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The Deserts of G'haz (IC/Fantasy/OPEN)

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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
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Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Mon May 16, 2016 8:23 pm

Azadi Pashan, 50 health
3 years ago


The princess awoke to the sound of thunder in the sky, and beating hooves below. She tried to move, but found herself bound. She looked around to see her captor: a man wearing a dark cloak and a threatening mask of iron. She screamed and attempted to struggle, only to find his grip much stronger than she. The princess attempted to roll off of the horse and onto the ground to no avail. As she further came to her senses, she noted the amazing pitch-black environment around her, save for the occasional crack of lightning, and a faint glow coming from the caves of a distant mountain silhouetted against the midnight sky. It was all dreamlike and surreal, although as her senses were slowly being restored, the groggy state fading, she began to realize the reality of her situation.

Princess Azadi tried to concentrate, to formulate a plan to get away, an escape route, anything to help. Unfortunately, the bobbing of the horse, the loud booms of thunder, and the panic of the situation made it nearly impossible to think clearly. She began to question her captor. With each question she gave, an answer of nothing but silence was given. She pressed them more and more, and with each silent wait she became more and more frustrated. In due time, she was demanding an explanation for what was going on, where she was, who he was, and why this was all happening. And yet, with all the frustration she projected onto him, he never once spoke to her. She repeated her demands, her desire for answers, her NEED for answers, repeatedly. Again and again, she was denied any response until she began to beg to just hear his voice. Even then, she was given nothing.

After another few minutes of riding towards the distant mountain's glow, the horse stopped. She was brought down and immediately tried to run, only to find her efforts futile as she was chased down and grabbed, being returned to the proper location. She was pushed forwards as knifepoint, forced to march across the prairie. The princess began making offers to the man as they walked. She was willing to give up anything to protect her life and integrity. First, she offered him a great bounty of wealth to spare her, but he denied. Second, she offered him a great position and power within her capability, but he denied. Becoming more desperate, she offered even greater amounts to him. Her next offer was her servitude as a permanent slave, but he still denied. Running out of ideas and time, she offered her body, perhaps more valuable than anything else she could give to him, and yet this too was denied. Azadi was halted and forced to kneel in front of a large stone with a flat top. In but a few minutes, five men with the same masks stepped before her and started digging a hole.

The princess broke into tears upon seeing this. She knew her end was nearing, and she wept for her life. Before her very eyes, her own grave was being dug. Was this the end? Was she to die gruesomely, slain by strangers and left in a shallow grave where she would never be found? She felt a new vigor now, and as she wept she fought her bindings with strength she'd never possessed before. She twisted and pulled, and yet with all her effort, she did not escape. Her bindings did not loosen, they did not budge. There was no liberation. Her weeping evolved, her tears coming even stronger than before as hopelessness took over. Now, the pit had been dug and the men began to chant incantations calling to the sun and the moon, as Azadi knew her fate was sealed.

In a few minutes, she felt the man behind her, the silent giant, put his hand on her shoulder. Tearfully, she once more tried pleading for her life. "You don't have to do this" she told him, barely able to speak through her own weeping, and barely audible over the heavy rainfall. "Please, you don't have to do this." It was then that she was pushed so that she rest atop the flat stone. Her tears were broken by her struggles as a ribbon was wrapped around her neck and tightened. The world seemed to dull before her very eyes. Color as a whole seemed to disappear, and the thudding rain faded into vague ringing. She felt as if underwater, for all senses seemed to be slowly disappearing. Her vision began to tunnel, all light condensing into a single shine as radiant as the sun. Tears streamed down her face as she found her end, but no peace in it. The light disappeared, and all faded to black.




Azadi awoke an hour later in a dimly lit room. She went into a coughing fit, as her conscious self had not yet readjusted to breathing like her body had. It was then she learned that she was still prisoner, and bound just as before. The princess looked up to see a giant of a man looking over her, holding a lantern with a stern, disapproving face. She might've broken into tears once more if it weren't for the apparent miracle of life she had been bestowed. The young woman was so surprised at her own survival that, no matter how much she felt it, she could not begin to cry once more. Meanwhile, her senses began to slowly restore as the unmasked figure before her spoke.

"I am disappointed in you." was all the mysterious figure said at first. It was at that moment that Azadi felt ashamed for all the promises she made, although only because her full capacity to think had not yet been restored. He continued, "Your ancestors were brave in their resistance. Your father cursed our names as we led him." The confused girl looked to him, her eyes gaining focus. Unsurprisingly, it was not someone she knew particularly well. However, she was given a breakdown of what had just happened. The ritual behind it all, and how she related to all this.

The ceremony, the ritual rather, had been staged by the Blades of the Night, an autonomous guild of assassins. She had been put through a false execution as part of the ritual they carried out. It would, theoretically, propel her into maturity, being aware of the dangers she faced and letting her face them when the time came. This was, at least, a desired effect, although not the main purpose of the ritual. It was not a test of courage or bravery either, although she clearly had failed in that aspect according to the guild which, on a regular basis, sends their soldiers to commit suicide strikes against important targets. Even still, they made her ashamed of her reaction to the whole event, despite being years younger than any of her recent ancestors who had undergone similar rituals.

She was told her new duties as the chieftess of the tribe. It was true, she had ascended not too long ago. The title was still "princess" officially, so little changed in that regard. After her reminders were given, she was introduced to the leaders of the Blades of the Night. These assassins, these cut-throats, were to be her secret police, in a way. They acted in the shadows, and they were always there whether she knew it or not, or even whether she wanted them to be there or not. Her mind was filled with wondrous tales of the feats they could do, and was reminded of the eternal alliance between the Blades and the Pashan dynasty. By the dawn's light, she had been left back in her bed within her Grand Hut, that is the temporary structure functioning as a palace for the royals, built upon a cart and pulled by dozens of beasts so that the luxury of a palace would still be met. However, her handmaids were more than surprised, even shocked, to find their princess bound and gagged where she had laid herself to rest, perfectly alone, the night prior. The last thing she could remember was the crack of lightning, and the loud boom of thunder. Crack, boom. Crack, boom. Crack...




