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An Age of Dragons [Fantasy - Fire Emblem|IC] (OPEN)

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Miekzhemy
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Civil Rights Lovefest

An Age of Dragons [Fantasy - Fire Emblem|IC] (OPEN)

Postby Miekzhemy » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:04 am



Ajirai-Edryssian Borderlands, The Great Central Plains

the town of Leide, five miles behind Edryssian borders


Noon

Xangei Khan
Khangli Horde



The autumn winds howled ceaselessly across the sprawling plains. The cold had yet to chill to the bone, but it was long past harvesting season for much of mainland Edryssia's farmers. The central plains of the late Empire presented no shortage of fertile farmland for the Ecclesiarchy and her ever-expanding cities, and in times of peace and prosperity, even some of the rural settlements would grow to extents unseen since the wars against the Manaketes. The fledgling settlement of Leide was no exception. With its lifeblood tied to the western river valley that spanned miles eastward to reach the capital city of Edryssia, this once humble village had seen a boom in both crop yields and population in the recent decade. It's ruling Lords would surely be pleased with their investments, as its recent growth has led to an excess of wealth. Perhaps, in time, it may expand to become a full-fledged city-state in its own right.

But such riches make these settlements a target for more than just business ventures and greedy nobles. On this particular day, the tranquil sounds of nature are broken not by festivities, but by the thundering of hooves.

What began as a steady rumble from the distant hillsides soon gave way to a formation of horsemen riding steadily over the top. Then, just as quickly as they came into view, they stopped in their tracks, a half dozen triangular banners looming over the town. At the head of this formation, a figure sat atop a towering brown horse, covered head to toe in the protective bastion of lamellar. With a feathered plume on his helmet and the cerulean-blue cloak of fur billowing behind him, the man upon this horse was not a soldier, but a warlord.

And from atop his hill, Xangei Khan smiled at his clan's soon-to-be prize, and bid a simple wave of his hand.

Then, the roar of his fearsome host of warriors echoed for what seemed like miles, as the Khan's humble formation of bodyguards was flanked by a sea of riders flooding down the hillside like a tidal wave. They trampled over the plowed fields that were just recently cleared for harvest. As the raiders finally closed the distance, they stormed headlong into the streets of Leide, while others broke off to surround the town's perimeter. In seconds, the settlement was engulfed by the endless tide of horsemen.

The aging Khan watched the spectacle with silent approval, as the stampede of his army kicked up a sky-high cloud of dust that almost impeded his vision. Minutes would pass, before he turned to the companion on his right - a hulking man with long hair, and two crossed sabres sheathed on his back.

"Taghai," the Khan said rather casually. The man in question looked over. "What news of Kerait?"

"Gazan Khan has not yet shown, Great One."

Xangei's expression promptly turned to disapproval. He looked back at his pillaging army.

"He gave his word to reinforce us--"

"Great One!" came a hasty voice from the field ahead. One of the officers drove his horse to a stop before his Khan, promptly bowing his head.

"Speak."

"It is empty!" the officer told him. "Not a single soul..."

Xangei's disappointed glare turned rather quickly to that of bewilderment. "They knew we were coming..." Taghai grumbled. As the Khan's gaze then scanned the surrounding horizon, he furrowed his brow, and looked back to his officers.

"Pull the host back towards the borderlands," he ordered the lot of them. "We will camp there and await Gazan Khan's reinforcements. I don't like the look of this..."


Late Afternoon

Alakai Beki|Jelme Noyan
Khangli Encampment



The Horde was quick to follow their Khan's orders. The raiders, having just stormed into Leide in hope of riches and plunder, then found themselves departing with no trace of their presence but the tracks of hooves upon the ground they had tread. They would retreat back the way they came, riding for hours until they reached the more familiar ground of the war-torn borderlands. As the sunset grew ever closer, the Khangli Horde settled into a more out-of-sight position - a wide clearing surrounded by woods - and set up camp.

In a stunning display of efficiency, rows upon rows of felt-lined tents were erected by the minute, each capable of housing easily a dozen soldiers. In fact, it was in this manner that most of the soldiers were organized. With each possessing the tools to properly care for themselves and their horses, every individual unit was fit to sustain themselves on long campaigns, and operate independently when the need arose. It was a lifestyle that much of the steppe's armies were accustomed to. And though they hardly possessed the manpower and resources to last indefinitely, being separate from the non-combatants that made up the rest of the clan, each host was more than capable of living off the land for extended periods of time.

It wasn't until later in the afternoon that the first shift of patrols set out, and the Horde began to settle in for the day. And as the Khan retreated to the command tent to discuss his next move with the officers, much of the army was dismissed to attend to their own business.

