant past it was the LaVassieur Forest Dwarfs. All of these foes we have beaten back; and we will beat these new ones. The Mvs Rexum will be hunted for their crimes and crucified The Caelian people must be vigilant once more for around any corner could be your enemy. Lucius was killed in his own home with no one there to hear his last words; he clearly fought bravely like a true Caelian but even the brave Lucius could not beat the mvs alone. The Caelians must work as one to fight off these great threats or we will never be as great as our ancestors. However, we can not forget our great heroes like Lucius, who shall be remembered as one of the great heroes of Caelia up there with Caelianus Ramneseius and others. Signed ~ Marcus Ramneseii Scipio
  15. -A BURDEN BESTOWED TO THE GREATEST OF AMADORS- ♪ ♫♬ ♪ ♫ That might save my skin, but it won't save my soul ━━━─━────༺༻────━─━━━ ━━━ From Ashes, We Rise ━━━─━────༺༻────━─━━━ Golden light filtered through glassy windows and held undisturbed by not one breath. A young girl stood before the imposing throne of Karl III. The girl, naught yet nine years old, stared forward at the grandeur before her- eyes wide with determination and a touch of vulnerability. She’d clear her fluttering heart with a small hum, addressing aloud then: “Vyr Majesty," she began, her voice steady despite her racing heart, "Ea stand before vy niet as a petitioner, but as a daughter of a once-proud house. Ea wished to apologise on behalf of mea Father- Filip Amador- for mea House’s inactivities and troubles" She’d add then, glancing up evermore at the king before her- a flame catching spark within her chest despite the rising anxieties. “If niet in mea Father’s lifetime, then in mea own Ea will correct our familial mistakes.” The court was hushed, every eye fixed on the resolute girl who stood unwaveringly before the King. King Karl III leaned forward, his eyes locked with the girl’s– as if he sought the essence of her determination. "I thank you child," he said at last. “Though I do not blame your father either. He took up a monumental task that was not his to blame in any regard-” The King would offer kindly then- “but rather he was fighting a very difficult tide. He tried his best, and that is all that could be asked.” And so days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. The girl threw herself into her studies, engaging in a wardship under the King’s Palatine to teach her the arts of leadership and governance. She frequented the libraries, delving into historical accounts of great leaders and their conquests. She began attending court sessions, observing the King's decisions and the dynamics of power. But fate has a penchant for its own twists. Her father had lost the fire long ago, leaving nothing but ash in his heart. And the evening after her declaration, her father– her rock of guidance– vanished without a trace. Search parties held by the House scoured, but he seemed to have been swallowed by the shadows. The girl ablaze was thrust into a role she had not anticipated so soon. Alone and burdened with responsibility, she now faced the colossal task of restoring her family's honor and status. ━━━─━────༺༻────━─━━━ Seasons passed and the girl unceasingly grew into her position as Matriarch of the Commoner House of Amador. Within her position, she answered a call from her Mother in Sedan- a call for aid to the growing Principality. With her ablaze heart, she gathered her siblings, Airomar and Ilaria- both eager for adventure-, and embarked on a journey to answer that beckoning call. Sedan welcomed them with cobbled streets that whispered tales of the past and sprawling castles that seemed to touch the heavens. The woman’s mother, a figure of bittersweet memories and tradition, embraced her children with hesitation- as they were firmly Haeseni. They were home, in a sense, surrounded by echoes of their maternal roots. The siblings found themselves captivated by Sedan's familial allure, and soon they were drawn into the world of governance, each taking up positions that suited their unique skills. The girl’s unwavering determination in particular led her to the Princess’ court, where she stood firmly by the Royal’s side to aid in event planning and counseling. She furthermore worked to rekindle with family lost by distance and time, as if the threads of their lineage were being carefully woven back together. But fate has a penchant for its own twists. Just as the family found their rhythm, a sudden darkness descended upon Sedan. The King, a figure of stability, passed away, leaving the kingdom in turmoil. His wife, the Queen, disappeared, and with her, the stability that had anchored Sedan's future. The woman’s fire wavered, its flames flickering as the future she had envisioned for herself and her family dimmed. The once-golden threads of possibility seemed to unravel. In the wake of uncertainty, she made a choice that reflected her inner strength: to retreat to a quaint countryside home. Nestled among rolling hills and blossoming meadows, the woman found solace in the embrace of nature. There, she married and gave birth to two daughters, watching their laughter dance amidst wildflowers. Time, like a wise sage, unveiled its truths. Her husband's passing marked a turning point. The eldest daughter, with a visage too akin to the woman’s, carried an unlit torch in her heart. If Amador were to succeed and fulfil her Kingly promise made all those years ago- they could not be fulfilled here and not with this flame-less heir. And so she packed their lives into cherished memories and embarked on a journey back to their ancestral land. ━━━─━────༺༻────━─━━━ The young heir, Nataliya, stood before her mother, the current Matriarch. Her eyes were wide as saucers, reflecting the mix of anxiety and trepidation swirling within her. The room, adorned with rich silks and lined bookshelves, seemed to hush in reverence as the weight of tradition and destiny pressed upon Mother and Dotre. Listen well, Nataliya," the mother's voice carried the resonance of generations past, firm and aggravated. She blocked the door- yet regally, her posture straight and demeanour poised, though shadows of fatigue danced within her eyes. "Ea will only say it once, ag if vy do niet like it- vy ought to leave