Azadi Pashan, 50 health
Present


Boom. The thunderous roar of the sky was heard for miles around as the wrath of the heavens whipped and darted across the empty plains. The area, home to multiple pastoral tribes of nomads in the transition zone between humans and elves, was known across the continent for its particularly violent storms, with heavy rainfall, strong winds, potential for flooding and the creation of temporary marshland, and, of course, the sky's displays of magic. The princess looked over the darkened field, where the wind was gentle so far and rain had not yet begun to poor. She spoke to the tribal elders of her vision for the future, of increased contact with the settled kingdoms and the prosperity of all in the tribe from opening trade networks with them. After all, nomadic allies were a valuable resource. They could be guides or guards for anyone looking to cross into the Elven lands. They could defend from humans, elves, and orcs alike, all while transporting goods in a timely manner. This was due to their horse-based society, and their unique style of cavalry ambush warfare.

She debated long the merits of opening trade. The elders were distrustful of settled peoples, as there was a long history of raiding and warfare. It was at this point that Azadi made a point of contrast: with trade, they need not surrender the lives of their own tribe to achieve what they would by raiding. Furthermore, knowing more about the settled empires would be beneficial to military, as they would know more about how settled empires fought, as well as the layout of their domains and cities. Furthermore, she stated that the empires would be likely to trade military secrets to sabotage each other, and thus give the tribe an even further advantage. She concluded that there was little reason to NOT interact with these settled peoples.

The elders discussed amongst themselves as Azadi stepped aside. She looked out over the storm once more, and sighed. There was a sort of beauty to the rage of the sky, the heaven's wrath. Looking out over such vast plains made one feel so small, so humbled, and, in a philosophical sense, it was an enjoyable feeling. Despite feeling so small, she could still enjoy the natural beauty laid out before her, and being small was sort of comforting in a way. She knew not how to explain it, and she dare not try. Instead, she stood with silent acceptance over the scene as debate raged in the background. She preferred it this way. It was much less grinding on her mind to let the elders sort themselves out, rather than to try to correct them and point them on where to go. The venerable ones would see her argument, her vision, in due time.

It was approved. The princess had been told so as the wind was picking up. Her mission to the settled ones would be receiving full and unanimous support from the tribal elders. She would be assigned 3 immortals to be her close guard as she made the journey, and she was informed that the Blades were liable to send an agent to track her. While she may not have liked the idea of an assassin trailing her everywhere she went, making note of her every action, she understood that it was a matter far beyond her own control, and accepted the conditions given to her. With that, she boarded the platform and started her beasts of burden in the proper direction. The elders had arranged a meeting point nearby a holy mountain for her return, and so she knew where to find them when she should make her return. With this much, she set out to discover the world she'd never known.




The ride was long and hot. Although desert very much did exist in the land she called home, it was nowhere near as expansive as she had seen here. It was good, then, that her palace yurt would provide cool shade and cold drinks to last. She shared these with her maids and her guards, of course, for they all needed nourishment. She'd grown quite friendly with the group she had been given, as the travel felt an eternity without friends. They were laughing at a joke over some fine chilled rosewater when one of Azadi's maids burst in to declare that the city, the magnificent splendor that the locals had called Iblid, the capital of some great empire known only in legend among the nomads. She stepped out and beheld the marvelous vision before her: buildings taller than mountains, gleaming structures in the desert sun that had no rival, a bustling metropolis compared to the village she'd known her whole life. She felt overwhelmed, and made her way to the city, alone, to see this all, personally, and to grasp its implications.

She explored the town to the best of her own ability, passing herself as some merchant should any of the guards ask. The bazaar of the city was massive, where everything could be found. More than a few merchants there accosted her for her kaftan, her coat made of leather softer and more luxurious than anywhere in the known world, and her kaftan's exotic value especially appealed to them. She ignored them, and simply explored with a sense of childlike wonder. It was not until perhaps three hours after arriving that she remembered her purpose here. With that, she stumbled her way across town to try to get an impromptu audience with the king, or really whatever nobles would bother to listen to her. Although, she hardly knew the layout, and found herself lost. Despite this, she found pleasure in simply wandering.

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The Central Fascist Empires
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Postby The Central Fascist Empires » Fri May 20, 2016 1:56 am

Camelone wrote:snip


King Cyrus, Health 50
The Kings Palace


The King grabbed the knife and cut his palm. "I think I'm unique enough for this damned map," He laughed. "Aldric, Rolf, come here," He shouted and his two knights came. "Will they do?" He asked.

"Now if this map reveals the site of this city I assume I would be able to benefit from it. Then again I've heard stories of your ancestors and how treacherous they were. I warn you. We are not Qyrysi in this city. We are born to struggle. This city was built on death and pain. It will not be easy to stab me in the back." He warned.

Keshokif wrote:snip


The Gate Guard, Health 50
The Gates to Idlib


The guard did his duty. He stood still, not moving, not making a sound. This was his job. In the harsh desert sun and the cold desert nights he stood. He only had one duty. To signal the guards at the gatehouse to open the gate and to search anyone entering the city. He could see a band of travelers making their way across the desert and towards the gate.

"What is your business in the Great City of Idlib?" He asked the same question he asked to all who sought to enter the city.
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Camelone
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Postby Camelone » Fri May 20, 2016 5:51 am

Conrad and Miles Alder, Health 50
The King's Palace

The blood was absorbed into the blade giving off a bright glow before subsiding again. The wound that the king created on his hand crystallized into a bright crimson gash, able to see the flow of blood in his hand if he looked close enough. "Yes, yes they'll do... Miles stop your whimpering and get over here, we have work to do and a lost city to find!" Conrad reprimanded his son before he to took the knife and cut his own palm, the exact same thing happened, his blood was absorbed and the wound crystallized. Reluctantly Miles went over as he rationalized it in the sense that the knowledge he could gain from the city and the wealth he would get could be put to enough good use to give a proper repentance for taking a part in occult blood magic. Taking the knife he followed the example of the other two and cut his palm, unlike the other two his palm crystal wound was blue, and he knelt in pain as he felt it burning into his skin, a much more painful experience than the other two.