Eventually, a young woman stepped out of said command tent, padding dust from her clothes. She was not one of the pegasus riders like much of the army's women, but dressed in the largely ceremonial garb of the clan's shamans and priests. Vibrant tassels hung from both her robes and the feathered headdress that covered her braided black hair. Most of her kind were healers, but she carried with her an old tome, its ragged cover bearing runes of an otherworldly language. Over her robes was the same bright blue cloak as was donned by the Khan - a mark of their station.

The woman strolled quietly down the center of the camp, paying little mind to the chattering of soldiers. It wasn't until she caught sight of another figure bearing the same cloak - a boy stringing his bow - that she walked over. Alakai stopped just short of the campfire next to him.

"Brother."

The boy, having not noticed, almost jumped out of his skin. His bowstring slipped from his fingers, causing the entire bow to almost recoil back into his face. It missed, thankfully sparing him a fairly embarrassing bruise, but only because he fell flat on his backside.

"AH--!" the boy yelped. He looked up at the woman standing above him. "Gods! I told you to stop doing that!"

"Sorry... You hurt?"

Jelme sighed, gesturing to the still-unstrung bow that now lay at his feet. "No, but it took a hot minute to get that far. I was this close, you know..."

"Yeah, you should get that together," Alakai gestured back to the Khan's tent from whence she came. "Taghai is taking the two of us out on the next round of patrols."

"W-wait-- Really?" the archer stuttered with wide eyes. "Like, right now?"

"Right now."

The boy was already back to fighting with his bow before that answer even came out. Amidst a litany of curses under Jelme's breath as he desperately tried to get it strung again, Alakai turned back.

"We'll be by Father's tent. Make it quick."
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Nagakawa
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Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Nagakawa » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:25 am

He plummeted through the air and hurtled towards the earth. Beneath him, coiling about in terrible and magnificent loops and circles was the beast- a sky serpent, one of the great creatures of stone that so long had plagued the realms below. Overhead his wyvern glided with wings spread wide, its black silhouette a majestic shadow against the crimson evening skies, trained to the point of not requiring a rider at all.

And then as the clouds whooshed past and the serpent descended upon the fields below, Amano O-kawasemi drew his yoroidōshi swiftly from its sheath, lurched his body forward towards the beast, and with a grunt, plunged the thick triangular blade into the fleshy weak spot between the stony plates of the serpent's body. A spurt of black blood oozed from around the periphery of the blade, now lodged deep into the serpent's body, and as it writhed, O-kawasemi threw himself upwards, and then, lodging one foot in the thin ledge between the serpent's armoured plates created by the dagger, reached sideways and grabbed hold of a point in the serpent's body where its plate, rendered askew by the intrusion of the dagger, provided just enough room for a hand to find its grip. Furiously hanging on for dear life with just one arm, O-kawasemi then reached back and tore the dagger out of the serpent's body, sending bursts of black blood gushing forth from the cavity. The serpent continued to writhe, as he raised his now bloodied dagger and hacked viciously at the beast's plates.

Then the serpent twisted itself obliquely. Its armour clinked and screeched and groaned, and as its gaps shifted about, O-kawasemi yelled out in frustration as his fingers were suddenly squeezed between the serpent's plates.

He made to hold on, but a sudden biting sensation coursed through his fingers. With another cry, he reflexively let go, flying off the back of the serpent with only his dagger in hand, watching as the serpent writhed in pain and retreated back above the clouds, possibly never to be seen again. The black silhouette descended and took on the familiar shape of his white wyvern, catching him squarely upon his back and swooping past the hills, past the numerous airborne warriors perched atop the backs of their kinshi, the giant birds native to the sacred skies of O-torii south of the Narukami range, far into the distance.

...

An inn located in a small village in Southwestern Kehzan

"Oh, you're a Toriian?"

Having left his wyvern to roam about freely in the large open space beside the inn, a frustrated, despondent, and suddenly prickly O-kawasemi barged into an inn in a village just a few miles north of the border between Kehzan and O-torii, paid for a room for the night, and without even bothering to unpack, plonked himself down at an empty seat in the relatively empty cookhouse of the inn, sword and belts and all.

This, of course, drew the attention of the three or so people in the cookhouse, one of whom was the barkeep, who promptly attended to O-kawasemi. There was, of course, a slight language barrier, with O-kawasemi having a slight bit of difficulty understanding the barkeep's thick and rounded dialect despite having a fair understanding of the Kehzani language.

"Yea. Could I have some beer?"

"Yes, of course." The barkeep quickly ran to get O-kawasemi the drink he requested, as the young man stared blankly to the other end of the room, his right arm resting limply on the table. "Here you go. A hazy pale ale with some hints of citrus. Would you like anything else?"

"Just beer, thank you."

"Do you know we also serve food here?"

O-kawasemi looked up at the barkeep with a deathly glare, only to wince and bring his eyes back to his right arm lying on the table. This did not go unnoticed to the barkeep.

