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Intrigue in Court [IC]

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Zelphos
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Intrigue in Court [IC]

Postby Zelphos » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:08 am

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Chapter One
The Beginning of the End

1049 IY, WINTER SEASON


On the continent of Myyr lies the Empire of Vexia, a massive nation that has been undefeated for a millennium. The Empire was built on the backs of slaves and on the backs of the conquered, who were shepherded with an iron rod by the Great Kings of the past. The Empire was technologically superior to all the nations surrounding it, producing philosophers and military geniuses throughout the ages. Their military might was unchallenged and was widely famed across Myyr, being subject to legend.

However, that same empire famed for it's greatness is on its last legs.

The threat in the Eastern Front continues to grow by the day as the violent Khuphate grow impatient with their lack of progress. Despite the efforts of the Imperial Forces and the Blue Hordes, little headway has been made against the Khuphate, who continue to batter the military outposts situated on the plains. With Emperor Jakar III Vixis' death in the Eastern Front, it serves to them as a blessing from their barbaric gods, a promise of victory against the heathens of the west. In the Northern Territories, besides the continuous raids on settlements north of Whitehold, rumors circulate of a confederation in the making between the loose collection of tribal societies and the Saxxars, the largest barbaric tribe in Northern Myyr. In the Southern Kingdoms, Vexian spies have reported military alliances forming in the Dabosaintvieti Council, the council representing the coalition of the Southern Kingdoms. At this time, no further activity has been reported regarding the kingdoms. Vessels have been sighted along the coast of Myyr coming from the uncharted western seas. Their ships are of unique design, and their facial features are nowhere to be found in Myyr. Investigation into the matter has been dismissed by the previous Emperor Jakar III Vixis.

The year is 1049 IY, the year of Emperor Jakar III Vixis' untimely death on the Eastern Front. With his demise, the responsibilities of emperor now fall on the young Prince Brandon 'Mariot' Vixis, the battle-hardened heir to the throne. After his father's death, with a detachment of Golden Falcon soldiers and his trusted friend Marius 'the Dam' Mariensis in tow, he set out to the capital of Windstard. With Marius, the new Commander of the Golden Falcons, ensuring Brandon's ascension to the throne, he was subsequently declared Emperor of the Vexian Empire in the Summer Season, shortly after his arrival to the imperial capital. With the authority vested in him as emperor, he sent out the decree for courtiers from across the realm bearing all sorts of professions and skills be sent to fill his royal court, with emphasis being placed in filling his new Imperial Council. To prepare for their arrival, he gave the order for a grand ball to take place in the Winter Season within the Blue Palace, where they are to make their introductions.

Unbeknownst to the inhabitants of Myyr, this would signify the dawn of a new age.

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Zelphos
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Postby Zelphos » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:09 am

BRANDON 'MARIOT' VIXIS

“—thus concludes the report on the status of the Eastern Front.” The beady-eyed minister rolls the scroll in his hands.

“That will be all. Return your duties.”

“At once, Your Majesty.” Brandon eyed the minister until he left the chamber, closing the heavy door with a thud.

Heaving a great sigh, Brandon settled into his wooden chair, gazing into nothingness. For days he isolated himself in the chambers of his dearly departed father, Jakar, running through the accounts recorded in the Imperial Archives. His father had left him with the great burden of managing the realm, a task he certainly was not prepared for. Indeed, Brandon had always expected to inherit the realm, for he was, after all, the-then crown-heir to the Vexian Empire. Yes, he had been tutored by his father's ministers— yes, he was strictly told that his learning to manage the realm was of grave importance. But Brandon's heart laid elsewhere- no, not on a fair maiden whose beauty was worth entire kingdoms, but rather, his heart laid in the Eastern Front.

Brandon sips out of the jewel-encrusted goblet, peering back into the accounts. His father seemed to be on a verge of drastic action against the Khuphate, likely fed up with the toll it was taking with the treasury. However, his father's plan were incompetent, with details that were unrealistic. He was not a man who was well-versed in the art of war, and it clearly showed in the content of his plans of conquest. He never knew his father to be a military man, for he always sought to bring about peace in the realm, to focus on building the infrastructure of the Vexian Empire rather than aimlessly painting the map of Myyr with the purple colors of the Empire’s banner as the previous emperors had always done. Why, his father was always the odd one out in a court full of schemers and deceivers, but this... this was certainly out of character for him.

Regardless, there is no benefit of dwelling in the past.

A knock came to the door, "Your Majesty, it is almost eve. The courtiers are soon to arrive on the grounds of the palace."

"Are the preparations complete?"

"Yes, Your Majesty."

"Have the governor start the festival for the peasantfolk, and let us not forget the hospitality of the Vixis dynasty— pay the taverns from the royal treasury to ensure a steady stream of brew without charge for the peasants."

"As you wish." The steps of the minister trail off, leaving him alone once more.

He had heard little about the courtiers he was to receive. Some, of course, he was familiar with, such as Chelubey Khan who was his subordinate in the war with the Khuphate, but the others, well, would be a surprise. Brandon set down the scroll of accounts, opening another with a list of names. He was more concerned about those who his Imperial Committee scouted out for the positions to fill his council.

Count Hallstrom, the Emperor's Fist. He served my father before me, and has proven himself to be a loyal subject of the crown, despite what rumors circulate about the man himself. Duke Sylas Vixis, his uncle who is to serve as the Chancellor of the realm. Of course, Brandon knows how great of a danger he could pose if he decided to turn against him, but the man's abilities are of grave importance, especially in mending the relations between the Empire and the Southern Kingdoms. Gareth Vauquelin, one of the Royal Stewards appointed to manage the finances of the realm, came from humble beginnings, at least from what the committee can sumrise. The man himself seems of little threat. The next Royal Steward, however, may be of more concern. Ishraq Fadriqa, the Lord of the Sheikdom of Eastmoor. Eastmoor was previously associated with the Southern Kingdoms, before his father apparently bent the knee to his father. As such, the man would likely be full of hatred towards the Empire, yet there is no doubting his skill in handling financial matters which could be a great asset in these dark times. For now, he'll keep only but a watchful eye on the man. Prince Corineus Corino, the Marshal of the Royal Army, who retained that rank after his father's death as per Brandon's order. From what he can gather, Prince Corino is dedicated, loyal servant of the Empire, especially during his father's reign. Brandon had encountered him only a few times, but nothing more than a casual exchange of pleasantries. He held his standing as one of the more prominent men of the Empire, holding great influence and wealth... one of the more dangerous of men in court. However, Brandon has no plausible reason to doubt his loyalty. And of course his companion from the Eastern Front, Marius Mariensis, the Commander of the Golden Falcon, who was given the reigns over his personal retinue of elite troops hand-selected from across the empire. Many a time Marius saved his life, particularly when his party came into ambush. Marius sacrificed much to defend his life during his time on the Eastern Front, earning his unshakable trust. A worthy man to take the reigns of his retinue charged with internal security. These men would begin their duties after they are to make introductions at the grand ball.

Brandon rose from his seat, placing the crown upon his head.

Well, I suppose it's about time to meet the courtiers.


ISHRAQ FATYAN GAYA

A moment passed. Yes, a moment that defines Ishraq's destiny. When was that moment? He could only wonder. When did he have such a change of heart? When did he become to full of ambition and greed? After all, Ishraq had it all. A sheikdom full of wealth? Hell, that enough was enough to satisfy anyone's greed. Yet, he longed for more. He longed to claim something that he had not inherited- to distinguish himself from the men of heroics who are sung day and night in the taverns. He longed for something more. When was that moment, he could only wonder. What moment came to define me?

"How long until the Blue Palace? I'm afraid I'll be falling ill from the cold at this rate." He gazed out of the carriage to a land filled with the unfamiliar wintry elements, something he never saw in Eastmoor. The cold winds blew through the land, whistling through the mountains. A few other carriages were on the King's Road, likely those of merchants. Those merchants were always eager to make more gold, what was a little cold wind when compared to their fiery greed?