"The color, the color must correspond with something." Miles muttered shakily in pain, he noticed he was shivering from an unnatural cold and was sweating at the same time.

Conrad noticed his son was in pain but he noticed it wasn't to bad, he didn't hear any swearing, so he turned his attention back to the king "Your highness we are only treacherous when there is no contract. I will gladly make a contract with you, lets say we get a third of the library and a third of the wealth for providing the means to get there and the rest is up to you to determine how to disperse it. Members of my Explorers Guild will accompany us to help transport things and provide extra protection and exploration experience, especially exploring ruins. My mages can pick out traps efficiently and quickly, along with being able to study most of the magical technologies we have come across. How does that sound? If it is good than I declare a contract between us, upon my blade and blood I proclaim it."
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Keshokif
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Postby Keshokif » Fri May 20, 2016 6:12 pm

The Central Fascist Empires wrote:
Keshokif wrote:snip


The Gate Guard, Health 50
The Gates to Idlib


The guard did his duty. He stood still, not moving, not making a sound. This was his job. In the harsh desert sun and the cold desert nights he stood. He only had one duty. To signal the guards at the gatehouse to open the gate and to search anyone entering the city. He could see a band of travelers making their way across the desert and towards the gate.

"What is your business in the Great City of Idlib?" He asked the same question he asked to all who sought to enter the city.

Rakelin and Jorach (50 HP Each)
Very close to Iblid,
Afternoon

Rakelin put on his most honest-looking smile. He subtly gestured to the rest of the band to stay back, and walked up to the guard.

"We are traders from the North. We are here to trade our goods and wares in the Grand Market. We have horses, cloth and food."

Rakelin could hear Jorach's heavy breathing. A few moments longer, and their cover might be blown. Rakelin hurriedly continued the conversation, sounding inconspicuous enough to hopefully not draw attention.

"We've travelled for a long time, and would appreciate haste in being allowed into the city. No doubt you would agree that the Great Plains make for rough travel any time of the year, no?" He smiled once more, attempting to show friendly intent, deliberately squinting his eyes slightly to appear genuine.
Last edited by Keshokif on Fri May 20, 2016 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Central Fascist Empires
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Postby The Central Fascist Empires » Sat May 21, 2016 5:48 pm

King Cyrus, Health 50
The Kings Palace


"Then I will send Aldric and his men to accompany you. To guarantee the that my interests are secured and to ensure that you receive your part of the cut," The king smiled. "Well, let us drink,"

King Cyrus called for his servants to bring ale, wine, and food for the guests.

The Gate Guard, Health 50
The Gates to Idlib


The guard had been a guard for many years. He could to a liar from an honest man.

"Where are you wares?" The guard asked noticing Jorach's heavy breathing. "It's a hot day isn't it?"
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Camelone
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Postby Camelone » Sat May 21, 2016 9:14 pm

Conrad and Miles Alder, Health 50
The King's Palace

"With all due respect your highness I wish to get this expedition going as quickly as possible, my men and equipment are on standby at the harbor and all I need to do now is find a desert guide. Miles get on that, there should be at least one nomad in the marketplace." Conrad said humbly sending the wounded Miles out of the room who was still clutching his hand in pain. "Glad that didn't happen to me or you." He muttered before turning back to Kin Cyrus "Once your men sacrifice their blood we will see the secrets of the map and be able to plan accordingly... Is Miles gone? Good. Now I can indulge without a lengthy sermon. Let us be merry your highness." He grabbed a cup of wine and put some powder in it, it turned the wine green for a second before back to the regular wine color "Poison spice, takes some time to build an immunity to it but once you get there it's a good tool for detecting other poisons." Conrad said before taking a long drink of the wine.

Miles Alder, Health 50
The Great Market

Miles made sure to wrap his hand up before going out in public as he did not want to draw attention to himself, even though he stood out greatly from the regular city dwellers, a casual observer could easily tell he was a foreigner. His hand on his longsword he walked casually through the Great Market trying to find someone who could possibly be of the desert lifestyle to act as a guide, he thought it was wise to get some of his men to provide escort for him, even if he didn't need it. The men came off as being pirates with the only thing giving them some legitimacy was the symbol of the Explorers Guild sewed onto the vests.

"Oi boss why are we walking around like some idiots? Couldn't we send one of our agents to ask around?" One of his men asked annoyed about being in the sun, his Northmen descent made him a little less tolerant of the heat than most people.

"We must contact the our guide personally so they do not go off and tell others of our goal, if they decline we must make sure there are no loose ends if that means wetting the blade than so be it." Miles said coldly.

"Ah we're here to be mops, I gotcha... Hey boss would she do, she looks like a desert woman I think. She don't look like a city person at the very least." The same man asked pointing to Azadi.

"I believe you to be right my friend, come let us inquire further." A cold formality fell over Miles as he began to walk over to Azadi. "Dear lady!" He said jogging over to her to a respectful distance. "I am Miles Alder, lieutenant of the Explorers Guild and prince of the sea. I am wondering if you are of the nomadic desert people I have heard of? My father and I are sponsoring an expedition out into the desert to find a certain treasure and we are in need of a guide. Would you be interested in helping us? My father is currently with the king at the moment so I can lead you to the palace to hammer out the details." Miles said formally, he kept a neutral face even though he usually lacked social skills trying to keep it purely business, something he excelled at and was ruthless in.
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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
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Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Sat May 21, 2016 10:56 pm

Camelone wrote:
Miles Alder, Health 50
The Great Market

Miles made sure to wrap his hand up before going out in public as he did not want to draw attention to himself, even though he stood out greatly from the regular city dwellers, a casual observer could easily tell he was a foreigner. His hand on his longsword he walked casually through the Great Market trying to find someone who could possibly be of the desert lifestyle to act as a guide, he thought it was wise to get some of his men to provide escort for him, even if he didn't need it. The men came off as being pirates with the only thing giving them some legitimacy was the symbol of the Explorers Guild sewed onto the vests.