this house ag never come back.” The mother would pause, watching the child’s fear fester and grow- yet holding her still to listen keenly. “As the heir to our matriarchy, vy cannot frolic as the other children do. Laughter and play are privileges the heavens have stolen from vy, a weight now rests upon vyr shoulders. Ag if vy can niet comprehend that, Liridona will take vyr place easily." Gravity was noticed within the mother's words, like chains being fastened around Nataliya’s innocence. She looked at the tapestries that lined the walls, each depicting ancestral leaders of bygone eras- all with stern gazes and solemn expressions. The weight of their legacy was etched in every paint smear. The room's grandeur seemed to mock the dotre’s youthful desires, as the firelight flickered like the enigmatic dance of fate. Naught a word other than “Da, Mamej- ea understand, ea will stay.” was uttered- and with that the young girl was dismissed. Once alone, the mother's facade crumbled like ancient parchment. She slumped onto the bed, shoulders trembling, as the mask of strength slipped away. The feverish glow on her face revealed the truth hidden behind her resolute demeanor. Polio, a cruel visitor, had stolen her vitality, rendering her legs frail and weakening her resolve. The room's grand tapestries now seemed like specters of a life she was never allowed to lead, a life that was overshadowed by her own lineage's loss. The legacy she was meant to carry had become an anchor, chaining her to a destiny she hadn't chosen. But fate has a penchant for its own twists. The fire that had burned in her heart, the flame she had nurtured to guide her house to glory, now flickered like a dying ember. ━━━─━────༺༻────━─━━━ Nataliya… she's gone, mamej" the weeping Liridona’s voice cracked, her words heavy with sorrow. Yet, the girl’s mother looked on with a stern disposition, answering in turn with a distant sympathy, mistaking her for a stranger. Her brow furrowed, her voice filled with concern. "Yam sorry, but vy must have eam mistaken, for Yam niet vyr mamej- yet vy have mea condolences for this– Nataliya, vy speak of.” She’d clear her throat then, looking onwards to the lady before her- who had begun to cry. “Ea come to ask if vy have seen mea Father- Filip Amador. Ea have very important news to tell him. Ea must find him.” Tears filled the dotre’s eyes as she reached out, trying to bridge the gap that separated their understanding. "Mother, it's me, vyr dotre. Please! Filip is dead, do vy niet understand?" The mistaken woman shook her head, confusion deepening as she offered words of comfort. "Oh, my dear, Yam so sorry for your pain- again. But you must understand, Filip Amador is very much alive. Do niet spread such lies- vy torment eam so!” the aged woman would begin to weep alongside her dotre, the sundowning she was enduring drawing a deep divide that could not be crossed. The daughter's heart ached, her grief deepening as she tried ceaselessly to bridge that divide. The elder turned to flee, to escape the unbearable confusion that enveloped her. But her steps led her not to escape, but to collision. She collided with a figure, a young boy with eyes that seemed to hold a spark of recognition. The boy, Henrik, said naught a word- looking between his Adeymamej and Hauchmamej with uncertainty. However, the aged woman’s gaze remained firmly fixed upon the boy- searching for something she seemed to recognize within him. A fire in his eyes, yes! She could not place why such was so noticeable, but unbeknownst to her this was the very babe she held in the church that day. The very heir she adamantly told her dotre she could not be present for and could not give any ounce of love to– as she had done to her dotre. She had apologized that day in the church, and the fire within continued to flicker out since then. The woman stood as merely a glass chamber to hold the candle flame that held her steady. ━━━─━────༺༻────━─━━━ ━━━ “ Ea forgive vy, ag Ea will tell mea Children of vyr Greatness. Don’t vy worry mamej.” -Nataliya Amador- ━━━─━────༺༻────━─━━━ Eyes aged to the colour of moonlight eyes snapped awake. A shiver ran through Olessya’s frail frame, her heart racing with an inexplicable fear that seemed to seep from her dreams into reality. With trembling hands, she reached out for the bedpost, pulling herself up despite the protest of her Polio-ridden legs. The effort was immense, her determination unwavering even as her body faltered. She clung to the post, her knuckles white, as she steadied herself. Her ashen head gazed upwards from the floor to her front, catching the steady gaze of unfamiliar eyes. Her reflection in the mirror across the room held a stranger's gaze. Confusion clouded Olessya’s own eyes as if the mirror held a portal to a world she couldn't comprehend. Her hands flew to her face, touching her skin as if to confirm her own existence. The woman in the mirror was but an echo, a wisp of memory lost in the fog of dementia. The scream that pierced the air drew Airomar like a moth to a dying flame. Panic etched lines on his aged face as he rushed into her room, his eyes locking onto the figure that once bore his sister's soul. "Olessya" he cried, voice laced with a mixture of concern and sorrow. But she didn't see him as he truly was. Her gaze met his, yet recognition remained elusive. Her feet carried her forward, past him, as if his presence was but a mirage. The painting of their father, a cherished heirloom, crashed to the ground as she stumbled, leaving behind a trail of fallen memories. Olessya’s crazed dash took her through the doorway, out into the city's maze of cobbled streets. The unfamiliar faces, the bustling market stalls, a looming church– none of it resonated with her. Her surroundings felt alien, a tapestry woven with threads of strangers. She sprinted onward, heedless of the curious glances cast her way. Her breath grew ragged, her heart pounding not only from the exertion but also from the growing terror that twisted her senses. The world she knew had slipped away, leaving her adrift in an abyss of confusion. The bridge emerged like a lifeline before her, a path leading somewhere unknown. She approached its edge, the river's surface mirroring her own turbulent thoughts. Desperation