"It is but a short ways now, my lord." The older man directing the carriage croaked, cracking the reigns. "The King's Road is hardly traveled at this time of year, especially to the capital of all places. My lord, if I may ask, what business do you have there?"

"I'm traveling to the Blue Palace upon my being summoned by His Majesty. Why is it that you continue to drive a coach in the dead of winter at your age?"

The man chuckled, "Well, I'll be damned by Aeors himself if what you say is true. An old coach like this is not suiting for nobility." He paused for a moment, "Well, milord, I must say times are difficult these days. I've lived many years, and I must say Emperor Jakar's reign has by far been worse than his predecessor. Ah, those were the days..."

"I'm not too familiar with this Emperor Jakar, being from the southern provinces. I hear nothing but troublesome stories about the man, some believe him to be evil, whilst others portray him to be a saint. Which is it?"

"Why, I'm not too sure if he were a saint or an evil man. I heard the man was relatively kind in his young age, before descending into evil ways as he aged, though what does a sack of bones know? What I do know is that during Jakar's time, the peasantfolk have been suffering from hard times, even those in the Capital Provinces. The wages are barely enough to feed our families, and the nobles treat us like the dirt of the earth. They suck us dry, but leave just enough to keep us happy." The man grunted, "At this rate, we'll end up like the rest of our kind on the war fronts."

"I see."

Some time has passed since that conversation. They trailed across the winding roads going through the mountain range, eventually arriving in Bargainton, the gateway town leading to the capital.

"Have you heard of Bargainton?"

"What is there to know?"

"Well, my lord, if there's any way to describe the nobles up there in the Blue Palace, that town does. It's bustling with merchants and travelers in the day, but at night is when the town flips, revealing murderers and thieves making the rounds. In fact, no peasant dares to spend the night there, for all that do are never to return to their homes."

"Very interesting. I couldn't have described the nobility better myself."

They continued on from Bargainton, soon arriving at the gates of Windstard. The entrance was heavily guarded by the Falcons, who inspected the carriage and demanded their reason for entry. Ballistas situated on the wall were aimed at the entrance, ready to fire at a moment's notice. Since when were those there? Well, with the emperor being dead, it's no surprise that the new emperor would want his transition to power to be as smooth as possible. A show of force is obviously one way to do it. After gaining entry into Windstard, the carriage carried on uphill towards the Blue Palace. Peasants moved about their daily work, though with the snows of winter being upon the capital, there were relatively fewer than usual on the roads. The sight of the huge Corino Bullring was nothing impressive to him, although he was curious as to why such a building was in the center of a slum. He was surprised, though, that the peasants were in a state of celebration.

"What's the occasion?"

"I heard that the emperor is funding the festival here in the slums. There's free ale for the commonfolk as well."

"I see."

His carriage was driven through the nicer part of town, where all the wealthy and nobility live. Upon passing the inner gates, the roads were immediately different. They were well-maintained and were well-laid out, providing optimal travel for wagons and carriages. Tall villas flanked each road sprouting from the gate, with the wealthy walking about the streets in strikingly different attire from the peasantry in the slums. Fur coats, dresses made from fine silk, even some attire that Ishraq recognized from the Southern Kingdoms. He was surprised that the peasantfolk haven't risen up in revolt yet, though he supposed it had to do with the Falcons watching every gate and every street. He could hear the grunts coming from the driver of his carriage.

At last, they arrived at the gates of the Blue Palace, and after presenting his papers bearing the sigil of the emperor, was allowed access to the courtyard.

"This is where we part, old timer." Ishraq presented the man with a bag of gold.

"This... this is too kind of you, milord. I cannot possibly take this from you."

"Keep it, old man." Ishraq patted the man on the shoulder, "Tell all of the generosity of Ishraq Fadriqa."

"Of course, milord." The coach driver bowed his head, and drove off.

As he was about to march into the palace, a voice spoke, "Lord Steward Ishraq Fadriqa, I presume?" A courtier stood before him, with a list in his hand. "Your presence is expected in the dining hall. Please make your way there to partake in the festivities."

Ishraq did just so. After all, he knew the palace like the back of his hand.

He was immediately greeted by the large crowds of nobles feasting and dancing in the large dining complex, each wearing luxurious garments fitting for a king. Music was strung from musicians carrying different instruments, most notably the harp. At the very head of the table opposite of the main entrance was a chair most grand, undoubtedly for the emperor. The chair, however, was unoccupied. He noticed the Falcons patrolling the hall, outfitted in full plated armor. That was a sight to behold, for the Falcons almost never went into the palace complex itself. This a large event hosted by the new emperor. No need to be suspicious. Ishraq immediately put on a fake smile and blended into the crowd.
Last edited by Zelphos on Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Verdantderm Lands
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Postby The Verdantderm Lands » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:43 am

He was always cheered to receive letters from home, a home that he’d not been allowed to see for the last seven years. It had been brought to his apartments, on a silver tray, by his manservant, Julles. Was ‘manservant’ really the correct term, he sometimes thought, as Julles was only thirteen years of age? Just a year younger than himself. He had a ‘maid’ as well, Effricka, also thirteen, who maybe he ought to call his maiden? If he were to ponder the distinctions overly, it would be proof that he had too much free time on his hands and that he needed to find something more worthwhile to pursue. The wax seal on the paper had been broken. In the last seven years, he’d never been given a letter with an intact seal.

He excused Julles. When the boy had gone, he turned his attention to the letter and read:

Dear Son,

As always, it has been painful for your father and I to be parted from you, seeing you only at the times your Uncle, The Emperor, would permit. I would caution you to not make a nuisance of yourself by approaching your Cousin, the new Emperor, with any requests about returning you to Ye-ayn. Yes, perhaps it is a chance to forge a better relationship with the Empire and we might travel wherever and whenever we please, but for now we ought to be respectful of your Uncle’s passing and give your cousin time to assess the political situation for himself.

Your Aunt Talia has agreed to take on a new lady in waiting, from Ye-Ayn. It is the Count of Mêl’s daughter, Siwan. I know it has been years since you have seen her, the last time you met you were both only seven years of age, do you remember her? She has blossomed into a very fair maiden. I hope that the two of you will educate each other, you in telling her about life in the Imperial Capital and she in the goings on of our homeland. Of course, she is your Aunt Talia’s charge and responsibility, however, whenever you are in her presence, I expect you to act as a gentleman and her protector.

Your Loving Mother,
Joyanna


The Count of Mêl’s daughter? Siwan? That was such a long time ago that only the girl’s name was familiar. Wait, he remembered hearing tales about a Count's daughter who was reputed to be an amazing beauty..., was that her? He wondered. Still, his heart soared. It would be a chance to talk with someone from home.

Home. Was it at all like he remembered it? He would have a chance to find out. Prince Dayvith Jakar Fawr looked out his window. His world now seemed a little more hopeful.

The sounding of a clock broke the Prince's reverie. He needed to hurry to the Imperial Court!

When Dayfith arrived, the doors had not yet been closed. He took a moment to compose himself and smooth his clothing before entering. He planned to listen and learn about how his Imperial cousin was handling his 'promotion'.
Last edited by The Verdantderm Lands on Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them.”
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Piscina
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Postby Piscina » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:07 pm

Voluisse Illudere
Location: Blue Palace
Time: Evening, several minutes before before the ballroom is opened to the courtiers.