"Oi boss why are we walking around like some idiots? Couldn't we send one of our agents to ask around?" One of his men asked annoyed about being in the sun, his Northmen descent made him a little less tolerant of the heat than most people.

"We must contact the our guide personally so they do not go off and tell others of our goal, if they decline we must make sure there are no loose ends if that means wetting the blade than so be it." Miles said coldly.

"Ah we're here to be mops, I gotcha... Hey boss would she do, she looks like a desert woman I think. She don't look like a city person at the very least." The same man asked pointing to Azadi.

"I believe you to be right my friend, come let us inquire further." A cold formality fell over Miles as he began to walk over to Azadi. "Dear lady!" He said jogging over to her to a respectful distance. "I am Miles Alder, lieutenant of the Explorers Guild and prince of the sea. I am wondering if you are of the nomadic desert people I have heard of? My father and I are sponsoring an expedition out into the desert to find a certain treasure and we are in need of a guide. Would you be interested in helping us? My father is currently with the king at the moment so I can lead you to the palace to hammer out the details." Miles said formally, he kept a neutral face even though he usually lacked social skills trying to keep it purely business, something he excelled at and was ruthless in.


This was, to say the least, surprising. She knew very well that her customs of dress were very much distinct from all those around her, but the princess would've never had the idea that she would be simply approached by foreigners and offered a free chance to the palace. The princess lacked some of her more regal adornments, although she was still well dressed- by a nomadic definition, anyways. She had plenty of jewelry, that is. There were a few other things that markedly made her stand out; among these being her paler skin, her hair with a small auburn tinge, it made sense that she would stick out. She did not, however, expect to be confronted about it. In a city so large, blending in seemed like it'd be the easiest thing she'd ever done. Perhaps she had overestimated the size of the city, after all. Not that she was ungrateful, for the opportunity to get into the royal residence was exactly what she had come to do. Acting as a guide to an expedition could only prove to enhance the experience. Perhaps she'd made new friends?

The girl began to speak, choosing to try to be careful with her words. "It would be an honor." she started to bow, just a bit, to the city-dweller. Although she was certainly of higher rank, it was simply polite and respectful to do so. She then plucked the riding glove from her right hand, and offered it to the man for a shake. To have worn the glove during such would've been rude, signalling him as an untouchable of sorts. After this, whether or not the handshake was accepted, she would finally introduce herself. "I am Azadi Pashan, and it is a pleasure to meet you." Again, her talk was fluffed with courtesy. She tried to contain her excitement at how well things seemed to be going for her at the moment, only letting off a gentle, warm smile that in combination with a silken voice (as compared to the raspy voice of the village elders, many of which had their throats damaged during a Great Sandstorm years ago), and the elegant, regal, and radiant beauty emanating from her figure, her skin smooth and well-treated, her grip soft yet firm, all came into combination to reveal the tribe's prized leader, the princess who had, since birth, been groomed to be exactly what she became.

The princess was not a sign of consistent and powerful beauty, the likes of which evoked the most emotional moments of men and led to powerful moments of passion, but instead was more a passive glow. She was very clean, and her skin lacked blemishes. Her every movement was smooth and graceful, never once seeming to be jerky or erratic. Her gaze was gentle and comforting, like that of a mother, and yet she held a childlike wonder in her dark eyes. The words she spoke were smooth, her voice a cool medium in tone. There was a simple elegance, a grace to her whole being that gave it beauty. It was, perhaps, nothing special by default. She wore little makeup, if any, and nothing about her form was stunning. It was, rather, a gentle and hushed beauty that would stealthily emerge, ambushing the mind, deafening the senses to the world around once the moment came. Thus, with her maternal gaze, the soft eyes of the mother of a whole tribe locked onto the man before her, she awaited the next movement.

The woman definitely stood out among the crowds, that was plain to see. Despite her relatively plain clothes by the definition of the city-dwellers, she bore the appearance of a princess in her base physical form. Even if she did not explicitly state her royal lineage, and she did so by her own volition, there might perhaps be a subconscious realization of it regardless. After all, she was quite different from the usual nomadic merchants that would occasionally stop in. The princess stood still, silent, awaiting her next command.

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Keshokif
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Postby Keshokif » Sun May 22, 2016 2:32 am

The Central Fascist Empires wrote:The Gate Guard, Health 50
The Gates to Idlib


The guard had been a guard for many years. He could to a liar from an honest man.

"Where are you wares?" The guard asked noticing Jorach's heavy breathing. "It's a hot day isn't it?"

Rakelin and Jorach (50 HP Each)
Very close to Iblid,
Afternoon


Jorach nodded quickly. He was hot, even if he was nervous also. The cowl over his head kept the heat in, and he was beginning to sweat. But, he could hide his nerves long enough to get through. Rakelin turned to Jorach and pointed to one of the carts being pulled by the horses. Jorach obliged and raised the canvas roofing. Inside the cart, cloth lay dormant over a hatch so as to resemble real wares should they be quizzed like this or scouted on the road. Had Rakelin decided to sneak in, these wares would have been given to the peasants of the city, the weapons insude salvaged and the cart scrapped. Now, it seemed, there were other uses for them.

"Cloth, and the horses you see in front of you. I trust you understand why we cannot show you our food - the desert heat does no good for edible wares. If you wish to sample our products, I am sure we can reach an agreement on pricing. However we must make a living - it will cost you."