"What happened to your arm?"

Gritting his teeth, O-kawasemi tensed the muscles in his torso and, bracing through the pain with a grunt, pulled the glove off of his right hand and rolled the sleeve of his cloak up. His fingers were badly bruised, with a thick purple band at where they had been squashed by the serpent's plates. One of the fingernails was cracked badly, and blood coated the entire finger messily.

"Looks pretty bad", said the barkeep.

"I got into a fight", O-kawasemi replied, his peppery tone hinting to the barkeep to perhaps keep back. This was lost on the barkeep.

"Must have been a pretty bad fight. Did you win"

"Yes it was", said O-kawasemi, rolling his eyes vigorously once, and then a second time for good measure. "Can you get me some food?"

"Oh yes, I can. Give me a moment."

...

The sun had long since set by the time O-kawasemi had finished dinner and cleaned and oiled his weapons, and once he had bathed and finished nursing his wounded arm, applying the herbal salves he had brought along and then gingerly bandaging it up tightly, sleep began to beckon to him. The veins in his forearms pulsated angrily, and as he lay down in his bed to rest for the night, a sharp cramp of tiredness coursed through his abdominal muscles and snaked up to his arms and to the tips of his fingers.

Only now, as he attempted to go to sleep, did O-kawasemi start to regain the sensations that had become dulled during the sheer intensity of his failed attempt to take down the sky serpent. His outer clothes gave off a stale reek, having gone unwashed for two days, and his hands suddenly felt moist and damp. The crisp, frigid air of the outside blew gently into his small room, lit by the modest glow of a lantern dangling from the ceiling, and the soft whispers of the looming night chills caressed O-kawasemi's bare body.

At the upper part of his left forearm, he had tattooed two razor-thin black lines just below the fold of his elbow, barely a centimetre in length each and no thicker than a stalk of wheat. Since he had taken up the mantle of "Daredevil II", following in the gigantic footsteps of his legendary father Amano O-suzume, O-kawasemi had decided to have one small line inked down his left arm every time he killed a sky serpent. In the three months since he had first embarked on this rather curious endeavour, he had killed two of the five serpents he'd engaged, the latest one being the third failure.

It's not much of a big deal if you miss a couple of them the first time round, O-kawasemi clearly remembered his father saying to a guest, some years back. I missed six serpents before I snagged my first kill.

It was the second thing that O-suzume said afterwards that O-kawasemi didn't remember particularly well, or perhaps chose not to remember.

You should be more afraid of dying than of missing a serpent. Most people die before they can snag their fifth kill.

"Not that it matters all that much", O-kawasemi murmured to himself, as he wrapped himself in his blankets and allowed sleep to overcome him.

Once you take down five of those bastards, you should be all good to hold your own. Take on an apprentice or whatever. Who knows.

"Five serpents. Five."

Through the poorly-insulated walls, he could hear the barkeep in the room next door playing a game of cards with several of the inn's other staff, a game that despite becoming more rowdy than usual, failed to overcome O-kawasemi's body's yearning for slumber.

"Maybe tomorrow I'll go explore a bit before heading home."

...
Last edited by Nagakawa on Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Britanania
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Britanania » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:11 pm

Early evening, near Leide

As swift and powerful as the Khangli Horde was, there was a sure and obvious tell that they were coming in for a raid.

Dust.

Two thousand horsemen and their baggage waggons moving across the steppes west of the Ecclesiarchy produced a nearly insane amount of dust and dirt, and as the watchers near Leide noticed the impeding dust cloud, they knew it could only mean a vast migration of the hordes and they sound the alarm.

Not that this was a shock to Duke Julius. For years he recognised the danger poses by the hordes across the border of his duchy and was subject to the frequent raids. Such a force had never raided before, but the clear violation of the Ecclesiarchy's borders would not go unpunished, and the Duke and his allies could finally convince the Curia that the danger posed by the hordes was one that needed to be taken seriously.

Of course, moving the people out of Leide was not an easy task, but once it was accomplished, the knights, retainers, men-at-arms, and peasant conscripts that made up Duke Julius and his vassals' army had one task.

The fires of the Khangli camp were visible for miles upon miles, and Leto allowed a slight smile to escape to battle-hardened face.

"Raise the banners," he turned to a retainer. " And blow the horns. They will think twice about raiding our homes."

A cheer went up as the Duke's banner. Five hundred mounted knights and lords, another five hundred mounted retainers, and one thousand men-at-arms gave the alarm and charged the camp.
Last edited by Britanania on Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Gudmund
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Gudmund » Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:14 pm

Ander Terricus - Edryssia

Releasing a long sigh, Ander continued scribbling away at the mountains of paperwork lining his desk. It was a boring, exhausting job, but a task he must do nonetheless. Managing over sixty-thousand members was no small task, and even with his trusty aides to help him, he'd likely be stuck inside for the rest of the afternoon. Of course, Ander would much rather be slaying beasts or assisting the trainees. Sliding another sheet across his desk, Ander smirked at the contents, something about the Edryssian Ecclesiarchy having trouble with the Khanganate. News spread fast when enough dedicated wywern riders were paid to look for it.