Voluisse paced back and forth in front of the closed ballroom doors. Had he forgotten anything? Fashionable blue-black waistcoat? Check. Formal trousers? Check. Polite smile prepared? Check. Well groomed hair? Check. Intent to take all opportunities available? Definitely check. To the best of his knowledge, he had not forgotten anything. The most powerful and dangerous people in the empire would be here in a few minutes, and he wanted to make sure he made the best impression possible. The events of this ball, and his reaction to them, could determine his fortunes for years after tonight. He ran through his checklist again. By all the gods and goddesses, he wished there was a clock in here similar to the one in the atrium of the Great Library, where he had learned most of his skills both social and scholarly. He kept pacing as he worried. Had he somehow gotten the wrong place? The wrong time!? He double checked his invitation. Yes, all correct. The invitation itself was a formal thing, written by the finest scribes the empire had to offer, and had been obtained by persuading one of his contacts to pull a few strings. As he pondered what could happen, he heard footsteps. Looking up, he saw...
Last edited by Piscina on Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Armadillia
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Postby Armadillia » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:33 pm

Markus Nerva
Location: Blue Palace
Time: Evening, several minutes before the ball starts


Markus walk in with a worried look on his face; he had failed in his one job, letting that smuggler away. ‘Do not dwell on that, you have impressions to make!’ He thought, he was sure that something was going to happen he just Felt it. There was a slight Niggle in the back of his mind. This was setting off so many alarms: Group of important people; check, motives for people to kill others; check, easy to escape; check. Would the emperor be here too? He had forgot whether his grace would be coming; regardless it was his one and only job to protect everyone. Looking at his surroundings he saw Voluisse, “Hello, I do not believe I have had the pleasantries of meeting you, your name would be?”
Last edited by Armadillia on Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Piscina
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Postby Piscina » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:54 pm

Armadillia wrote:Markus Nerva
Location: Blue Palace
Time: Evening, several minutes before the ball starts


Markus walk in with a worried look on his face; he had failed in his one job, letting that smuggler away. ‘Do not dwell on that, you have impressions to make!’ He thought, he was sure that something was going to happen he just Felt it. There was a slight Niggle in the back of his mind. This was setting off so many alarms: Group of important people; check, motives for people to kill others; check, easy to escape; check. Would the emperor be here too? He had forgot whether his grace would be coming; regardless it was his one and only job to protect everyone. Looking at his surroundings he saw Voluisse, “Hello, I do not believe I have had the pleasantries of meeting you, your name would be?”


‘Voluisse Illudere, my good man.’ Voluisse says with a smile. ‘I am but a humble tutor, though many in the court owe favours to me. Given how you match only one description on the list of invitees, I assume that you are Captain Markus Nerva, of the city guard? And may I ask, what brings you to the imperial court?’
My RP characters:
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Armadillia
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Postby Armadillia » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:18 pm

Piscina wrote:
Armadillia wrote:Markus Nerva
Location: Blue Palace
Time: Evening, several minutes before the ball starts


Markus walk in with a worried look on his face; he had failed in his one job, letting that smuggler away. ‘Do not dwell on that, you have impressions to make!’ He thought, he was sure that something was going to happen he just Felt it. There was a slight Niggle in the back of his mind. This was setting off so many alarms: Group of important people; check, motives for people to kill others; check, easy to escape; check. Would the emperor be here too? He had forgot whether his grace would be coming; regardless it was his one and only job to protect everyone. Looking at his surroundings he saw Voluisse, “Hello, I do not believe I have had the pleasantries of meeting you, your name would be?”


‘Voluisse Illudere, my good man.’ Voluisse says with a smile. ‘I am but a humble tutor, though many in the court owe favours to me. Given how you match only one description on the list of invitees, I assume that you are Captain Markus Nerva, of the city guard? And may I ask, what brings you to the imperial court?’

“I am invited to the imperial court to keep order” he sais, Mark lowers his volume and pitch, “That name… I recognise it from somewhere… just keep out of trouble and you will be fine ok?” Mark turns away, walks across the hall, and begins conversing with one of the guests
Last edited by Armadillia on Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Ameriganastan » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:37 pm

Off in the corner, a man of frankly unnecessary height wiped a little sweat off his forehead.

"Calm yourself, Gareth. You were trained to be in this position one day...the training did not infer the kingdom would have gone tits up however. Or that Edwin would have been torn to pieces by those crazed peasants...I should have just joined the military."

Gareth Vauquelin. The newest Royal Steward. Despite 2 decades in the court, 6 of them spent as Edwin's loyal and efficient second, suddenly being thrust into the role of Steward in the chaotic times the realm found itself in had added just a little bit of pressure to his situation.

"What's the worst that could happen? I somehow make things worse and get flayed in the market square?"

That hypothetical did not make him feel any better.

"Oh, by whatever Gods are up there, how did I wind up in this mess? I hope there's wine in there. It's the only way I'm getting any sleep tonight at this rate."
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Yaruqo
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Postby Yaruqo » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:40 pm

Vissarion Neso Argyris
Count of Taymna, Lord Master of Argmidta
The Blue Palace, Shortly Before the Ballroom Opens


The tanned count scanned the anteroom, full of Imperial courtiers, vassals, foreign diplomats, and sighed. It had been years since he was last in Windstard, and he had grown quite comfortable in his castle in Argmidta, with the southern heat and breeze off Lake Taymna, which Argmidta had been built around, and not to mention the prosperous trade with the Southern Kingdoms and those Imperial merchants who traveled to Argmidta had offered many comforts. But alas, Emperor Jakar had to pass away and leave the throne in the hands of his son, Brandon. Vissarion had not heard much about the heir to the Imperial crown, and for a man who liked to avoid conflict and quite liked the relative stability in his little corner of the world, the uncertainty of a transition, let alone not knowing anything about the heir aside from unsubstantiated whispers here and there, did not bring comfort to Count Vissarion. Well, no use in suffering a breakdown now. Let's see how the young emperor fares in this snake den, Vissarion thought to himself, readjusting his furs. Gods, this cold. Why the capital couldn't be closer to the south, I will never know.
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The Verdantderm Lands
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Postby The Verdantderm Lands » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:42 pm

Before the Ball….

The young Lady started her preparations for the ball well in advance of the time that that the Imperial Princess would begin her own. She had to be in attendance when the Princess was being dressed and having the finishing touches put to her hair. Then the Lady would help the Princess with her jewelry and also with a final inspection to assure that there were no stray threads, or hairs, or flawed pieces of jewelry. Not looking one’s best reflected bad on one’s family and no one wanted the head of the family wroth with them, especially if he was the Emperor.

She bathed and did her own hair, deciding it should simply fall behind her shoulders and kept in place by a black velvet ribbon.

The young Lady had no need for a corset, chosing shoes of a medium green, a long sleeved gown and bodice the color of green seafoam and a sheer veil somewhere between the seafoam green and the powder blue of the sky. Over her veil, she wore her mother’s silver stranded circlet that was set with eight different gemstones, one for each county of Ye-ayn, the central stone being the yellow sapphire of Mêl.

Siwan Elspeth Lehr was more than a little anxious about the ball, about life as lady in waiting to the Imperial Princess, about meeting Dayvith Fawr, the Prince of her kingdom. Her father would say she had nothing to worry about and that she was the loveliest girl in the world. Still, she was feeling overwhelmed at her situation.

Would Dayvith like her? Would she like Dayvith?

Siwan pushed her doubts to the back of her mind and made her way to the Princess’s apartments.
“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them.”
-- Queen Victoria

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Union Princes
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Postby Union Princes » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:46 pm

The Knights Raven

“Please, damn spirit, PLEASE SPARE ME!” shouted the bandit as he crawled backwards on the ground away from the mountain of obsidian steel walking towards him. This wasn’t supposed to be part of the plan. He and his comrades have spent weeks stalking this road for unsuspecting travellers, murdering them and looting the corpses. Now the Gods have finally cast down their wrath. Around him, his partners-in-crime lie dead with huge holes in their bellies, their arms chopped off, and their heads separated from their shoulders. Blood painted the grass red.

“Have mercy!” the bandit shouted again, raising his hands in defeat. “HAVE MERCY!” Behind the silent knight, a pair of women were picking up their clothes while they watched the scene. They’ve been stripped naked by their captors after they killed all of the men and were in for pain if it weren’t for their vengeful benefactor.

“I won’t do it again! I PROMISE!!” the bandit wailed before his neck was sliced like a woodsman cutting down a tree. With the already bloody executioners sword finally sated, the knight sheathed his sword and turned toward the women.

“If you were heading to the capitol, follow me.” he bellowed, like an echo from a tomb. “If not, continue on your way.”

“We-we’re headed towards the capitol too.” one of the women answered meekly, “To see the festival.”

The knight grabbed the reins of his black warhorse and brought it towards the pair. “Get on it. I’ll lead the way.”