etched lines upon her face, and with a voice that trembled with equal parts anguish and plea, she cried out to the skies and the heavens that she no longer recognized. "Seven skies. GODDAN! Save me now—PLEASE!" Her frail form seemed suspended for a moment, as if time itself held its breath. Then, with a final, desperate gasp, she tumbled over the ledge and into the cold embrace of the water below. Ripples spread across the river's surface, a silent requiem for a life that had been lost to the currents of memory and time. Haense continued its morning routine, unaware of the tragedy that had unfolded at the bridge. And Olessya’s body floated for a moment, a fragile vessel cast adrift in the river's embrace. Her face, now peaceful, gazed upward, the burdens of her earthly existence finally relinquished- eschewed of mortal existance. The freezing waters taking her under, the flickers of fire left in her heart extinguishing under the current. ━━━─━────༺༻────━─━━━ From Ashes, We Rise ━━━
  16. One Honorable Dwarf Malagor, the Black Hand, Honorary orc of the Iron’Uzg, had been tracking the Mori for weeks, months, years. He was sick, sick of never being there when the Mori had attacked the orcs, his adopted people, the greatest people he had lived with for those forty years. He still held memories, those sick memories of his time in Urguan, his time as Oinn Silverbeard, son of Okri Oathsworn. Was he truly worthy of the orcish loyalty? Was he truly an orc? Or was he just a dwarf, running away from home in some form of rebellion for his father and his people? He harshly pushed those memories to the back of his mind, they were of no consequence now. He was not Oinn, he was Malagor, he haltingly assured himself. He served his Rex faithfully for all these years, never holding doubt in his mind that this path was a righteous one. In recent days, he followed a trail left by the Mori; they were gathering in big numbers. He came upon a party of cloaked Mori. In a quick action he dropped to his stomach, away from their evil eyes. The leader’s gaze flicked in Malagors direction, who offered several prayers to many spirits not to be seen. The mori’s gaze returned to its original position, edging his soldiers onwards. This was it, thought Malagor, this is what all his work would be leading up to, all his time away from his home to finally find the Mori's true goal. He followed them at a distance, his eyes blazing brightly in his own excitement. As they continued, the path became ever familiar. An odd thought in Malagor’s head, but he focused his mind on the here and now, continuing to follow them. It was then that he noticed the fire in the distance. It came to him at first with the smell of smoke, then the blaze. He finally knew why he recognized the path the Mori were following. This was the path to the Goi. He watched in wide eyed horror as he saw his home, his city, his people in a blaze that mirrored the eyes in his skull. He fell to his knees, the mori no longer a concern in his Anguish. He fell on his hands as well, digging into the trampled dirt beneath him. He failed. He failed his people. He had done just what he hoped to avoid. He had not been there when his people needed him. All his work in these past 3 years had been for nothing. In his anguish, he failed to notice the mori behind him, some stragglers who happened upon an easy kill. In that instant, his anguish was gone. He was no longer before the burning city of the Iron’Uzg, but the grand gates of a city, beautiful in all ways. The city of Stargush’stroh. The gates opened before him, the spirits of Orc and Honorary welcoming their bruddah in with open arms. A tear fell from his face, not of anguish for his loss, but of joy, for he saw he was worthy, worthy of the people he had lived and served and believed with. He was home.
  17. A CONJOINED MASSACRE The Skaatch twins were lifted into the air, the waves of illuminating shapes and spirals twisted and turned around them, creating a kaleidoscope of mesmerising colours and intricate patterns that dazzled the senses. The fluorescent fuchsias and sages packed a powerful punch, sending the brothers tumbling downwards into a world of eternal torture. Their agonised screams pierced the air, echoing across the barren landscape, the only sound that could be heard amidst the chaos. Their bodies now grotesquely deformed, pulled apart as if by lur wolves, and their guts spilled out in a gruesome display, emitting a potent stench that filled the air with the overwhelming odour of death. The scene was a macabre nightmare, with deep maroons and chutney yellows splattered all over the surroundings in a surreal, otherworldly display that defied explanation. Amidst the chaos, Hodge laughed, a rather unseemly and unsettling sound emanating from his ghostly figure. He looked like a malevolent poltergeist who had over-indulged in the rosy blush of a human girl, but he was anything but harmless. His eyes glittered with a twisted glee as he watched his brother's suffering, delighting in the pain that he had inflicted upon him. Podge, on the other hand, was silent. The tale of their torment had woven its way through his lips, piercing his jugular and constricting around his voice box, leaving him unable to utter a sound. Hodge fell quiet, his mind raced with memories of his darkest moment. This had to be the most heinous act he had ever committed, stabbing his own flesh and blood. The guilt and remorse weighed heavily on him as he lay on the crippled planks, with jagged splinters wedging themselves deep into his flesh. He was reminded one last time of the excruciating pain inflicted upon him by being made of blood and bone. He was an otherworldly creature doomed to fail, leaving behind only a few legacies, secrets, and regrets. His life had been consumed by his own darkness, and there was nothing left for him in this world. His lifeless eyes trailed back onto his brother, meeting his decisions and regrets in the afterlife. The Skaatch twins were forever entwined, their bond stronger in death than it ever had been in life. The waves of illuminating shapes and spirals continued to whorl around them in a hypnotic dance, as they drifted off into the spirit realm, leaving behind a gruesome and surreal scene of horror and regret.