"Hmm, I smell a potential business opportunity," the Grand Master hummed, calling for one of his aides. "Expect an Edyssian cleric or inquisition member to come knocking, they should be fine without us, but if they can't handle the Kangli Horde we'll be ready."

The aide nodded and quickly left, leaving Ander to mull over his paperwork once again.
Last edited by Gudmund on Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Civilisation:
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Leader: Albani Gudmund
Setting: FT (2060+), the ruling nation of a non-human, low population, galactic Empire spanning just beyond its solar system. Primarily using advanced, mass-produced droids to handle most menial tasks and to fill the ranks of its military alongside living soldiers.

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Miekzhemy
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Miekzhemy » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:50 am


Alakai Beki | Jelme Noyan
Khangli Encampment, near Leide




As the setting sun began to retreat beyond the horizon, the two siblings trudged through the sparse woods between the hilly plains from whence they arrived and the clearing in which their camp sat, close enough that the distant clamour of the chatting and laughing soldiers could still be heard over the crunching of autumn leaves below their feet.

Taghai led the two of them on their patrol, one of his twin sabres clutched in one hand, and a lantern in the other. His cold, sharp gaze scanned both the woods ahead and to their flanks. He was always quiet in comparison to the rest of the Khan's closest friends and advisors, but his ruthless demeanor and intimidating figure always made him stand out. Though one may assume the man to be nothing more than a big lackey, there was a calculating nature about him that made him one of the horde's most effective commanders. It was for these reasons that, for much of their early years, the Khan's youngest children were under his guardianship. To the two siblings behind him, Taghai was practically a parent in everything but name.

The three said naught a word for much of their march through the woods. They knew their job full well. None of them had much in the area of small talk to bring up, spending the latter half of the month in both preparation and riding out in their campaign. That is, until Jelme finally found the courage to say something.

"Why this of all places? I thought the rural regions of the outlanders were hardly worth the campaigns?"

Taghai's answer was quick and simple. "Easy pickings."

"Right..." Alakai scoffed. "More opportunities for Father to send our warriors to get killed in his never-ending desire for gold."

"The more we take, the less Gazan and Eldigai hoard for themselves!" Taghai almost snapped, barely bothering to shoot his typical look of disdain their way. "It is key to our--"

There was a sudden blare of a war horn off in the distance - one that did not sound like their own. The three perked up like wild dogs on high alert. Taghai snuffed out the lantern's flame, and waved his hand.

"Down," he ordered, to which the two swiftly obeyed. They scurried through the woods under cover of darkness until the sound of the horns began to be drowned out by the rearing of horses and war cries of soldiers. It wasn't until they reached the treeline that they saw what it was - the enemy had found them, and were quickly closing in on the horde's encampment, which seemed equally shocked by the sudden assault. As the sounds of distant battle suddenly filled their ears, the three momentarily stared in disbelief at the sea of Edryssian soldiers before them.

"You were saying, old man?" Alakai stared daggers in Taghai's direction, but the man merely gestured them in the direction from whence they came.

"We need to go back," he hissed. "Get the men regrouped and retreat to safety. Go!"
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Arlye Austros
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Arlye Austros » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:28 pm

The Town of Leide. Western Edryssian Border.
Noon.


He didn’t understand bowmen. They were all supposed to keep their temper and stir in balance, waiting for the perfect chance, the clear line, the flawless heartbeat at which to release their string and let their arrows find their target. And in all justice, Edryssian archers were good. Almost as accurate as the Lowlanders, but boasting a slightly better range. But all that discipline and restrain was invisible the moment they were not in battle.

The boy watched from his stool, managing to keep an eye on the blade his hand wiped clean. It was by the tent perched on an elevated garden, overlooking the crossing of the dusty roads on one of the exit areas of Leide. Two archers from different places had come to blows the day before. Their captains had punished them, as more people was wounded in the ensuing brawl. But when they had to explain the issue to their superiors both captains gave conflictive accounts. Now they challenged each other for the honour of their unit and men.

“Keep an eye on the blade, Eanred!”
His gaze diverted from the two men who measured their own weapons, making sure the string was ready for a challenge of accuracy.
“Yes, Sire…” He replied, turning back to the blade. Attarsiyus’s steel was a broad sword that took both boy’s arms to lift, and a steady surface to care. As a squire that was a task he was used to, enough to pay half his care and have an acceptable result with greasing and cleaning the metal. Not that the former Sacredos would accept it if he admitted.