“Pardon me, brave knight.” said the braver of the two as the women got on the horse. “I want to thank you but I wish to know your name first.”

“Morgrim Gelt,” He answered while he stacked the bodies into a pile and set the corpses alight. The severed heads were then impaled on spears taken from the thieves that were implanted into the ground. A warning to any future thief and mongrel.

“Thank you, Sir Gelt.” the women replied with mild fear.

Gelt said nothing and was silent as a grave throughout the journey to the Capitol.


Dread. The whole city stank of it. Women grabbed their children and pulled them away from Gelt’s presence. The men hide from his sight while the sentries dared not to stare at his helmet. While the two women have already left to meet up with the rest of the friends and family that did survive the journey, Gelt continued on foot while guiding his horse that was trodding along behind him.

The loud and merry attitude was replaced with hushed tones of whispers and stares as everyone looked at the Black Knight as if he was a hurricane raining upon a lighthouse.

“That man, he’s a Raven.”

“More than that, He’s the Grand Marshal…”

“Grand Marshal? Is it true he’s a vampire?”

“I heard he’s an Undead, bound to serve the Imperial Throne…”

“He has to be human, no monster would ever side with the Emperor….”

“Does he not drink blood?”

“He must be in charge of the Black Bank…”
Like a ship cutting across the sea, the mass of peasants separated and hugged the walls and street vendors as they opened a path for the Grand Marshal to continue. When he approached the Blue Palace, some of the Falcons turned pale when it was Gelt’s turn. The captain in charge, however, kept a stern face and marched towards the Raven.

“Lord Crow,” he spat, “Papers?”

Gelt reached into his bag and took out a small scroll that bear the seal of the Emperor. The captain rudely snatched the scroll out of Gelt’s hands, causing the already frightful Falcons to tremble more.

“Damn it all,” the captain cursed as he read the paper before returning it to Gelt. “Make this meeting quick. Don’t you have any peasants to hang?” he sneered before walking away.

A petrified stableboy was forced to take Gelt’s horse away to stay at the royal stables while the Raven looked on.

While the peasants saw Gelt with awe and fear, the nobles couldn’t help but sneer behind his back. But he ignored their comments and marched straight towards the entrance. The courtier checking the guest list was scared out of his wits when he looked up and saw the helmet of the Knights Raven. The young servant had dropped his list in surprise and hastily got on his knees to pick it up, the entire time making prayers to his gods.

“Yo-you-you’re Mor-morgrim Ge-Gelt?” the courtier stammered as he grabbed his list and stood up again.

“Yes.” the answer was heavy as stones in a lake.
“You-you can enter.” the courtier mumbled.

Gelt brushed past him and entered the Blue Palace. He has an Emperor to meet.
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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Lastfell
Civil Servant
 
Posts: 10
Founded: Sep 23, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Lastfell » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:15 pm

Arn Hallstrom, Emperor's Fist
Count of Whitehall
Scene: The Emperor's Ball
Parties in the North were a welcome thing, a necessary thing. They gave the people of the village something to look forward to, a chance to let go of their burdens for even just a night. The whole village would gather together under the night's sky and before a roaring fire, trading stories, jokes, and dances till the sun started to peek over the tall trees of the dense forests. Arn remembered, as a boy, sitting in front of the great fire while his father let him sip from a mug of northern ale. He remembered his father's laughter when Arn declared it disgusting and handed it back.

The memories and the warmth of those nights felt like a life time ago, even now, as the Emperor's Fist looked out over the assembly. Balls at court where an altogether different matter. On the outside, it was all brightness and levity. Beautiful women in extravagant dresses laughing at jokes told by immaculately dressed young men. Food from every corner of the Empire was passed around, eagerly gobbled up as soon as it arrived. Wine flowed like the great Aureate River in the North, boundless and treacherous. And still, there was a harsh undercurrent to the festivities.

This would be the first test of the young Emperor, Brandon Vixis. The man was truly tested in battle for certain. Arn stood at the side of Brandon's father as reports of the front were read, he knew of the Emperor's reputation. Still, a life at the front was in many ways simpler than here at court. At least in battle your enemies wore a different uniform. Even now as Arn gazed out at the crowd, he could see the delicate balance of power weaving across the floor. He watched as the rings of retainers formed around certain Dukes, less nobles like planets caught in orbit.

The fact that Arn was without such orbiters was of little surprise. To some, Arn was little more than a glorified bodyguard for Jakar. To others, who were more intimately tied to matters at court, he was a threat. An unknown variable to whatever plan they sought to concoct out of sight of the Emperor. Even those ostensibly loyal to the throne made sure to stay clear of his wake. And why wouldn't they, given how tenuous his position was. Though he had earned the debt of the previous Emperor Jakar, his son was an entirely different matter. Brandon had already named his friend to the commander of the Golden Falcons. Some thought it was only a matter of time until Arn was replaced with someone closer to the new Emperor.

A lifetime in winter however taught Arn to focus only on the things he could control, and tonight that was this ball. A ball was a perfect opportunity to conduct business, both in the light and the dark. These were the realms of the Emperor's Fist, the person entrusted with carrying out the Emperor's will no matter what. Serving under Jakar, Arn had provided leverage in public negotiations, and in darkened corners of the castles of the Empire. Although he only had a slight understanding of Brandon Vixis, Arn did not expect this Emperor to be any different.

The room was nervous, excited, perhaps even hopeful. Many of the attendees looked around, anxiously, like deer in the meadow. They could feel that, soon, the Emperor himself would finally arrive.

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The Verdantderm Lands
Diplomat
 
Posts: 520
Founded: Aug 30, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Verdantderm Lands » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:20 am

Prince Dayfith

Dayfith’s aunt, The Imperial Princess, hadn’t arrived yet. It was still early, and it wasn’t like his Aunt Talia to mill about waiting. She, likely, would arrive shortly before The Emperor appeared to address the assemblage. Aunt Talia could afford to linger, since she had much more experience than Dayvith and likely knew everyone that would be in attendance. Dayvith felt he should be there early to study the guests and perhaps make some informal introductions.

Since he did not expect to see his aunt soon, it meant that his Uncle Corineus would likely not be showing soon, either. He would also have to wait a bit to see if the rumors were true about Siwan. If the tales of her beauty had made it from the kingdom all the way to the heart of the Empire, then he had to see for himself. Could anyone in the world truly be that beautiful?

Clad in fine linen clothes of forest green and antique white, a princely gold circlet atop his black hair, Prince Dayfith pushed aside his speculations about Siwan to view those that were waiting at the door to the ballroom. Who might he speak with? Equally important, who might be willing to speak with a young foreign prince as if he belonged here and not in some royal nursery? Be bold, he thought to himself. He soon saw the Count of Whitehold, as well as Gareth Vauquelin, Captain Nerva…, a Crow?

No, the prince corrected himself pushing aside the prejudices of his noble tutors, a Raven. Likely not just any Raven, but an important one. It might be the Grand Marshal, or his second-in-command at least. It was an opportunity to learn something.

Prince Dayfith did his best to look comfortable as he approached the knight. He did not wish to seem like a spoiled noble brat nor did he wish to look awed or fearful. He wished that he knew the knight’s identity, but the Knights Raven kept their business to themselves in most ways.

Dayvith put on a pleasant smile, extended his right hand and addressed the knight in the obsidian black armor, “Greetings, Lord Knight. Please forgive me if I have addressed you wrongly. I am Dayvith Fawr, of Ye-ayn. Since there seems to be time on our hands, might you be willing to educate me about the Knights Raven? I believe that there is much in error about what my noble teachers say about them.”
“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them.”
-- Queen Victoria

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Union Princes
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1350
Founded: Nov 02, 2017
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Union Princes » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:17 pm

The Verdantderm Lands wrote: Prince Dayfith

Dayfith’s aunt, The Imperial Princess, hadn’t arrived yet. It was still early, and it wasn’t like his Aunt Talia to mill about waiting. She, likely, would arrive shortly before The Emperor appeared to address the assemblage. Aunt Talia could afford to linger, since she had much more experience than Dayvith and likely knew everyone that would be in attendance. Dayvith felt he should be there early to study the guests and perhaps make some informal introductions.