  18. Bruised, bloodied, and battered. His nose is broken and dripping blood onto the steady cannon which rests upon the San'Velku gatehouse, overlooking the many primitive and red huts of the sons of Kurg. Hands were tied behind his back and his feet were tied together as Bogdag'Lakul speaks out to the masses gathered below, announcing a sacrifice to his patron spirit. Some uruks take the liberty to spit at Bjorn as he looks towards the many huts, wondering where he f*cked up... Merely a lady's hour ago he came to sell an artifact to an Uruk which he had stolen from the Druids in the south, having taken it with the very man that was now about to sacrifice him. Yet he was betrayed and sold out by the seller. When they entered the city they were greeted by the supposed buyer, who was Bogdag'Lakul, but also by the Rex of Krugmar. "The orb is a weapon of Iron Horde and you will give us it!" declared the Rex towards the group of Redclyfians. "If yew ain' buyin' i' t'en f*ck off." responded Bjorn and attempted to leave after a while which he was stopped from doing. "You can klomp us for it." spoke the rex or the supposed buyer. Bjorn did not remember nor did he care. After haggling to no avail, they were forced into a klomp where they lost. Yet no magical artifact was to be found on Bjorn's body as they searched through him! He let out a crude laugh at them when they figured it out. Little did they know that he had given it to one of his family members when locked inside the city but time was running short since the uruks wanted to search through everyone.. Adaranth of Redclyf came to the rescue! Having made a fake beforehand and handed it to the uruks, managing to trick them into believing it was the real one. Adaranth managed to save the rest of the Redclyfians and the one who was handed the orb managed to slip out. Bjorn was to be held hostage until his countrymen returned with the authentic and real item. They never did... "Mig't aswell go ou' wit' a fig't." was the only word that escaped Bjorn's mouth before he turned around to face Bogdag'Lakul, gathering all his strength as he with great force kicked the uruk's leg, forcing him off balance and off the cannon! Desperation and a hope for freedom was the thing that drove Bjorn forward in a fight against impossible odds yet there was no fear in his heart as he rose from the cannon, bunny-hopping back onto the floor of the Gatehouse. He had two options as Bogdag came to cut off any chance of escape; jump forward and perhaps find a way out behind the corner to his right or get back on the cannon. Seeing that he had no other choice, he hopped forward only to see that there was no escape! Only a door! Bogdag raised his mighty axe and swung it towards Bjorn! He had to act quickly and react quickly! He threw himself forward and onto the Uruk, the handle of the axe slamming into his arm yet the Uruk stumbled back as he was hit with Bjorn 300 pounds of mass. The hit from the handle sent Bjorn off his balance, flying towards the right as he got closer to the balcony of the Gatehouse. Bogdag approached him again, swinging his axe down towards Bjorn in an attempt to split him in two! Bjorn began rolling on the floor like a madman, trying to get ever closer to the balcony as the Uruk either missed him or glanced off the plate armor of Bjorn. Bogdag had had enough of Bjorn's desperate escape and antics! He forced Bjorn to a stop by putting his foot over him as he attempted to strike him. Bjorn got desperate and attempted to kick the uruk in the groin to no avail. The Uruk raised his axe above his head before he swung it down at Bjorn. Bjorn dug his feet into the ground and pushed himself across the floor to save his head yet the axe came down on his chest, breaking ribs and cracking whatever was left unbroken. Axe raised again as Bogdag stood atop of him, feet on each side as he swung the axe down towards him again. All hope was gone... This was the end... Cleaved in two just like that? Would be shameful... yet that is not what happened! Bjorn rolled himself up into a roly-poly, bones breaking and becoming more cracked before delivering a mighty kick towards the jaw of the uruk, knocking him away several steps. Freedom was near! He could smell it! He could taste it with each breath and it tasted like blood! He got on his feet and a chase began. Bogdag charged after Bjorn as he continued bunny-hopping toward the ledge! He would escape and bring revenge to the sons of Krugmar for their betrayal! That was not to be. He slipped as he jumped over the ledge, falling over and rolling off the cliff, slamming into rock and stone as his body shattered and twisted, bone piercing his organs and flesh from within. A swift death. A quick death. A fatal bunny hop. His body was soon returned to Krug where they stripped it of its armor and began peeling off the skin with blades, leaving the contorted body skinless and naked before it was strung up in front of the gate in Krugmar for all to see...
  19. Baby Atilan Bishop 𝔸 𝕃𝕚𝕗𝕖 𝕃𝕚𝕧𝕖𝕕 Atilan feels it… he sees it.. He knows it… It has come! A grown-man wearing a BSK uniform can be seen fighting a small blonde child with a wooden sword. With some swift strikes, the man loses the sword to the younger blonde. “Mein son! Dur ein savante” he says in pride at his second-eldest son. The giggling child smiles and says “Danke Vatter”.... And so begins the life of Sir Atilan Bishop, a soldier and warrior till his death... Child Atilan Bishop growing up a soldier in the BSK Years pass since then and the savante has grown a bit.. A young stockly lad, with the acne and pores of someone typical of his age. The lad can be seen fighting with metal swords… he takes a cut to the hip in a spar. The offender apologizes “Firr Bishop, my apologies” he said in a thick Ruskan accent. The lad would hold his pain, his father having taught him better than to just scream it all out “Du… it’s fine… it’s fine…”. The guardsmen sighs “Stop lying… ag take ve drink… it will help you with the pain…” he said with a hidden smirk. The Bishop took a sip of the vodka and felt hell down his throat as the strong Ruskan drink did wage war upon his throat. The guardsman and the other soldiers broke out in laughter at the lightweightedness of the child. “LightWeight! LightWeight! LightWight!” was the taunts and cackles. Then, a sudden gasp… As The enraged Bishop would then fight the pain and chug down half the bottle, he would scream in their faces. “Say zhat one more time!” THe soldiers around them look at each other and then looking at the Bishop they smile and rush over to him. Hugging and embracing him as one of their own “Kruzae Zwy Kongzem!” they chanted in glee…. And that was all the Bishop would remember (as his tolerance to the drink would not develop like it would later in his life) the sense of happiness and pride he felt in drinking the Vodka… he felt like a man who could conquer the world and put his enemies on their knees begging for him. And so… It was the first drink… and the one of more to come as the Vodka would later become a part of his life just as much as his pride for the dual Kingdom of Haenseti-Ruska. Atilan remembers his first kill… an insolent BSK medic. He was wearing his metal chainmail armor of that of the elite commando unit. He remembers looking at his Sotnik Sviatoslav Gudonav, his eyes begging him to not do it… But the Sotnik makes his orders clear. Like the good soldier he was, the Bishop plunged the blade into the freezing cold woman who he had just thrown into the lake hoping to then pull her out to set an example. But the women had ran off into the river stupidly. Despite the Bishop’s pleas to create a fire to save the freezing women, his pleas are ignored and the Bishop looks TOmilla in the eye as he is ordered to kill her. He puts the blade to her throat and watches as she gurgles, the blood leaking out of the wound and yet he is forced to watch it all… And so, forever more in atonement, the Bishop would always aim for the neck whenever he fought in battle. To atone for his sins that he never served true retribution for. Years pass, a grown Atilan appears. A man with highs and lows… a flirtatious man and yet a man with the heart of a warrior. A younger Atilan