“It is amazing… Isn’t it?” he then commented from the entrance of the tent. Vanished inside and came out again. “When the Duke finds out somebody is going to loose fingers.”
“The barbarians are still days away, and the town is half emptied. When they come those fingers may have grown back already.” He commented, carefully checking for any remnants of dirt. “We will be ready for them.”
“Yes…” The Knight replied with a frown. “We will… Me at the charge. You on the back.”

Two twangs announced the start of the competition. But Eanred’s gaze didn’t turn to the road crossing. Instead, his eyes reached for Attarsiyus. “I thought you said I would take part in it!” He protested, but not in a disrespectful way, rather firm and measured, as he had been taught. Attarsiyus must have noticed, for his face shifted, not into a smile, but rather a neutral grin that he always did when his ward did as instruct before. “I am ready for a small raiding party.”
The man nodded. “This is not a small raiding party. If the rumours are true this is more serious. There might be more hordes nearby, ready to trigger a trap, and the Duke is taking every precaution. I know I said that, and a code-loyal guardian will hold to that if the circumstances stayed. But they do not. It has changed.”

When he first joined the Sacredos in the Chapter of Judienna he would often protest at this kind of explanations. He was a novice there, and a foreigner. They didn’t expect a lot of restrain from the child. But Eanred was now almost a man, and aware of the ways and lines in the Heartland. More importantly, he knew Attarsiyus. Protesting was fruitless now. Eanred looked down at the blade and nodded slowly. “I will make sure your armour is ready then.”

Near Leide.
Afternoon. Days later.

The surface of the heavy armour, adorned with iconography of the Dragons and a smoking lake, sparkled with the waning of the sun. The air that blew into Edryssia from the plains was clear, dry, and carried sight of the fire to Eanred’s eyes, even under the light of the sun. Attarsiyus’s horse back-tracked, so that the armoured man was next to him. Eanred was armed as well, but he had chosen a lighter armour, suitable for scares encounters instead of a full on charge. Designed to stay alive.
Dissapointing.

“It seems we still have the element of surprise. I expect the Duke to attack at any moment.” He said. “When it happens…”
The boy recited the obvious answer. “I will stay here. Keep my eyes open and wait for your return. If you don’t return I will ride back to the camp, grab whatever I can and go back to Beornia.”
Again that gesture, a slight tightening of the lids of one eye. It was visible even through the helm.
“I know I said you would join. But this is different. And a night-bound attack is tricky itself. Keep your eyes open for any flanking manoeuvre, though.”
“We could use some more scouts. The Lowlanders are pretty good at that, and they don’t even ride steeds, only small ponies.” He commented. Some of those strange folk had visited his mother when father died. A suitable distraction amongst all that.
“The Duke has done a good job on that side, I must admit. But good scouts is something the Ecclesiarchy has always lacked. They prefer to rely on watchers and slow but crushing movements.” Attarsiyus replied, hawking the horizon. “Maybe your mother’s blood will do us a favour one day.”

There was a rising of voices across the line, and some riders stirred. The knights seemed to advance to the front line now, and other squires, like Eanred, stayed behind. Some joined.
“I will see you when it is done.” He said, advancing his mount. Eanred watched Attarsiyus join the charge line, waiting for the horn blast.
“Your lance is ready, Sire.” He replied. Then the horn blast. Attarsiyus Spari vanished between the wave of hoofing steel, and the foam of men-at-arms and footmen followed, carrying swords and spears along with the quartered banners as they swarmed about Eanred and towards the encampment, draggon with themselves a brown must of dust and crushed dry leaves.
Last edited by Arlye Austros on Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nagakawa
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Founded: May 01, 2019
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Nagakawa » Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:21 am

A discreet mercantile bivouac
Some 20 miles south of the Town of Leide near the Western Edryssian Empire
Evening


When O-kawasemi came to, it was evening again, and his head was spinning and throbbing. As he slowly gathered his wits and tried weakly to stand up, the two men sitting across the small fire in the middle looked up and sniggered rather loudly, most likely on purpose.

"Hey", said one of the two men, who was dressed in Kehzan furs just like the other, and much to O-kawasemi's stuporous chagrin, was wearing his sword, the unmistakeable bamboo-sheathed Kaeruyaiba, by his side. "You're finally awake."

"Who the hell are you?" O-kawasemi grimaced against the pulsations of his headache. "Where's my wyvern?"

"Your wyvern is safe", said the other, who was at least a head taller and sported a pot belly that dangled past his belt. "We've got instructions from the Lady to bring you to her in one piece."

"Did you poison me?"

"No, actually. You... seem to be poorly accustomed to the drink. Hahaha!"

O-kawasemi's face darkened, and he glowered over the two men, at least until they, too, stood up, after which both of them now stood much taller than he did.