Since he did not expect to see his aunt soon, it meant that his Uncle Corineus would likely not be showing soon, either. He would also have to wait a bit to see if the rumors were true about Siwan. If the tales of her beauty had made it from the kingdom all the way to the heart of the Empire, then he had to see for himself. Could anyone in the world truly be that beautiful?

Clad in fine linen clothes of forest green and antique white, a princely gold circlet atop his black hair, Prince Dayfith pushed aside his speculations about Siwan to view those that were waiting at the door to the ballroom. Who might he speak with? Equally important, who might be willing to speak with a young foreign prince as if he belonged here and not in some royal nursery? Be bold, he thought to himself. He soon saw the Count of Whitehold, as well as Gareth Vauquelin, Captain Nerva…, a Crow?

No, the prince corrected himself pushing aside the prejudices of his noble tutors, a Raven. Likely not just any Raven, but an important one. It might be the Grand Marshal, or his second-in-command at least. It was an opportunity to learn something.

Prince Dayfith did his best to look comfortable as he approached the knight. He did not wish to seem like a spoiled noble brat nor did he wish to look awed or fearful. He wished that he knew the knight’s identity, but the Knights Raven kept their business to themselves in most ways.

Dayvith put on a pleasant smile, extended his right hand and addressed the knight in the obsidian black armor, “Greetings, Lord Knight. Please forgive me if I have addressed you wrongly. I am Dayvith Fawr, of Ye-ayn. Since there seems to be time on our hands, might you be willing to educate me about the Knights Raven? I believe that there is much in error about what my noble teachers say about them.”

Knights Raven
The hallways were long and decorated with extravagant paintings and glass windows. Family portraits and paintings of battles and landscapes hung on every wall while the clanking of metal was made by the patrolling Falcons who gave ill or fearful looks wherever they walked past Gelt. The Grand Marshal however, moved without a sound with such silence he could’ve ambush a ghost. The door to the ball was richly decorated itself with the twisting, twirling engravings on the wood and metal parts. The Raven opened the door himself with one soft swing as swift and calm as a cat.

The main ballroom where everyone was congregating was even more grand in spectacle with colors and cloth Gelt have not seen before. The aroma from the wine and fine food penetrated his armor and for a brief moment, it reminded him of his father’s vinery. But enough distractions for the Raven. He was not here to party anyway. The Raven simply stood at guard next to the door.

His presence fused with the wall and drowned by the decor. His polished armor, which he cleaned before he arrived here, made Gelt look like a display of armor design. The ill looks the nobles gave him were replaced by a morbid curiosity by those who didn’t see him come in. As if the Raven was a sculpture that people had overlooked in an art gallery and just beginning to notice it.

Someone did and it was the prince that navigated his way towards the Grand Marshal. Gelt paid no attention but did see the young boy attempt to cover his nervousness when approaching the black knight.

Greetings, Lord Knight…..

Gelt made no response nor movement.

I am Dayvith Fawr of Ye-ayn…..

It was as if the boy princes was making friends with a statue when he extended his hand.

Be willing to educate me about the Knights Raven?

Only the helmet moved as Gelt looked down on Dayvith as if the statue was coming to life. Only a mantis could match the sudden movement the Raven have displayed.

Much in the error about what my noble teachers say...

“Error?” Gelt grumbled. It was like hearing an avalanche in a distance. “Which part do you want to be educated on first?”
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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New Aeyariss
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6788
Founded: May 12, 2010
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby New Aeyariss » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:18 pm

And when the atmopshere instantly cooled down, as the Khan arrived into the palace.

A small detachment of keshig, the Khan's personal guard strode through the streets of Windstard, and even with the unit being small enough not to pose any threat to local military and law enforcement, it was still enough to chill most of local population to their very bones. They rode on small, bulky horses that resembled large dogs rather than proper imperial warmounts. On them sad grim-looking riders, with round faces and sharp, small and pointy eyes, dressed in deels made of sheep skin, boots curving upwardly and fur-covered hats. Most of them also wore armor, a simple chain mail with a single plate mirror protecting the most vulnerable organs. To the mounts of the steppe nomads were attached long, curved sabres and small bows, on their backs resting a round shield they called kalkan in their own language.

Civilians in front of this peculiar column ran as fast as they could, hiding in their homes and shutting the doors. Many warriors occasionally threw gazes filled with disgust at the fleeing civilians, as if they wanted to show the fleeing men their greatest contempt.

Seeing this, a single rider moved from the rear too the middle of the formation. He was taller than the rest of his contemporaries, with long overflowing locks of black hair, and wearing a simple pointy helmet with chainmail covering the nape:

"My khan" Azya, son of Tukhay Bey, commander of the keshig and Chelubey's most trusted man spoke calmly to his sovereign "The locals do not seem to hold us in highest respect.."

"They have no reason to, dear friend." came a short, calm response for the leader of the small unit. Chelubey, as the Khan was named, sat on a brown horse, looking into the horizon with a pair of deeply set blue orbs. He wore an armor more ornamented than rest of the group - his helmet decorated by peacock feathers, was was the custom among the beys of his people. Aside from him, almost the entirety of the unit was dressed alike, for the Blue Horde disliked individuality among their soldiers "To them, we are filthy barbarians."

"This disgusts me." spat shortly Azya "We fight for them, shed our blood for them, and all that they replay us with is this?"

"Time for talk with come later. You will learn soon, dear friend, that there are many despicable things about this empire... but there are also good things, that benefit our people as a whole." chelubey's response was calm, and stern "Tell the men to start setting up the yurts. I will need you to come with me - it's always good to have another pair of eyes in the sea of vipers."

And so, the nomads stopped in an unused part of the imperial gardens. Born among the endless steppes of the Empire's Eastern Frontier, warriors of the blue horde disliked the fixed dwellings of the Vexians, preferring the warmth of their own yurts. Neither did the local Vexians felt most customary to share their lodgings with a force of steppe barbarians. Thus, as a conciliatory measure, an unused part of the imperial gardens was allotted to Chelubey and his guard. Steppe warriors quickly went to work, starting to prepare yurts for their temporary place of rest; some sat and started the fires, opening bottles of kumys for later use. Meanwhile, Chelubey, ditching his armor, but leaving a small layer of chainmail underneath his coat, and a long dagger concealed inside, calmly strolled into the palace's interior, Azya never leaving his side, watching the area with his gaze...
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Piscina
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 24
Founded: Aug 20, 2019
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Piscina » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:09 pm

Voluisse’s smile faded somewhat as Captain Nerva walked away. Not a good start at all. He snapped himself out of his reverie, as the night was still young and there were plenty of opportunities still to come. The Royal Fosterling, Dayfith, was that his name? Was making an amusing attempt to strike up a conversation with the Raven present. Voluisse’s amusement faded almost to nothing as he remembered the Raven’s reputation. Best to steer clear of that one. In the corner he saw the distinctly nervous looking Steward, Gareth. He could be a very useful contact, given his proximity to the treasury. Voluisse walked over and introduced himself: ‘Greetings, I believe we have met a few times over our careers here. I am Voluisse Illudere, and I have a certain amount of influence in the court. Since it appears we will have a few minutes before the ball opens, why don’t we get to know each other a little better? I am sure that we could easily strike up a mutually beneficial relationship while we are here.’
My RP characters:
Voluisse Illudere (Intrigue in court(Discontinued))
WIP (The island)

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Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 17499
Founded: Feb 20, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:43 pm

Marius
Marshal-Commander of the Golden Falcon


“SAVE HIM”

“FOR GOD’S SAKE, FIND SOMETHING TO STOP THE BLEEDING!”

“SIGEBERHT! SIGEBERHT!”

“HANDS OFF HIM, SCUM!”

“NOOOOOO!”

Marius opened his blue eyes. He looked to the left, and to the right. No flowing steppes for miles around. No thundering hooves. No arrows whizzing overhead. A cold, windy corridor of the Blue Palace, cooled by the Winter Season making court outside the sacred walls. He shook his head. Should not have let his mind wander like that. It always took him back to the same place, at the same time. He felt the dust caked against his skin, against his face, beads of sweat rolling down his face. The heat, the thirst. The stink.