brash, arrogant, hotheaded, and yet handsome could be seen… long blonde locks, a well defined jawline, and scars on his body that would grow over time. The same young man who had so with his tongue quite dishonored himself among the women of Haense and yet with that same tongue and attitude about the world had worked himself to an armiger in the BSK and a squire. Atilan would remember that day the well-loved King Karl III had been impressed with him during the men’s presentations. His trial of wit succeeded he showed the Kingdom that he had earned a squirehood and the young man would smile. If An older Atilan could look at his younger self, he would shake his head at the young adults' egregious mistakes and flirtation and yet smile at what the young man had been able to accomplish. He would come to his younger self, clad in his heavy Bishop armor, patting the young squired and upcoming warrior Atilan on the back with left hand and with his right hand, delivery a gut-wrenching punch to the stomach, sure to have sent the young flirtatious man wheezing and begging for life. And so… began Atilan’s path to redemption after his penance in the church. A portrait could be seen of the Young Adult Atilan Bishop as he was in young 20s Time would grow on the Bishop as he moved into his 30s. His body carries more scars from knights' trails, and battles with the Inferi. In his mind, Atilan would remember those battles as the battles that aged. That took that young idiotic lad he was and molded into something fire. It’s said that iron only melts under heat… and so too would the Ironheaded Atilan melt under the infernal heat of the battles he had with the Inferi. Many men are fortunate to say they have never seen hell. Atilan and those who fought with him in the battle against the Inferi were thus unfortunate as they did see hell and it was in those battles…. And so… Atilan became battle heartened and experienced with that of war. The man so excited by battle had been worn down. He still fought with pride for his nation, but he no longer loved the fight for the fight…. He fought the fight because it was necessary for him. Time passed…. A baby in 424 E.S. was growing into 454 E.S. A moment of happiness seemed to occur. A ring had been placed on his finger. His responsibilities were growing on him, he was now a judge, yet to preside over his first…. And final case. And yet, all that he could remember is taking a knee and with a stoic expression on his face, as the new Queen Esfir of Jerovitz tapped both his shoulders with the sword. And so stood Ser Atilan Bishop. Armiger, Jovenaar, Diplomat to Balian, Husband, father, Bishop… Life comes with its ups and downs… and with what must go up… must come down. It’s the law of gravity really and a law-knowing judge would come to understand that law soon enough. He remembers the day the Hyspian and his lover came to the courtroom. To his final breath, Atilan does remember that first and last trial of his life. He thinks about being a fair and fair ruling judge.. One that chose to honor the wishes of the victim… oh what a mistake he made! To follow the wishes of the injured party and deny the people of Haense the justice they wanted seen done over that of what his position demanded. If those in the seven skies could ask the Bishop what he was thinking, he thought of this… He thought of the small little blonde baby girl in his wife’s arms as he made the verdict. He thought about being a right and proper judge to set the right example for his future daughter to grow up in… and so, he made the fairest judgment he could as a judge. The Hyspian was to walk for the laws and evidence could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt at that time that he was a guilty man. And so… Atilan’s best attempt to make a fair judgment was the wrong judgment. Furthermore, the now de-knighted Atilan Atilan would lose everything he had done in Haense. His previous mistakes and stupidity have caught up with him. He was to leave haense and move with his family to Helious. Goodbyes made… and goodbyes said. One to the new king of the Dual-Kingdom he had so long loved and served in. The goodbye would be a sad one for him to have to say goodbye to a long good friend of his. King Georg III would say goodbye to Atilan but left with him with one final words… that Atilan was a good man.. But he was also relentless and unyielding… And so.. The Avoran would leave Haense.. The place he had long loved. And yet the famed saying is still true. You can take a man from haense.. But you can never take the Haense away from a man. And so began a new life in Helious… Finally, after hitting rock bottom did things seem to be going upwards, a knight again.. Sir Atilan Avoran would smile and relax… a cigar in his teeth for his hand.. The Duke Jarad was a kind and good man to him. The Duchy had a sense of new air… it was a different life. One unlike the bustling cities of Karosgrad with chimneys and smoke but with the clean air of the elven coasts! This would be a happier time in his life. He felt at home in the Duchy, happy to have a place to serve and belong once more. He felt a renewed man once more as the DUke’s steel retouched his soldiers and so rose Sir/Sel Atilan Avoran. His children would grow, his daughter having warded in Pavia, his eldest son and heir following suit. His baby twins are growing in his arms. And yet he still found happiness in Helious among the elves. Until.. As life always had with Atilan, what goes up.. Must come down… and so it did again in the form of family drama, the only battle a hardened could never really understand and that of an attack in his own home, the attack where he would lose his eldest daughter and later his wife who ran off with the twins in tow. And so… the former Bishop was left empty, all his work.. A title of Sir.. but with no family to share it with… The beasts enter into the throneroom. The knight says “Form the V!”. The cannons fire from above, and the beasts is injured but like the Bishop himself, has learned to move through the pain. The beast continues its advance. There is destiny… there is fate. We all must die and yet none of us ever really know when it will happen. There are sad ways to die… such as falling down the stairs and bashing your skull through. There are great ways to die. Legends and tales speak of these kinds of deaths. Some are the glorious deaths of combat and sacrifice. Others are happy such as those of the happily satisfied, who lived happily and found only the luckiest happiness in the world. All their earthly matters were settled and they lived a good happy life, perhaps they left a great impact on the world… Perhaps they died knowing their family was safe and happy. Perhaps they just felt happy as they died and came to accept the way it is. But the greatest death is the death of your choice. To die as the man you want to die as and to die in the manner you did. And for Sir Atilan, this could never be true. He was a man of many things. He had truly lived a life. He had been everything his childhood self had dreamed and thne some… as a warrior, a judge, a soldier, a father, a husband. And yet, we have said that he was only that of the warrior. And if that is all that remains in the man, then the only thing that man must wish is to die like the warrior that he is. And so… Atilan died the death he wanted in the way he wanted. A good goring through the chest, the death of the warrior. Was it foolish what he did, rushing at the beast? But did he die the way he wanted too on his terms yes…! Did he care about what others would think of him at that point? Why could he? Dead man don’t think and Dead men tell no tales. A warrior , savante, an idiot, a man, a husband, a father, but more importantly than all things a life.. A life Lived And such is the story of Almaris. We live and we die, we make mistakes and we fail and we succeed. We have ups and downs, but we live and we live life. And when we die, we ought to do it on our own terms. For a man can earn his way in this world and lose everything, but his death ought to be everything to the man. Atilan felt it… he saw it.. He knew it… It had come! 𝔸 𝔻𝕖𝕒𝕥𝕙 𝔻𝕚𝕖d A final protrait of the blonde knighted Bishop, made 5 years before his death.