"Give me back my sword", said O-kawasemi.

"Can't do, I'm afraid", said the man holding on to his sword. "We got orders from the Lady to keep you unarmed until-"

"I don't give a damn if your boss is the Emperor. I want my sword back."

"Aw, the poor guy's right arm is wounded", said the fat man. "What could he possibly-"

Before either of them could respond, however, O-kawasemi had lunged forward, deftly stepping to the side, before then grabbing the fat man by the neck with his left hand, hooking his wrist round the fat man's blubbery neck and then yanking him screaming to the floor and coiling his leg round his chest. The other man quickly drew his weapon- only to realise that he had, in fact, drawn O-kawasemi's sword.

The long-haired Toriian ruffian's face blackened intensely, and he tightened his grip on the fat man's neck.

"Give me back my sword, or I'll kill this pig", O-kawasemi spat.

"G... vt... bk..." the fat man spluttered, his face turning a disturbing shade of purple.

"Oh, the Lady is gonna be very unhappy with you if you kill any of us", said the man holding O-kawasemi's sword. "She's not far from here, you know. And there's more of us with her. You're not in O-torii anymore. Better watch your attitude."

"Give my sword back, and I'll follow you to meet her."

And with that, the man holding the sword sheathed it quickly and tossed it to O-kawasemi, who then let go of the fat man and grabbed it with his left hand, standing up and wincing as he looked at the bruised fingers of his right hand. The fat man spluttered and clambered to his feet, coughing violently and attempting to catch his breath. Quickly, O-kawasemi fastened his sword to his belt, shaking his sleeves and looking at the shorter man with a stern, steely expression, as if to indicate that he was going to honour his promise.

The short man looked back with a black expression.

"Let's go."

...

Leide
Night


Salome of Aduum was not one for pomp, and had thus opted for a more humble temporary abode- a quiet, middle-class inn in the outskirts of the town of Leide in the Ajirai Khaganate, facing the Edryssian border. Accompanied by a company of mercenaries whom she had hired in the south prior to making her way up north, the merchant lady quietly took a seat at the far end of her fairly large room, as the six or so men she had sent out earlier entered the room, accompanying a young Toriian man, clad in light armour and carrying by his side a sword that was unusually ornate for his rather commoner appearance and demeanour.

"Amano."

"You must be the Lady", O-kawasemi replied. He casually saluted Salome with the two fingers of his right hand.

"What happened to your hand?"

"Old wound." O-kawasemi chuckled mysteriously and flashed a fake smile. Salome was more perceptive than he had expected, noticing his injury even under his brace and glove. The room fell into an awkward silence.

"I have a job for you", said Salome, after some moments without any words. "There's some risk involved, so I'll pay you handsomely."

"Is that why you kidnapped me?" O-kawasemi asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Yes", Salome replied.

Again, the room fell into silence.

"So what do you want me to do?"

Salome stood up, slowly shuffled over to the window behind her and threw the shutters open, as if to show O-kawasemi something. The long-haired young ruffian moved forward and tiptoed, trying to take a look outside, but with the darkness of the night and the small size of the window, he couldn't see anything. Salome evidently couldn't either, even after sticking her head out in an attempt to see what was going on beyond the window. There was a taller building in the way.

"Anyway", she said, closing the shutters smoothly, "my sources tell me that there's some troop movement going on in the east, near the border with the Edryssian Ecclesiarchy. What I need you to do is to get on your wyvern and swoop by above them, get a general feel of what's going on, how many troops there are, and so on, and then get back here and tell me what's going on."

"Can do."

"Very good."

And again, the room fell into silence, interrupted only by O-kawasemi turning his back to Salome irreverently and then walking hastily out of the room. Wrapping her fur cloak tighter around her body, Salome descended back into her chair, as her men then departed the room, leaving her alone inside.

...
Take your time.
U̴̯̤͋̚z̸̞̀ú̵̩͍͆m̵̖̖͂ḁ̴͊͘ḵ̵̛í̸̧̞͛

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Li Kra
Political Columnist
 
Posts: 4
Founded: Aug 21, 2020
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Li Kra » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:36 am

“Yes just like that, hold it steady though! Now, with your right hand form the finger position.” Navid stood in front of his latest student and watched his movements, they were in an open courtyard of an Edryssian noble’s home. The day was calm and quiet; soft clouds rolled overhead and the sun gently shined its rays on the two. Navid let out a sigh before speaking, “No not like that. What are you doing, pinching the air?” The man walked up to the pupil and demonstrated, “Like this. Your ring and pinky fingers must match the thumb and index finger, lowered and not touching. And your middle finger must stand erect. Imagine you’re about to form the fireball, your fingers should look like they are holding an invisible ball –well, minus the middle finger, that one should look like the nose of those long horned black beetles.”

“I don’t think I get it.” replied the student.