The fragrant halls of the Blue Palace were very much the opposite. Cool, with water seeping down the atrium, all through the stone palace halls. A design element added by some previous emperor to cool the place down during the hot summers. Every time Marius saw the little pools of clear rainwater, he felt like filling his canteen to the brim. Safekeeping for the future. Damn, he wish he’d done that on that day…

Marius paced through the corridors of the giant palace. When it was built it was already a very large building, requiring the most modern construction techniques to build. Many emperors since had made additions. Now, the palace had its own internal gardens, trees, fountains, stained glass windows telling stories of the sovereigns of old, and some stories being even older still. The emperor Vexios Vixis had thought himself to be the ancient hero Mexialus, who had cleft the northern mountains with his mighty fist to create the much-travelled passes there. He had tragically died in the Mexialus pass in an ambush by northmen. There was a mathematical rule, almost. 1/3 of emperors died in their sleep, 1/3 were murdered, and 1/3 died on campaign. The death of Jakar III had smoothened out these numbers perfectly, according to some scholars.

It was not entirely scientific to think this way, but to Marius, that meant that there was a 33% chance that any of those would happen to Brandon. He could die many years from now, having looked his last at Windstard at sundown. He could die from poisoned wine that very evening. And he could die anywhere in between. Brandon was a soldier at heart. Marius suspected Brandon had half a mind just to go out and die in some foolish southern campaign. He probably would have done so, if he had not cared for the lives of his soldiers so deeply.

Approaching the large hall where the feast was being held, Marius could hear the cacophony of social increasing in volume. So many voices, so many conversations. So many people. There was music in the background, old symphonies that resonated in the equally ancient halls. As if the stone walls themselves played the tunes. It was different music from what they played in the provinces or at the front. This was music of class, played in the opera houses and accompanying the great theatre groups in the capital. Yet, Marius recognised the notes. Soldier from the capital had a habit of creating or bastardising lyrics of respectable songs.

A steppe whore’s kiss, the horses they piss, when the arrows do whizz, whether they miss or hit this, tomorrow’s a bliss

He muttered the inappropriate lyrics under his breath slightly as he walked through one of the arching side entrances, feeling as if here were falling into a sea of sound. Suddenly, it came from all directions. The sound of glass, of clutches pearls, of shoes on stone, of music, of shouts and silent whispers, exclamations of joy and surprise. Marius did not wear his helmet, so the wave of sound hit him everywhere it hurt. He slowly paced past the various groups of people, looking for an opening where he could graciously step in. There were not many of those. He did not even recognise a quarter of the people there, even though they seemed to recognise him. He got more than one foul stare as he wandered.

Suddenly, his path was blocked by a rather voluminous woman, a tower of her white hair held aloft by a golden tiara adorned with precious gems. Her dress was white, laced with silver thread shining in the candle light. She held her chin aloft and extended her hand. Etiquette had it that the younger family bowed to the older family first, any difference in rank otherwise being disregarded. In the army, this had been abandoned, but Brandon had been insistent in reminding him that the capital was a different place from an army camp. Pragmatism was not the highest priority here. So, Marius bowed before the woman, the depth of his bow reflecting the difference in generations their respective families had under their belt. Marius had to bow very, very deeply.

“Lord Marius” she said, recognising him officially. Marius rose from his bow, the weight of his chest plate having almost cracked his lower spine.

“Lady Lorran” Marius responded. Lady Lorran Durain came from an old family in the west, owning many grape yards and producing various vintage wines, for which they were well-known. Their wealth had been new-found, but their noble lineage traced back for generations upon generations.

“I’m sorry, my Lord, but I must get back to other business” the lady said. This was a snub worse than simply ignoring him. One was not obligated to speak to every attendant, but if you did speak someone, the amount of time spoken reflected how much you valued that person. Taking time out of a party to only introduce yourself was a high form of insult, and had Lorran Durain be a man, Marius would probably have been honour-bound to duel him. Which was also a thing that was not allowed in the army. Every soldier killed in a duel was one less that could take a Khupate arrow in the jugular.

“NO! LEAVE THE ARROW! BREAK IT!”

Marius shook his head again. He decided not to give the incident any thought. If people thought of him as a glorified body guard who had just been granted nobility because of his friendship with the emperor… Well, that was true, was it not? Marius could understand the animosity against him. He and his army buddies had thought similarly of their noble brats coming east to fight in the war, in their white flowing capes and on their pristine riding horses. Horses that could not complete a charge of their ass was on fire. They tasted quite well, Marius knew.

There was no-one else to talk to. There were not many soldiers here. There were knights, of course, but not soldiers. Marius had almost given up hope, preparing to retreat to his chambers to have another go half an hour later, but then the doors opened. In came a very familiar face, accompanied by very familiar soldiers. Marius could not help but smile. He spread his arms wide, and walked straight at his old friend.

“Chelubey Khan! Welcome!” Marius said in the tongue of the Blue Horde. At least, his own accented, broken version of the language. There was much to be said about the Blue Horde. Many thought of them as barbarians, and Marius had done so too. That was, until his very first battle in the army, a few months into his army career. The men had not met there, but young Marius had held the line of carts against the enemy at the Yelu river, and with a thousand others he had shouted thanks when the Blue Horde had broken through the right flank of the enemy. Later, when Marius became part of the staff of the then-prince Brandon, they had come face to face for the first time. There was something different about these people, of course, but right now, Marius would take the barbarian he knew over the nobility that despised him.

“Tell me, how were your travels?” Marius asked Chelubey. “And who are your friends here?”
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.

Lack of a real name means compensation through a real face. My debt is settled


Part-time Kebab tycoon in Glasgow.

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The Verdantderm Lands
Diplomat
 
Posts: 520
Founded: Aug 30, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Verdantderm Lands » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:56 pm

Union Princes wrote:Knights Raven
The hallways were long and decorated with extravagant paintings and glass windows. Family portraits and paintings of battles and landscapes hung on every wall while the clanking of metal was made by the patrolling Falcons who gave ill or fearful looks wherever they walked past Gelt. The Grand Marshal however, moved without a sound with such silence he could’ve ambush a ghost. The door to the ball was richly decorated itself with the twisting, twirling engravings on the wood and metal parts. The Raven opened the door himself with one soft swing as swift and calm as a cat.

The main ballroom where everyone was congregating was even more grand in spectacle with colors and cloth Gelt have not seen before. The aroma from the wine and fine food penetrated his armor and for a brief moment, it reminded him of his father’s vinery. But enough distractions for the Raven. He was not here to party anyway. The Raven simply stood at guard next to the door.

His presence fused with the wall and drowned by the decor. His polished armor, which he cleaned before he arrived here, made Gelt look like a display of armor design. The ill looks the nobles gave him were replaced by a morbid curiosity by those who didn’t see him come in. As if the Raven was a sculpture that people had overlooked in an art gallery and just beginning to notice it.

Someone did and it was the prince that navigated his way towards the Grand Marshal. Gelt paid no attention but did see the young boy attempt to cover his nervousness when approaching the black knight.

Greetings, Lord Knight…..

Gelt made no response nor movement.

I am Dayvith Fawr of Ye-ayn…..

It was as if the boy princes was making friends with a statue when he extended his hand.

Be willing to educate me about the Knights Raven?

Only the helmet moved as Gelt looked down on Dayvith as if the statue was coming to life. Only a mantis could match the sudden movement the Raven have displayed.

Much in the error about what my noble teachers say...

“Error?” Gelt grumbled. It was like hearing an avalanche in a distance. “Which part do you want to be educated on first?”

Prince Dayvith

The Prince of Ye-ayn put his outstretched hand back to his side and mustered his courage. He also suppressed his anger, some of which would have been directed at the Knight Raven for the knight's lack of courtesy and the other towards himself for being unnerved. He was a Prince and mastered his fear. He took a deep breath.