  20. It was somewhere in the snowy tundras of the North that the Dwed met his end. It was cold. A day of endless wandering as any other, the Dark Dwarf having lost all he held dear when the nation of Vistulia fell and his friends perished. He merely wandered since then. Devoid of purpose and hope. Nothing accompanied him but the cold sounds of metal from the weapons at his belt and the crunch of the snow below those worn leather boots of his. For once, he enjoyed the solitude, the ability to make amends with his thoughts, for no man could possibly interrupt him here. He took rest near a singular pine tree that stood, as solitary as he was. He began setting camp, as was his usual routine. Gather some scraps to set a fire with, set up the tent and boil water for tea. “A long road awaits me.” He thought, “But where am I even going?”. Crunch. The sound of feet touching the ground rang through his ears like an explosion. He had looked around and no one was anywhere near him, yet it sounded mere feet away. His head cocked instinctively towards the sound, and he was met with a frostbitten woman of bluish skin. “Don’t scare me like that, lass.” His figure grew tense. “You are far, far from home, Dwarf.” She noted. “No such thing as home anymore.” He muttered in response, standing up from his momentary rest. Within moments, the womans’ face was torn open, a giant, gushing wound and a hungry mouth at once. The creature charged towards him. “WHAT THE ****!” He cried out, his weapons now grasped within those cold palms of his, ready to defend himself. Stab. Twist. The creature lunged onto him. An elongated, talon-like nail biting into the cold flesh of his collarbone and then twisting. His shortsword came digging into the female's waist. No response. Then, the warhammer fell upon her head. THUNK! Her skull vibrated, cracking from the impact, yet it only made the creature angrier. Stab. Twist. Another talon dug its way into his eye, those fiery embers quickly dimming out as another frantic blow came at the creature’s head. THUNK! crunch. . . The warhammer sunk in the snow as Kargârn contorted. A terrible scream and a wet crack rang out through the frosted valley. Kargârn was no more. The creature feasted well that gloomy evening. A lone mountain goat wandered the areas of Alisgrad and Urguan, a pack of letters strapped to its' back.
  21. Ezra wandered around the old house that they managed to keep. She loved how it still looked almost new, Not yet being very old herself... 115. But she reminisced about their adventures and looked at all their pictures. Of themselves, and their children from being born all the way up to their current ages now. She remembered getting married to Brawly, whom used to be spritely and healthy. But now... He spent most of his time sick, and in bed. She thought about their children, those who chose to stay and those who left to go on their own adventures. But she realized that she knew that they knew something was up and they all returned home one last time. She chuckled, knowing that she couldn't have lived a better life then she had. Being surrounded by family, and friends just being happy to have those people around her. Ezra sighed, smiling at their children before lying down beside Brawly and grasping at his hand gently. "Rulg lat futh dihz amayzin' lyfe, agh gibbin' mi ahl deze kubz." Brawly smiled weakly as Ezra joined him on his death bed. His eyes regained a slight bit of their former luster as he beheld the face of the one he held dear above all else. The old man wrapped his fingers around Ezra’s hand as he forced words from his mouth. “Tiz lyfe wuld hav’ bheen emptee wit aut lat bhy mi zide. Indeed, et wuz… Mi waited futh lat… Zince da dey lat left, Mi long’d tuu heur latz voyze azh lazt tik. Dayt hope kept mi gwoen. Every tik Mi fought futh da ugz, mi unlee gurk wuz keepin’ lat ang aur kubz zayfe ang zequre” Brawly lifted his opposite hand to gingerly rub against Ezra’s cheek . His breaths became ragged and inconsistent, marking a rapid deterioration in the man’s physical state. The hand gently lowered to its former position, resting at the man’s side. “Et wuz wurth et… Every mouth, every year, every decade… Lat am ztill az beautiful az da dey wi met" And after this was said, She noticed her children gather around the bed. All sad expressions, some crying some not. She knew that they knew it was time for Ezra and Brawly to go. Yerro, had stepped up first. "Dew nub wurri momo, popo Mi whyll ztehy wiv bouf(both) latz...." Yerro nodded sadly, he fought back the tears and the immense sadness threatening to break through at any moment. Settling himself down beside the bed, close enough to both Brawly and Ezra trying to give them as much support as he could. Zahira, second beside Yerro was up next to say something. "Momo, Popo etz ahl ukee..." Zahira stammered, her voice starting to break. "Whee ahre ahl heere futh latz..." Zahira shed a tear, backing up to support Callum and Sola. Soon Soren, stepped up and walked over. "Mi ahm numb readeh futh latz tew goh..." The young goblin hunched himself over and started to really break down. He was afraid, and sad he wasn't sure what life had next for him after losing his adopted parents. Sola and Callum, both still slightly younger then the rest, had no idea what to say. They just cried for their siblings and their parents, clinging onto their oldest sister Zahira for what seemed to be dear life... The last to step out from the gathering was Emony. The shaman removed her white steel mask revealing to clear tracks where tears were streaming down her face. Emony kneeled to take her father’s opposing hand and gripped it tingly. “Mom, Dad, Thank you. You both were truly the greatest parents I could have asked for. The love you had for each other and for me and the rest of your children was boundless. It is truly extraordinary how much you sacrificed to keep it and us alive.” Emony wipes her face with her arm as she tries to force a compassionate smile through her pain. She stands, taking a staff from her back. The goblin taps its end against the floor as she clears her throat. “Kor, durub mat-ob, baduzg ogh za mbursh-ûr.” (Kor, ruler of death, show this couple the way.) “Naan ikhal khûr kraat-ul, gaakh ulu shakrop sha” (Though forces may pull them away, let it be that they stay together.) Soon