“Bad analogy. Think of it like you’re flipping someo- never mind. The bottom line is you’re holding an imaginary ball and your middle finger is standing straight up. Got it Matthew?”

Matthew copied Navid’s hand and then took his battle stance. “Yes Sir!”

“Perfect, perfect! Now! I want you to look at your tome and say the spell. Don’t forget to open up your hand as the fireball is forming.” Navid retreated back to not get in the way of the boy. “From the top now!”

“Yes Sir!” the student replied before beginning to concentrate on the spell. “Rexima astru, al bano selila. Torfo kon sol, azi masda belbamo..” a flicker of sparks formed in the air just in front of Matthew, and they began to grow into flames with every syllable uttered in the ancient tongue. “Malbondu sa karkina, al vexo dal presim. Azhira astru, lebivon kon…”

Suddenly a strong gust of wind blew into the courtyard and caused Matthew to drop his tome, canceling his spell mid sentence. The forming fireball then exploded in his face and made him fall flat on the tiled ground. The air smelled of smoke and singed hair.

“I said hold it steady! How can you expect to stand a chance against your opponent if you can’t even hold the tome right!?” Navid shouted and then sighed deeply before continuing to rail on the poor boy, “I do say Michael--!”

“It’s Matthew..” the boy interrupted faintly as he huddled up into a ball.

“Doesn’t matter! It’s like you can’t even complete one simple task without me having to…” the tall robed man continued to shout in irritation.

A servant girl dressed in a simple green dress walked into the courtyard holding a silver tray of tea. “Sirs, your tea is ready.”

Navid spun around and exclaimed, “We’re busy at the moment! Don’t you see! I’m trying to get this nut past this lesson that we’ve been going over for weeks now!” he jerked his finger in Matthew’s direction.

“I’m sorry Sir, I won’t get in the way.” She shuffled out of the courtyard, but not before Navid took their teacups off the tray. He settled himself onto the outdoor seating that was nearby and set the tea on the table. Navid took a few small sips of the green tea and collected his thoughts. “Come here Matthew, have some tea.”

The boy got up off the ground and sat with his teacher. The two drank some tea before Navid said, “Listen Matthew, I’m afraid if you don’t get this lesson I will have to inform your father that you’re just not going to be ready for that exam in Mage school. I help students get up to speed with their studies, but if you don’t pay attention and follow my instructions there is no way you will pass.”

Navid continued to discuss with Matthew the future of his studies and the importance of him being focused. His contract was ending tomorrow anyway, the exam was coming up. Navid had done all that he could to prepare the boy, but he could only do so much. Once Navid collects his coin from the noble he was free to pursue another job or possibly a venture even.

Navid took a few more sips of the tea and promptly got up, “Lets go Matthew, we’ll just have to try it from the top. Ready? Position!”
Last edited by Li Kra on Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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The Land of Golden Blobfish
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1195
Founded: May 14, 2014
Left-wing Utopia

Postby The Land of Golden Blobfish » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:17 pm

The Edryssian Ecclesiarchy

An encampment on the road to Leide


shink...shink…

The man scraped the knife against the honing steel. “Hmmm, I think that should do it”.

He went to the back of the kitchen and pulled out a trout from an ice box. Bringing the knife close against the wet scales, he carefully removed the skin before sorting through the innards. The guts were pulverized in a large stirring bowl with a herb olive oil mix before being shaped into bite size dumplings using the palms of his hands. He quickly turned to another side of the kitchen where a pot of oil was bubbling, dumping the fish balls into it and letting them boil. While waiting, he stirred the remaining fat and organs into a thick soup in another pot, pouring the mixture on top of the now finished deep fried fish. With a wine and broccolini dressing adding a gentle but well scented finish, the dish was done. Proud of the dish he hung up his apron and walked towards the door. Outside were several dozen men chatting and drinking away around a rather large campfire.

“Hey boneheads! Grubs ready, get it while it’s hot!” He yelled, jumping out of the way as the crowd made a beeline to his direction. Now left at the fire was a single, middle-aged man. He had blonde hair with carefully trimmed facial hair that boasted one of noble status however his clothes begged to differ. They were well worn commoners garments, with a white shirt, filthy brown pants and a black belt.

“Didn’t you hear me, old man? Don’t tell me you're deaf too now.” The chef said.

“As if. Perhaps I didn’t want to taste the shit you call dinner, Walmund.”

“Heh, better than the mush you called breakfast earlier” Walmund retorted. The two men shared a grin with each as Walmund sat down beside his father.

“Any reason why we haven’t started packing up yet?” Walmund asked. “I mean we’ve been here since yesterday morning, isn’t that a bit long for a caravan to sit still for?”

“The men needed a break and lord knows we did too.” His father looked down and held a bandaged arm. “They hit us good this time. Didn’t expect more assassins to show up after all these years.”