"I hope, my Lord Knight," began Dayvith, "that you believe I intend no slur on your Order, but that I wish to be able make corrections to the ignorant about the Knights Raven."

Davith paused, it was like speaking to a rock, well, a rock that could squash him, but a rock. As to be expected, the Knight made no comment. The reputation that they were men of few words was certainly true and he need't ask that question.

The Prince continued, "My teachers believe that as the majority of Knights Raven come from humble lineage and concern themselves mostly with individual and small unit combat that they are ill-suited for and do not cooperate well in large battles. But this seems silly to me as there are records of proven warriors that have honorably left their armies to take Knights Raven vows."

It must have been a trick of the ballroom lighting as Prince Dayvith imagined small wisps of steam escape the knight's armor.
Last edited by The Verdantderm Lands on Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them.”
-- Queen Victoria

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Ameriganastan
Post Czar
 
Posts: 44976
Founded: Jul 01, 2008
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Ameriganastan » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:06 pm

Piscina wrote:Voluisse’s smile faded somewhat as Captain Nerva walked away. Not a good start at all. He snapped himself out of his reverie, as the night was still young and there were plenty of opportunities still to come. The Royal Fosterling, Dayfith, was that his name? Was making an amusing attempt to strike up a conversation with the Raven present. Voluisse’s amusement faded almost to nothing as he remembered the Raven’s reputation. Best to steer clear of that one. In the corner he saw the distinctly nervous looking Steward, Gareth. He could be a very useful contact, given his proximity to the treasury. Voluisse walked over and introduced himself: ‘Greetings, I believe we have met a few times over our careers here. I am Voluisse Illudere, and I have a certain amount of influence in the court. Since it appears we will have a few minutes before the ball opens, why don’t we get to know each other a little better? I am sure that we could easily strike up a mutually beneficial relationship while we are here.’

Oh, here we go. All the wheeling and dealing and connection talk. I never liked this...but I suppose it's necessary.

He slicked his hair back, shaking his hand.

"Yes, I recall you. The humorist tutor person. Edwin spoke of you a few times.

Told me he was silver-tongued menace who isn't to be trusted...

"I understand you come from a decently wealthy family. I assume you are seeking a relationship of the monetary gain kind, are you not?"
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Force of nature.
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Tsundere Ameri.
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Ameri does the impossible.
Fire the Ameri.
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New Aeyariss
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6788
Founded: May 12, 2010
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby New Aeyariss » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:11 pm

Chelubey was a man who respected, above all, strength and efficiency, rarely caring about the origin of said person. If someone had proven himself skilled enough, he was worth giving an office. For that reason, the Khan of Blue horde held an extreme amount of respect for those who have proven their worth - especially against the most hated foe of his people, the foe that drove them out of their homeland and forced to become strangers in a strange land. Launching a daring raid into the heart of said hated foe certainly ensured that Marius was seen well in Chelubey's eyes, winning him a permanent admiration from the Khan:

"Ah, honored Marius!" Chelubey spread his hands wide, embracing his former comrade in arms, as the Golden Falcon marshall found himself in a grip developed by endless hours of wrestling, a favorite past-time of the steppe nomads "Glad to see you here as well! I have been great, but no important campaigns have happened lately."

Marius's attempts to incorporate the steppe language, with all of it's throating sounds, sounded a little comical, but in the Khan's eyes an attempt at a friendly gesture was worth enough to conceal his thoughts on the issue.

"Oh this?" he pointed at his comrade "This is Azya, the new commander of my keshig! The boy had proven himself a hundred times over, so I thought that I would bring him into the capital with myself."
Last edited by New Aeyariss on Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Rping in MT (2018) and PT/FanT (1564)


Inyourfaceistan wrote:You didn't know that Cusc is actually a 4-armed cyborg genius commander and skillful warrior created in secret by a cabal of rich capitalist financiers built to lead and army of drones and other renegades against and overbearing socialist regime?
Psalms 144:1 wrote:Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Also known as El Cuscatlan, the original "Carrier Breaker", "Anti-Che", and "General Grievous of SACTO".


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Piscina
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 24
Founded: Aug 20, 2019
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Piscina » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:32 pm

Ameriganastan wrote:
Piscina wrote:Voluisse’s smile faded somewhat as Captain Nerva walked away. Not a good start at all. He snapped himself out of his reverie, as the night was still young and there were plenty of opportunities still to come. The Royal Fosterling, Dayfith, was that his name? Was making an amusing attempt to strike up a conversation with the Raven present. Voluisse’s amusement faded almost to nothing as he remembered the Raven’s reputation. Best to steer clear of that one. In the corner he saw the distinctly nervous looking Steward, Gareth. He could be a very useful contact, given his proximity to the treasury. Voluisse walked over and introduced himself: ‘Greetings, I believe we have met a few times over our careers here. I am Voluisse Illudere, and I have a certain amount of influence in the court. Since it appears we will have a few minutes before the ball opens, why don’t we get to know each other a little better? I am sure that we could easily strike up a mutually beneficial relationship while we are here.’

Oh, here we go. All the wheeling and dealing and connection talk. I never liked this...but I suppose it's necessary.

He slicked his hair back, shaking his hand.

"Yes, I recall you. The humorist tutor person. Edwin spoke of you a few times.

Told me he was silver-tongued menace who isn't to be trusted...

"I understand you come from a decently wealthy family. I assume you are seeking a relationship of the monetary gain kind, are you not?"


Voluisse smiled warmly, but an astute observer would notice that the smile did not quite reach his eyes. ‘Perhaps, if the opportunity becomes available. But I was primarily referring to communication and information exchange. For example, if one of us hears an interesting rumour or needs someone else’s help to seize an opportunity, we could contact each other for mutual help, with each of us taking a share of the rewards.’ At least in theory, he thought. In practice, he would end up taking the choice bits of leverage or influence, with Gareth getting just enough to be satisfied. ‘I imagine an additional information source could be quite useful for someone in your position.’
My RP characters:
Voluisse Illudere (Intrigue in court(Discontinued))
WIP (The island)

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Zelphos
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 401
Founded: Jan 11, 2016
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Zelphos » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:33 pm

ISHRAQ FATYAN GAYA

Ishraq was getting impatient. What was keeping the emperor? Is he not the host of this reception for his honored guests? He twirled his cup of petty wine in his hands, staring into the cup. He noticed his nerves began to flare up. No doubt this was due to the stakes at hand, for his ambitious views depended on his making a favorable impression on the emperor.

"You are the emperor's new steward, yes?"

He raised his eyes to an old, greasy noble staring at him. He narrowed his eyes, recognizing the necklace on his neck—it was from Sha'beesh, the legendary city in the Southern Kingdoms.

"Royal Steward."

"My, I didn't know that Brandon would hire the Katil out from his den. Tell me, have you come to strike the emperor's house as well?"

He was taken aback by the sudden insult, especially one that originated with the merchant families in Eastmoor. Soon, that surprise developed into rage, "My," He shook his head disappointingly, "speaking His Majesty's name without use of his title—in his royal dwelling, of all places. I must say, you really are a bold man. Now, take this as a token for your boldness." He splashed his drink onto the man's garments.

"Do you know who I am, Katil?!" The noble shouted, his face flaring up, "I know exactly who you are, killer! I'll see to it that your place in His Majesty's council is short lived! I will have you rot in the dungeons eating your own dung!"

"I care not for who you are. Your ties to the Southern Kingdoms have no effect here, old man."

Just as the noble was about to launch himself at him, a voice boomed, "Break it up, by His Majesty the Emperor's order!" Two Falcons pushed through the crowd of nobles, shoving Ishraq and the older noble apart. "He will not have disorder in his court! Cease your quarreling or be removed—and I don't give a damn how great you are, I will personally see to it that you two rot in the dungeons together in chains."

As he was about to respond in a witting manner, he saw that the hall became silent, all eyes focused on observing the commotion. Ishraq brushed his coat, "As His Majesty wishes." He muttered to the Falcon.

"Good!" The Falcon nodded. He motioned to one of the standing attendants, "You, boy! Clean up this mess, and get this old man a new coat! On the double, lad! This isn't a bloody orphanage." The Falcon and his entourage departed, leaving the older noble and Ishraq in their shame. Shortly afterwards, the hall became filled with the sound of song and chattering once more.