Ezra took her last breath, eyes turning toward the window signaling that her soul had now left her body and went off outside. Her beautiful ruby red eyes, remained open. And her hand continued to hold Brawly's... [!] Ezra found herself within a lightless void. She beheld the vast expanse of nothingness with a cold indifference, for all her scenes had become foreign to her. Trying to move any part of her body brought no feedback. This had a single exception, a sense of warmth seemed to emanate from her left hand. Even in death, Brawly would be by her side, grasping her hand with the same firm, yet gentle grip he had always had [!] Before them, a thin tendril of light became visible, its light providing a slight amount of comfort to the couple. Ezra once again felt the embrace of her life mate as he hoisted her up into his arms. The two followed the shimmering radiance that seemed to call to them. Before them flashed moments from their life together. The moment they first met, their first date… With each passing moment, the darkness was dispelled, leaving only an ethereal white. [!] Before the pair lay a field of ankle height green grass with a singular tree not far from where he stood. Brawly began to move towards it, slowly and cautiously. Each step yielded no sensation to him. The man’s grip tightened upon Ezra, as if within his mind he held the fear of losing her. They were able to see a wake of trampled grass behind them where Brawly’s now shoeless feet had indented. Brawly eventually reached the lone tree and took shelter beneath its branches. The shade they provided was a light, muddled, black, far different from the void they had exited not moments before. It was unoppressive and welcoming. [!] Brawly set Ezra down with shaking hands, gently lowering her to the shade covered, grassy carpet that lay beneath the great tree. The man leaned his back against the wooded trunk of the arboreal behemoth, gradually lowering himself to a seated position, beneath its branches. His gaze turned once again to Ezra. “You won’t leave me again… will you?” He questioned, reaching his right hand out to her. Upon his face was a look of unease as he sat waiting for her response. Ezra remained silent for a moment. She moved to his side, leaning against him as she so often did while the two were younger. “Ob korze Mi won’t.” Found upon Brawly's desk were a stack of letters addressed to various persons Dear Borok: Dear Madoc: Dear Bumba: Dear Rex Dear Gusiam and Lenora Jusima: Dear Peralien: [ooc] Credits:
  22. Ardad Rashul lays down on his bed. He coughs and hacks, grabbing a napkin. As he observes the once clean napkin, he sees the usual amount of blood on the napkin. Hearing Adam come up the stairs he quickly hides the napkin, not wishing for his son to know just how sick he really is. For months and months, now he has been getting weaker and weaker. He looks out the window of his small Balian abode and thinks about everything that ever happened. He thinks about when he first arrived into Balian at age 18, still unsure of the world, unsure of who to talk, unsure if he would be welcome and invited, unsure if he could ever make something out of himself. And yet Ardad would find himself sure, he would find friends and good people who helped him. Helped him become a Senator, helped him become a corporal. He thinks about the Vuillers and the Darkwoods, Captain, Arkent, the royal family who he all got to admire. He thinks about King JOhn and sighs, wishing he had been able to get and walk to the palace before he had died. He smiles thinking about all his time in Balian. But then an old adage kicks in, not all good things would last forever and for him, he knew it didn't. He thinks about the first cough. THen the second and the third. He thinks about the first time he ever coughed blood. He thinks about the medics who said they weren't sure how to cure him. He thinks about how he travelled the world looking for a cure. He thinks about the bar in Oren where he first met Adam. Ardad smiles thinking of when he first me the lad and his excitement to fight the kid had. He thinks of how he realized he was his long-lost son of his long-lost wife and he realizes that he has been called to a higher calling. To be that of a father to his son. He remembers the feeling of the burning Balian sun as he returned back. He remembers reentering his old house. He smiles and grins of how he trained Adam and his son's excitement in being trained and the giggles they had reading stories and eating food together. Now, it's over for him. He rests, his final rest. He looks out the window and sees Adam, his only son, all that he has left. He sees him talking with some of his friends and smiles feeling happy. That night he would have his final dinner with Adam. He tells him that he will to be fighting dragons so his son thinks well of his father and to prevent his son from dealing with the pain of sorrow and grief. He hopes that one day when he is older Adam will learn of what really happened but still learn to love him in what little time they had together.
  23. Death is a part of the circle of life. New life is brought into the light, They grow and excel through life. Until one day while they’re old and gray, The circle closes upon itself. Another life has come to pass. It was a rather brisk morning on this particular day, Adrian went about his morning but this day was different from the rest. He packed a small bag with several articles of warm clothing, his favorite book, a journal, and a quill. He looks around his room one last time, several paintings of his wife and children. “...This is my last journey….” As he stepped outside, the fresh snow crunching under his feet as he started his long trek to the far reaches of the north. He just kept walking. Flashbacks to his youth years, watching his sister murder their father and then take her own life, his wedding, the beating of Emir de Rosius by his own hands, the birth of his children, and finally the death of his Dijana. As all of his memories continue to shroud his vision, Adrian zones back into reality, now standing atop a mountain covered in snow, an ice field resting below. "....I'm sorry..." For those who’re close to Adrian, they would surely notice his absence, either his friends or his family. The question would remain, “...Where’s Adrian?..”