Rakelin again smiled warmly, making effort to nearly close his eyes, making the smile appear more real. Rakelin had been lying and cheating for a long time - it would take a master to see through his façade.
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Camelone
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Postby Camelone » Sun May 22, 2016 5:23 am

Miles Alder, 50 health
The Great Market

Miles debated for a few seconds on how he should greet the woman as he had a feeling she was of nobility in some form but was not one hundred percent sure, that coupled with not knowing the customs of the land. He took her hand and kissed it bowing as well "It truly is a pleasure to meet Azadi Pashan." Even with flattery Miles came off as annoyingly formal with a slight undertone of nervousness.

"Come right this way I will lead you to the palace." Miles said straightening up again and proceeding to walk away, he assumed the woman would follow him. He had a job to do and he must fulfill it to the best of his abilities, the family needed every advantage they could get and so this job was incredibly important to hopefully one day not having to live on a ship most of his life. The pirate life was already wearing him out.
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The Central Fascist Empires
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Ex-Nation

Postby The Central Fascist Empires » Sun May 22, 2016 7:00 am

King Cyrus, Health 50
The Kings Palace


Aldric and Rolf cut their hands on the blade and handed it to Conrad. The king laughed at Conrad's caution. "I am aware but I take my chances. I would not poison a guest under my roof. That would not do well for my family's name and only the Gods know what reputation I would leave for my son to inherit. I am a much more simple man. I like to kill my enemies with a sword rather than a bow and a bow rather than a dagger in the back. If I wanted to kill you and yours I would fight you and yours," He smiled. "Still I see no purpose. You seem like a good lot, albeit deceitful, and it is in my benefit to cooperate with you," Cyrus waved Aldric and Rolf away. The two would begin making preparations for their journey deep into the desert. The two were Qyrysi and, therefore, did not enjoy the desert and it's harsh heat and biting sands.


The Gate Guard, Health 50
The Gates to Idlib


"I trust you are merchants," The guard said. "Still it is our duty to search your wares for any contraband," The guard waved for his two comrades to search through the wares. After a few moments the two returned to their place by the gate and whispered something to the guard. "It appears everything is in order. You may pass," He then shouted for the guards at the gatehouse to raise the gate and let the group pass. "Welcome to Idlib,"
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Torrocca
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Torrocca » Sun May 22, 2016 12:47 pm

Lord Jhallad Zhaffar al'Qhallym, 52 Health
Outside the gates of Wharyni


With every slight disturbance, the unstable dunes of sand shook and trembled. Horse hoof after thundering horse hoof struck the blazing hot grains, sporadically shifting them about. The chase was on! The might of the saddled war horses of the pursuers and the brazen strength of the stolen colt was well displayed by their graceful race through the unstable sands of the barren wasteland; they were well away from the point of exhaustion, having only just begun their wild chase. The wild pursuers, about ten meters behind their target, savaging swung scimitars through the air in an effort to intimidate their prey. The pursued, turning to see this maddening display, goaded her young, strong colt to hasten to the river, and hasten it did. It was all for naught, though, as the sands of the dune it galloped upon gave way, sending the steed sliding down it, and its thieving rider flying and landing in the muddy bank of the river.

As the thief struggled to her feet, a rough hand forcibly grabbed her arm and tore her from the bank of the river. The colt she once rode was now running amok in a frenzied panic, and one of her pursuers worked frantically to calm it down. The man grasping her arm ignored this and brought her over to the group of guards, shouting at her harshly, "why would you steal a horse, you dirty thief?! Is it not enough to take gold alone?!" Throwing her to the dirt, he pointed his sword at her and looked up to the overly tall, heavily-armored man before him and asked just as harshly, "what should we do with her, my lord?" The girl, removing the thick, cloth veil from her face, looked up at the intimidating man who was coated from head to toe in steel, and pleaded out of terror and sincerity, "please, my lord! I beg forgiveness! My mother is terribly sick a-a-and we have no money to get her cared for!" The swordsman nearby, who very obviously had no compassion for criminals, struck her across the face fiercely with an iron-gloved hand, knocking her back into the ground and cutting her cheek well open; he stared angrily at her and snarled, ordering, "you quiet your tongue, thief!" "Peace, Jhasimar; peace. Lhansmir, help her to her feet." The guard referred to as Lhansmir did as ordered, saying, "Sa'yhalum, Qhallyp."

The tall lord, Jhallad, removed his face mask, revealing himself to be as much as a human as the Qhallym'syam girl who was already more than terrified enough; he took his warm, comforting hand to her cheek and gently wiped away the blood now sullying it, saying softly to the fearful girl, "if what you say is true, Qhallymirsi, then we shall have our royal healer look at her, free of charge. Now, if you will, Qhallymirsi, hand over the stolen gold." "I... I th-thank you, noble lord," the girl stammered out, shakily untying the leather coin purse from her belt; Jhallad watched and waited patiently as she handed it over. "Lhansmir," he ordered to the guard holding her, "take her upon your horse back to the royal keep in Wharyni." "Sa'yhalum, Qhallyp," the man replied once more, gently escorting the frightened girl to his stallion.

"You see, Jhasimar? They respond better to sympathy," Jhallad remarked to the agitated swordsmen before him after the other guard and the girl had made their leave. "With all respect, Qhallyp," the man responded in his harsh tongue, spinning his scimitar wildly for a moment before sheathing it, "these spineless criminals respond as well to violence." "Hmmm..." Jhallad muttered something incomprehensible, then yelled to the rest of his men out of earshot, after seeing that the scared colt was tamed and reclaimed, "we're leaving, men!" The men remounted their horses and swiftly went back to Wharyni.