"Damn you." Ishraq muttered, shooting glares at the older noble. Already he was making a bad impression on the nobility in the court. He already imagined himself becoming a laughing stock to them, though he knew that that would soon change. After all, the majority of them knew him not as the Royal Steward, at least not until properly announced as such by the emperor himself.

His pride will have to wait. He strode away from the nobleman, scanning the noisy crowd for prestigious individuals. His eyes gazed at the main doors, where lay a set of armor, and a young boy speaking to it. He hadn't seen a set of armor like that anywhere before, at least not in the Southern Kingdoms, and why was that foolish boy speaking to it? The royal capital seems to be full of unending surprises. He continued to scan the room until his eyes fell upon a man, and his eyes burned with rage.

It was the Iblis Khan, Chelubey Khan, the scourge of the Southern Kingdoms.

He had an intense urge to assault the man, but that was quickly overshadowed by reasoning. What was he doing here in the Blue Palace? Was he invited as well?

Ishraq forced himself to avert his gaze, preferring to focus on other political figures. There was no reasoning with the iblis, nor was there any benefit in attempting to be in his good graces. A savage will always be a savage. He continued to scan the room for familiar faces, where he zeroed in on the Emperor's Fist, who stood alone, watching the crowd of nobility as a fisherman would watch the waves. He had seen him only a few times during Emperor Jakar's reign, who was usually too busy conducting the emperor's affairs in court whilst Jakar was out on campaign. He recognized the small fist-shaped pin on his garment, signifying his authority as the emperor's personal servant, wielding power second only to him. He was surprised that he wasn't consumed by the crowd, each vying for his favor.

He supposed that it had to do with the rumors circulating around him regarding the death of the emperor.

"Count Hallstrom, I presume?" Ishraq greeted the man, holding his hand out. "I am Ishraq Fatya Gaya of the House Fadriqa. I come from the Sheikdom of Eastmoor on the south-most borders of the Empire. Surely you know it, seeing as how my father bent the knee to your former liege-lord Emperor Jakar."
Last edited by Zelphos on Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Union Princes
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1350
Founded: Nov 02, 2017
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Union Princes » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:19 pm

The Verdantderm Lands wrote:Prince Dayvith

The Prince of Ye-ayn put his outstretched hand back to his side and mustered his courage. He also suppressed his anger, some of which would have been directed at the Knight Raven for the knight's lack of courtesy and the other towards himself for being unnerved. He was a Prince and mastered his fear. He took a deep breath.

"I hope, my Lord Knight," began Dayvith, "that you believe I intend no slur on your Order, but that I wish to be able make corrections to the ignorant about the Knights Raven."

Davith paused, it was like speaking to a rock, well, a rock that could squash him, but a rock. As to be expected, the Knight made no comment. The reputation that they were men of few words was certainly true and he need't ask that question.

The Prince continued, "My teachers believe that as the majority of Knights Raven come from humble lineage and concern themselves mostly with individual and small unit combat that they are ill-suited for and do not cooperate well in large battles. But this seems silly to me as there are records of proven warriors that have honorably left their armies to take Knights Raven vows."

It must have been a trick of the ballroom lighting as Prince Dayvith imagined small wisps of steam escape the knight's armor.

Knights Raven
A moment of silence leaked out of Gelt’s visor as he considered the young prince’s statements.

“Your teachers is not wrong. At first,” the Raven answered, his voice like a weeping skeleton, “We are but humble men yet we do recruit from local nobility. Outcast sons with no future in their families, nowhere to go but the Knights Raven. Assuming they pass the initiation and honor their vows of silence.”

“Your teachers are wrong, however, on one thing.” Gelt grimaced.

Another moment of silence. The feeling was like seeing people dance on top of a volcano ready to blow.

“They are wrong on how we fight.” the Grand Marshal spoke up again. “They do not know who we fight. It is true the Knights Raven fight in small detachment or individually but that is because we go against bandits and raiders. They pose no real challenge for us so I must assume that is why they think we can’t fight in open field.”

“I can assure you…” His voice becoming pure steel, “The Knights Raven are perfectly capable in the art of war. Just because we only serve in two offensive wars in the past does not mean we are cowards.”
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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The Verdantderm Lands
Diplomat
 
Posts: 520
Founded: Aug 30, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Verdantderm Lands » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:26 pm

Union Princes wrote:Knights Raven
A moment of silence leaked out of Gelt’s visor as he considered the young prince’s statements.

“Your teachers is not wrong. At first,” the Raven answered, his voice like a weeping skeleton, “We are but humble men yet we do recruit from local nobility. Outcast sons with no future in their families, nowhere to go but the Knights Raven. Assuming they pass the initiation and honor their vows of silence.”

“Your teachers are wrong, however, on one thing.” Gelt grimaced.

Another moment of silence. The feeling was like seeing people dance on top of a volcano ready to blow.

“They are wrong on how we fight.” the Grand Marshal spoke up again. “They do not know who we fight. It is true the Knights Raven fight in small detachment or individually but that is because we go against bandits and raiders. They pose no real challenge for us so I must assume that is why they think we can’t fight in open field.”

“I can assure you…” His voice becoming pure steel, “The Knights Raven are perfectly capable in the art of war. Just because we only serve in two offensive wars in the past does not mean we are cowards.”

Prince Dayfith

A smile returned to Dayvith's face. "Thank you, my Lord, for this instruction," the Prince replied, "and thank goodness that the black thought never entered my head, else I might lose it."

It became clear, to Dayvith, to some degree, what type of man this Raven was: A born soldier and battle commander, whether he had noble birth or not. Dayvith also congratulated himself on not being dismissed as a child by this warrior. He decided to dare further and extend an invitation to this Raven.

"Have I mentioned that I am a Prince? I am being fostered here in the Capital here, first by my late Uncle, may he fare well in the next life, and now by my cousin," said Dayfith. "If your duty allows you, I would consider it a debt of honor for you stay for a week, at my expense, and have you help me grow in the martial arts." He paused briefly and then continued, "I know this sounds naive, but I also know that you have a duty that you follow. I have a different duty, but I intend to serve it fiercely, because I will be a king and the lives and well being of my subjects will be my responsibility."

There was silence. ("Dammit!" thought Dayfith, "don't judge me harshly because I'm royalty. I'm a man. Judge me by my character as I care more for your character than your birth.")
Last edited by The Verdantderm Lands on Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them.”
-- Queen Victoria

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Union Princes
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1350
Founded: Nov 02, 2017
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Union Princes » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:37 pm

The Verdantderm Lands wrote:Prince Dayfith

A smile returned to Dayvith's face. "Thank you, my Lord, for this instruction," the Prince replied, "and thank goodness that the black thought never entered my head, else I might lose it."

It became clear, to Dayvith, to some degree, what type of man this Raven was: A born soldier and battle commander, whether he had noble birth or not. Dayvith also congratulated himself on not being dismissed as a child by this warrior. He decided to dare further and extend an invitation to this Raven.

"As I have mentioned, I am a Prince. I am being fostered here in the Capital here, first by my late Uncle, may he fare well in the next life, and now by my cousin," said Dayfith. "If your duty allows you, I would consider it a debt of honor for you stay for a week, at my expense, and have you help me grow in the martial arts." He paused briefly and then continued, "I know this sounds naive, but I also know that you have a duty that you follow. I have a different duty, but I intend to serve it fiercely, because I will be a king and the lives and well being of my subjects will be my responsibility."

There was silence. ("Dammit!" thought Dayfith, "don't judge me harshly because I'm royalty. I'm a man. Judge me by my character as I care more for your character than your birth.")

Knights Raven
“You will be king……” Gelt muttered, repeating the prince’s words like the devil reading a contract. “Brave words for a young noble.”

“You seek to be my ward….” the Raven stared ahead as he processed the idea. Can it be done?

“What will you do if I refuse?” he replied as he tilted his head down to face the prince. “A week is here is a week not on the road.”
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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