  24. Fundin Orckin, the reborn self of Bori Orckin sat in the green collective's cave, scattered pieces of ripped paper all around him. He stood up, hands in tight fists at his side. He was silent for a good long minute before letting out a bloodcurdling roar, plowing his fists into the stone walls again and again, still howling with fury. His eyes seemed to almost glow with red rage, he started slamming his head against the wall until the sap that was once blood poured down his face. He crawled out of the cave almost nothing but a savage beast. He spent hours like this before finally regaining his composure. He returned to the tree, tears streaming down his face. His eyes became affixed to the sword at his side, he pulled it from its sheath. He stared at the steel blade, before looking upwards at the stone ceiling, he leaned up against the tree, turning the blade towards his chest, "Curse ye Norleh!" He screamed, his face then went solemn, staring in front of him, "See ye soon Pa, Ma..." He muttered, pulling the blade towards himself. The blade pierced the tree, and the body of the dwarf lay limp. He did not know what fate would hold for this so called "halfbreed sinner's" soul, but he knew that he would eventually see all those he lost, once again. a single tear ran down his cheek as he let out a final breath. Bori, Fundin, whatever name this dworc now held, had finally and truly died.
  25. Owyn was the sixth born amongst his siblings, and the second son. It was a loving family he had been born into, in times when peace was abundant. Yet fate would not leave it so. Tension and turmoil would sink their roots in as Owyn first learned of the world. First was his mother’s death, not so long after his final sister had been born, little Laurentina. Then came estrangement as his eldest sister, Henrietta, would be cast out for what she wrought upon their father in her marriage. Next a sister, Daphne, would be taken this time by that Pale Rider. Years passed and Owyn grew, confiding himself as no more than the spare to his brother, Helton, the heir. That was the task he gave himself in quiet, availing these deaths in righteous delusion that he would one day as Duke make this pain and suffering worth it. But that was a lie, all to mask the covetous nature of his heart. And then came war. From then on all was calamity, the complete and utter upheaval of the world Owyn had been born into. Institution after institution crumbled and decayed, smashed to bits as surely as Southbridge had been. Owyn had fought then, alongside his father and brother, for an Emperor and Empire the world despised. He did so because he thought it made him better, for only a dutiful son could ever hope to inherit. Where others fought for wealth and baubles, land and wives, he did so only because he was obliged, a true nobleman. Only this was another way Owyn deceived himself, for he had his prize in mind, though pride and patriotism were there in equal measure. The war dragged on and the nation’s fortunes withered. His father, an already elderly man by the war’s onset, had passed away between campaigns, leaving his brother as Duke. Owyn had spent much time away from home then, finding comfort in traveling abroad between campaigning seasons. Still he was drawn home with his father’s death, embracing his remaining siblings at the funeral. With his brother, though they quarreled, he still felt the fraternal bond, and the two wrestled as they had in younger years. Glad that despite their divergent paths, they were brothers still. Not long however after, was their family visited with death once more. Murder is what Owyn likened it to, the day the news broke of his brother’s demise. Caius de Ravensbourg, may his bones be crushed, had issued the execution of the Duke at his capture, affording him no ransom or cell to wait out the war. This was a blade through Owyn’s heart, an impotent fury that engulfed him, for while the war was waged this murderer was beyond his reach. So then the task of raising the orphaned children of his brother fell to Owyn, children who bore the title he once so coveted. The prospect dangled in front of him so, he needed only to reach out and take the title he so righteously considered as his own, like so many others would have done. But Owyn did not, after all this time Owyn’s ambition faltered, it was not right. The prospect was a poison to his soul, he could not imbibe it in his grief and his zeal. To do what is right, Owyn obsessed himself with this now. So then when his youngest sister, Laurentina, went to him with her prospect for marriage, Owyn was inflamed. How could she have possibly considered such a match? For she would forsake what Owyn considered to be right and good in the world, the faith and family that they had been brought up in, for so trite a thing as love. Owyn challenged the man on the spot and was promptly refused and beaten by the suitor’s men for it. Of the hands that pulled him up to recover from the pummeling were those of a Prince whose place in the succession was not so dissimilar from his own. From then on, Owyn was estranged from Laurentina, a rift that had only just begun to mend when fate would next reveal its hand. The war was at long last lost. A conflict that had consumed over half of his life, of his families’ lives, was over and they were defeated, the entire nation laid low as the vanquished. The country was then put into a tailspin; the defeated monarchs sought to quarter the realm in their final act before death. Quickly enough, armies were again raised, beneath one banner was the heir, who claimed righteousness to reunite, and under the other was the spare, who had once lent Owyn a hand. Owyn went to neither initially; there was no right in this Brother’s War, either side would have seen him slay comrades and dear friends alike. But then this civil war came to Providence, where his kith and kin had resided, the entire world being drowned in the fever pitch of the armies. Owyn damned what was right and wrong right there and then, abandoning the false pretenses that had guided his life until then. With victory came a dead niece and the title he had long ago coveted. Then his sister Laurentina died. Laurentina had flung herself from a tower, taken by madness. Owyn could not weep a tear for her, heart hardened to news of death, instead his sorrow manifested in the hollowness he felt inside. Years passed and friends died just as they had before Owyn became Duke. Owyn took a wife and tried to find love with her, but his growing reservedness held him back. She bore him a son, but he remained unfulfilled. Ever the Duke reigned, the more alone he felt, prone to a brooding depression. Time would pass still but eventually that too would be cut short. A word on his youngest sister drew him from home, and then his demise. Owyn Leopold Helvets 1836-1876
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