Ahbul, Khalyn, and Ahlynsi (50 Health each)
In the courtyard of Wharyni's keep


An iron-tipped arrow swiftly tore through the hot, desert air... and completely missed its target. The true-born son of Jhallad, Ahbul, and his bastard brother Khalyn both chuckled at their sister's failure with a bow, irritating her further. "No, no, sister," Khalyn said after his last little laugh, taking the bow and an arrow from his sister, "you're doing it wrong. It's like this, watch." He drew the bow with the grace of any true-born archer, but drew it slowly to clearly demonstrate his point. Taking careful aim, he let loose the drawstring suddenly, sending another arrow tearing through the air. It made its mark on the practice target perfectly, leading to the bastard to smirk at his sister as he gave her back the bow. "Now, try again, exactly as I did, Ahlynsi; do it slowly, so that you can get a real feeling for the bow's power." The girl sighed and reluctantly did as her brother instructed; she was always close and trusted him, even if he was sometimes a bit of an ass when she failed. She took time to get to know the bow, as he instructed; she took careful aim, making sure her shot would be straight and true; she let loose with the arrow and watched it fly. As was expected, it struck the practice board fiercely, penetrating the outermost circle.

"Hah! Did you see that?!" Ahlynsi remarked, smiling and pointing at most recent addition to the old wicker board. "Haha, yes sister; good job, indeed!" Khalyn replied, applauding his sister just as Ahbul did. "You may one day make a fine archer," Ahbul said, walking over to his sister and patting her on the shoulder, "but, for now, I think you should keep up that good practice. Khalyn was always the better of us two when it came to archery, and, well... you two work well enough together. Father wants me to attend to Thylinsi, so... just keep up the good work, eh?" "Alright, Ahbul," Ahlynsi replied, still eccentric about her new, partial success with the bow. She and Khayln both watched as Ahbul left, then went back to their work with the bow.

"Now, then, sister, show me it again. Aim lower this time about, though," the bastard said, leaning up against a small barrel that was nearby. His sister mimicked his earlier motions with the weapon once more after drawing another arrow from its quiver, and took careful aim again at the practice board. She lowered the weapon slightly, as Khalyn instructed; letting loose another arrow, she watched as it made its mark, just shy of the center circle. Khalyn clapped in approval and said, "great job, sister. You're learning fast; soon enough, you'll be a good archer." The girl mockingly bowed to her brother like a noble lady would bow in a royal court, saying, "thank you, thank you." "Now, do it again; this time, go faster with the motions. Remember, a good archer can fire fast; a great one, though, can do it blind." Ahlynsi paused at this, giving her brother a confused look as she asked, "blind? You mean... like... take out their eyes?" "No, no no," he replied, chuckling and waving his hand, "blind as in blindfolded. Have you not seen Dhalym Khamar in Qhallym? He does it for show all the time." "Really?" "Yes, really. Some say he could shoot a moving horse blindfolded; that's how good he is." "Oh... wow... maybe one day I'll be that good." "Only through practice, sister."

As the girl fired arrow after arrow into the target, the young man silently reached behind the barrel and produced a sheathed scimitar. He quietly unsheathed it, set aside the scabbard, and felt the Rhalskir pattern blade (think Damascus steel), the golden crossguard, and the ivory handle. It was a good, light sword with a decent grip and almost unbreakable blade; the material it was made of, it was said, could slice steel in half like butter when cut to a fine edge and keep its edge for an incredible time. Although he'd heard the stories from his father, he had never tested it with his own sword before. His sister, who would be receiving this one, he hoped, would never have to test it, either.

As the girl expended her last arrow, she looked over to Khalyn to see what he thought of her work and quickly took notice to the weapon he was wielding. "Another sword from father, Khalyn?" she asked, going over to him to inspect it. "Urh... no, actually. It was for your Jha'khyam, but; well, the Blademaker was a bit slow," he answered truthfully, handing the weapon over to his sister. "Ah... huh, a bit light, yah?" she remarked, turning and giving it a couple of short, light swings. "Yah... but it controls well; it was made especially for you." She slowly handed it back over to her brother, then suddenly embraced him lovingly, saying, "thank you so much, Khalyn. It's the best gift I've ever gotten!" Returning the embrace with his free arm, he plainly said, "you're welcome, sister."

Ahbul and Thylinsi (50 Health each)
Inside the keep


"Does it look good, brother?"
"Huh?"
"My dress. Does it look good?"
"I... uh... yes, Thylinsi, it looks elegant."
"Does it look good enough for the royal family, though? Father wants me to look my best."
"Sister, those royals in the king's palace already speak the truth when they say you are the Flower of the Desert. Dress or not, you already look you best."
"... They really say that?"
"Yah."
It was more than truth what Ahbul said; Thylinsi was basically the definition of beauty. She fully inherited the best looks of both her mother and father. She was especially beautiful for a Qhallym'syamsi, who were considered naturally beautiful anyways, despite being of a minor ethnicity - and of one that was hated. In any case, the girl seemed more insulted than anything about non-Qhallym'syamsi regarding her as beautiful; her people were, for the most part, universally hated and discriminated against - in part, due to their past ways of nomadic pastoralism, which created a people custom to raiding civilized places for survival in the barren wasteland they called home. Only a few places, along the river Shalinkul, like Wharyni and Qhallym, were settled and urbanized lands. The Qhallym'syamsi still maintained a semblance of their nomadic past, and as such, also maintained a semblance of their raiding past.

Unlike many others, who gracefully accepted their warrior-like culture, Thylinsi rejected it in many ways, due to her seething hatred of being discriminated against. She was no barbarian; she was as elegant and as civilized as the other desert dwellers! They had no right to deem her as some sort of rabid animal that needed to be put down. It utterly infuriated her to no end; it made her want to accept her culture, to savagely slaughter those that held such ill will toward her, her family, and her people...

"Thylinsi?" Ahbul asked in concern for his sister, eyeing her as she suddenly snapped out of her thoughts. "Huh? What is it, brother?" the young lady questioned, turning her attention back to her brother. "Are you...? Never mind. Father's here; we should get ready to go; the king's no doubt waiting on us." "Right... right..." she replied meekly, lowering her head slightly and following her brother out of the keep.

Everyone (52 Health (Jhallad), 50 Health (everyone else))
In the courtyard of the keep


"Thylinsi, you look as gorgeous as ever," Jhallad said, stepping up to his daughter and hugging her. "Thank you, father!" the girl replied, returning the hug as her other siblings looked on. When their embrace ended, Jhallad turned to his other children and said, "Ahlynsi, Khalyn? Are you ready to go?" Ahbul looked at his two siblings, confused as he asked, "father... I thought I was going as well?" "Oh, no, Ahbul," Jhallad said, "A Zhaffar has to stay in our lands. Besides that, our enemies would take much advantage of a lord and his heir both being in the king's palace." "I... alright, father... as you will it," the young man replied, nodding respectfully to his father. "You, my son, have the throne until we return." "Of course, father."


The departure from Wharyni was quiet. Few words were spoken as the column of horsemen, wagons, and carriages left from the settlement and followed the river road to the grand city of Iblid. Thylinsi concerned herself more about her appearance than anything, while Khalyn and Ahlynsi conversed with Jhallad about the prospect of Ahlynsi becoming a warrior like them. She was already skilled as it were, and would soon enough match even Khalyn and Ahbul. It was only natural, then, that during this conversation that Jhallad would permit it.
Last edited by Torrocca on Sun May 22, 2016 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Camelone
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Camelone » Sun May 22, 2016 1:33 pm

Conrad Alder, 50 health
Kings Palace

"I did not mean to infer that your highness?", just an occupational hazard that I've grown used to. "I'm glad we have each other's respect, that is an important thing to have when studying ruins. Don't want a repeat of what happened in the tomb we got this map from. I lost most of my expedition in those caverns, damn traps and magic."

Conrad took another sip of wine before he grabbed the knife and plunged it into the center of the map, the blade sunk down disappearing into the paper as the blood was thrown across the map. Standing up he took out a book and lifted his hand above the map, he began reading the words his son translated slowly, looking up every now and than to see if anything else happened. Soon the constellations of the map lifted high above the map with other parts of the map mirroring the geographic landscape they displayed, five dots were clustered around the symbol of the city.

"An impressive map." Conrad said surprised at what he was seeing.
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Keshokif
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Founded: Apr 26, 2016
Ex-Nation

Postby Keshokif » Sun May 22, 2016 7:03 pm

The Central Fascist Empires wrote:
The Gate Guard, Health 50
The Gates to Idlib


"I trust you are merchants," The guard said. "Still it is our duty to search your wares for any contraband," The guard waved for his two comrades to search through the wares. After a few moments the two returned to their place by the gate and whispered something to the guard. "It appears everything is in order. You may pass," He then shouted for the guards at the gatehouse to raise the gate and let the group pass. "Welcome to Idlib,"

Rakelin and Jorach (50 HP Each)
Very close to Iblid,
Afternoon


"Many thanks, sir. May your days be fruitful and your nights pleasurable."

The cart was brought in through the now open gate, and the band calmly made their way towards their destination. Yes, they would go via the Grand Market, but after checking there was no-one following, they would move on to the Harbor where Rachel's hostel stood.

Rakelin clicked his fingers twice, and Jorach quickened his pace to catch up with him. Acting normally and speaking softly, they conversed.

"You need to get better at lying and acting. Your nervous mannerisms nearly gave us away. Next time, we may not be so lucky."

"Yes, Cap'n. Sorry, Cap'n."

"It's alright. Just be mindful. We are fugitives, and fugitives can only live when they are not caught. House Alharis would happily take our guts out if they knew who we were. We need to be convincing - no matter how good we are at fighting, none of us can take on an entire city guard, not even together."

"Yes, Cap'n."

The group moved in, soon to rendezvous with other members of the order. They had deemed it best to split up so as to not draw too much suspicion or to sacrifice the entire order should they be captured. Sure, they could have all gone through the sewers or the front gate, but throwing every egg into one basket was begging for the basket to break and the eggs to be ruined.

At last, they reached the Grand Market. Soon, they would move on to the Harbor, but not before breaking to check for suspicious activity.
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The Central Fascist Empires
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Ex-Nation

Postby The Central Fascist Empires » Tue May 24, 2016 1:30 am

Camelone wrote:snip.


King Cyrus, 50 health,
Kings Palace.


"I do not blame you. In your field you must come across some traitorous bastards." He watched as the map transformed. "It is impressive. I'll give you that, but what does it mean?" He asked.
Last edited by The Central Fascist Empires on Tue May 24, 2016 1:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Camelone
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Camelone » Tue May 24, 2016 5:43 pm

Conrad and Miles Alder, 50 health
The King's Palace

Conrad looked intently at the map "Ah I think I understand now, our destination is the pulsing sand in the very center of the desert, that shouldn't be all that bad to get to, now after we get there we need at least three of the blood letters to a certain position to hold raise a portion of the city up. Well this should be an easy in and out expeditions if we can get there and back in one piece. I'm guessing we should travel by night, it appears to be the best course of action... Miles you're back and I see you've brought a potential guide with you, bravo dear boy." He said walking over to Miles and slapping him on the back.

Miles was with Azadi and approached the king "Your highness I would like to introduce Azadi Pashan, she has agreed to guide our expedition through the desert. It is both my wish and hers that you shall give her your ear for a moment." He said respectfully and formally.

"My boy you need to learn to be so stuck up. What did I do as a father to make you so disciplined and formal? I know for a fact it wasn't me who gave you such an example." Conrad interjected.
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Torrocca
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Torrocca » Fri May 27, 2016 8:10 pm

Ahbul Zhaffar al'Wharyni (50 Health)
Inside Wharyni


It had been roughly twenty years since the Lordship of the Qhallym'syam took to the west and declared Wharyni their new home on the fertile banks of the mighty Vharynam. The ever-important city of Qhallym, though, was not forgotten - in fact, it remained an important center of the peoples' culture and learning even despite being so close to the mountainous territory of hostile Orcs. Ahbul hadn't been there since he was but a youngster, no more than ten years of age. He still fondly remembered his uncle, Lord Khallryn - his cousins, Ahylsi and Mhartir - and even a beautiful cousin separated by three lines of family, a sweetheart by the name of Nhalynsaesi. He missed them dearly, yet he couldn't return just yet; he'd have to wait days, perhaps weeks or months, for his father and his siblings to return to Wharyni. After all, a Zhaffar had to stay in the homeland, always.

Nonetheless, it was infinitely better than travelling in the terrible heat of the practically barren lands, only saved from being a complete waste by the river's fertile farmlands and the few trees and plants that thrived in the harsh environment. He only had to worry about the problems of the lowly nobles and the commoners - it was much simpler than he ever could have imagined it to be. He hadn't much worries either, that day; the fervent believers of J'ash Alhura'a were away in the temple, praying alongside him. As was made tradition, prayers lasted about half an hour, at two different points in a day; one at dawn, one at dusk. When it was done, the men and women in the temple would kiss the floor and leave, as they were doing now.

Leaving the temple was a simple affair; the people dispersed to their duties or their homes without much issue. Ahbul himself followed one of the many narrow streets, shielded from the sun by linen awnings, toward the marketplace in the center of the growing town.

-WiP-
Libertarian Democratic Socialist. RAINBOW! Revolutionary Catalonia and Revolutionary Rojava Forever! ^_^
I am Her Majesty, Torra I, of the House Anarkittismo, NS's self-anointed Anarcho-Monarchist Queen. Now known as God-Empress Torra.
"Fascism is not debated, it is destroyed." - Buenaventura Durruti
"When the people are being hit with a stick, they are not happier if the stick is called “the stick of the people”. The State is an oppression that must be abolished."
I go by Torra and feminine pronouns! They/Them/Their are perfectly acceptable alternatives as well :3
Suggestions welcome!

Capital - Karl Marx and Frederich Engels
Wage Labor and Capital - Karl Marx
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Mutual Aid - Peter Kropotkin
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The Central Fascist Empires
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Ex-Nation

Postby The Central Fascist Empires » Sun May 29, 2016 4:35 am

Camelone wrote:Conrad and Miles Alder, 50 health
The King's Palace

Conrad looked intently at the map "Ah I think I understand now, our destination is the pulsing sand in the very center of the desert, that shouldn't be all that bad to get to, now after we get there we need at least three of the blood letters to a certain position to hold raise a portion of the city up. Well this should be an easy in and out expeditions if we can get there and back in one piece. I'm guessing we should travel by night, it appears to be the best course of action... Miles you're back and I see you've brought a potential guide with you, bravo dear boy." He said walking over to Miles and slapping him on the back.

Miles was with Azadi and approached the king "Your highness I would like to introduce Azadi Pashan, she has agreed to guide our expedition through the desert. It is both my wish and hers that you shall give her your ear for a moment." He said respectfully and formally.

"My boy you need to learn to be so stuck up. What did I do as a father to make you so disciplined and formal? I know for a fact it wasn't me who gave you such an example." Conrad interjected.


King Cyrus, 50 health,
Kings Palace.


"Well there is no point in wasting time," The king said. "I'll give you quarters in my palace until tonight. Once night comes Aldric and Rolf will meet you with an escort and all the supplies you will need," The king turned to face Miles as he entered with a strange girl. "It is my pleasure to meet you Princess. I have heard of your tribe. Before we settled in this city our tribes used to battle. It is a forgotten history to those here in Idlib but it is vital to our peoples. It is good to know there are some who keep the traditions of our ancestors alive and well,"
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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13402
Founded: Mar 08, 2013
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Tue May 31, 2016 11:16 am

The Central Fascist Empires wrote:
Camelone wrote:Conrad and Miles Alder, 50 health
The King's Palace

Conrad looked intently at the map "Ah I think I understand now, our destination is the pulsing sand in the very center of the desert, that shouldn't be all that bad to get to, now after we get there we need at least three of the blood letters to a certain position to hold raise a portion of the city up. Well this should be an easy in and out expeditions if we can get there and back in one piece. I'm guessing we should travel by night, it appears to be the best course of action... Miles you're back and I see you've brought a potential guide with you, bravo dear boy." He said walking over to Miles and slapping him on the back.

Miles was with Azadi and approached the king "Your highness I would like to introduce Azadi Pashan, she has agreed to guide our expedition through the desert. It is both my wish and hers that you shall give her your ear for a moment." He said respectfully and formally.

"My boy you need to learn to be so stuck up. What did I do as a father to make you so disciplined and formal? I know for a fact it wasn't me who gave you such an example." Conrad interjected.


King Cyrus, 50 health,
Kings Palace.


"Well there is no point in wasting time," The king said. "I'll give you quarters in my palace until tonight. Once night comes Aldric and Rolf will meet you with an escort and all the supplies you will need," The king turned to face Miles as he entered with a strange girl. "It is my pleasure to meet you Princess. I have heard of your tribe. Before we settled in this city our tribes used to battle. It is a forgotten history to those here in Idlib but it is vital to our peoples. It is good to know there are some who keep the traditions of our ancestors alive and well,"


She smiled, glad to hear that her tribe particularly had not faded into obscurity in the countless years that Idlib had been around, from the days told only through the legends of the elders. Even more so that her tribe was considered somewhat vital to these urbanites. She thought herself proud of her own tribe until she realized the last statement applied to all those nomads living between men and elves. Even still, she seemed to receive the compliment well enough.

Azadi put her hand over her heart, and did something of a bow. "It is my utmost pleasure to meet you as well, Lord. I will serve you and your men faithfully in their endeavor. My people know the land well, and we can navigate by the stars. I can only hope that my retinue will be as pleased as I am about this wonderful opportunity to expand our knowledge of the lands beyond our own borders, and to meet those from the distant kingdom told of only in myth."

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