Walmund sighed, “Yeah, it’s been awhile since those rich pricks sent us such a gift. I was almost convinced they had forgotten about poor old us.”

The two looked out to the plains in front of them, trying to tune out the loud crowd behind them trying to assemble some kind of disorganized line up to the kitchen doors.

It was quite peaceful for what it was worth, well, up until something worrying came into view. Suddenly, upon the horizon was a crowd of about two dozen horsemen coming straight towards the caravans.

“Huh, what do you know. We haven’t even reached a town yet and we’ve already got customers lining up. What kind of meal do you think they’ll be wanting?”

“Those aren’t customers you fool,” Walmund’s father said, “that’s a horde. A damn Khangli horde. They’ll ransack any settlement and burn the remains.”

“Okay so a barbeque then. Should be easy enough.”

“Always got a retort to everything, boy? Get your ass to the head cart, we’re leaving immediately.”

“Heh, you know we have no chance outrunning them. I’ll tell the chefs to get their crossbows, we should be able to-”

“To what? Waste our time so more can show up? Scouting parties are never too far from the main force, Walmund. We don’t have time.”

Walmund jumped up from the ground and stretched, letting out a rather purposefully annoying yawn. “And I ain’t got time for another lecture, old man. I’ll make sure to make this quick. The last thing I want is our food getting cold.”

As the young man strolled away, almost like he was blissfully ignorant of the danger of their situation, Leonard sighed and shook his head.

“Your mom was right, you really do take after me…”
Last edited by The Land of Golden Blobfish on Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BOSS NASS : Yousa cannot bees hair. Dis army of mackineeks up dare tis new
weesong!
QUI-GON : That droid army is about to attack the Naboo. We must warn them.
BOSS NASS : Wesa no like da Naboo! Un dey no like uss-ens. Da Naboo tink
day so smarty den us-ens. Day tink day brains so big.
OBI-WAN : After those droids take control of the surface, they will come
here and take control of you.
BOSS NASS : No, mesa no tink so. Mesa scant talkie witda Naboo, and no
nutten talkie it outlaunders. Dos mackineeks no comen here! Dey not know of
uss-en.
OBI-WAN : You and the Naboo form a symbiont circle. What happens to noe of
you will affect the other. You must understand this.
BOSS NASS : Wesa wish no nutten in yousa tings, outlaunder, and wesa no
care-n about da Naboo.

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Britanania
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 24761
Founded: Feb 15, 2011
Father Knows Best State

Postby Britanania » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:23 pm

Early evening, near Leide

The approach of Duke Julius and his bannermen was sure to alert the other scouts and pickets of the horde; only an utter fool or a greenhorn would expect such a vanguard would go unnoticed. No, it was practically expected by the Duke, his retainers, and other vassals as they made their approach towards the horde's encampment.

So as they neared Khangli Encampment, Julius let out a small grin as he noticed the riders scrambling about and getting on their horses. The veteran warrior turned to his nearest companion as they edged ever closer.

"Looks like we have our selves a battle," he said, putting his visor down and unsheathing his blade. The count to his right raised the duke's banner for all toe see as the first knights entered the camp and began hacking, slashing, and stabbing anything they came into contact with. Moments later, the men-at-arms and other soldiers reached the scene, and the battle was joined.
Christus vincit; Christus regnat; Christus imperat
"Great Britain is a republic, with a hereditary president, while the United States is a monarchy with an elective king."
"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected"--G. K. Chesterton
Pro: British Unionism, Catholicism, Classicism, Conservatism, High Toryism, Monarchism, Traditionalism
Anti: Consumerism, Devolution, Materialism, Modernism, Post-Modernism, Progressivism

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Arlye Austros
Minister
 
Posts: 2514
Founded: Feb 12, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Arlye Austros » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:37 pm

Near Leide. Western Edryssian Border.
Noon.


The charging knights and mounted sergeants drove their horses through the woods. Attarsiyus Spari joined the left flank, following a banner that he recognized to be of some Western Count. The waning light of sunset pierced through the incoming dust and leaves that the furious attack dragged. The shadows of the woods came to met it, and created an overall confusing play of copper light and purple shadows. Still the former Sacredos saw the foes, occupying a loose line beyond the trees, and smoke he could now sniff through his helm.
His mount rushed forth, and out of the shadows of the wood a figure came to meet him. The raider had probably been scavenging for something to add to his meal, Spari thought in the blink of an eye. Not worth to break his spear, he had little choise. The shaft broke under the man’s raised arm, as it sunk between ribs and leather armour. Then he vanished under the dust.

“Forward! The Duke’s broken in!” Somebody screamed. The rumour of fighting, steel on steel, reached his ears. And another sound which he feared. Arrows.
One passed nearby and struck a tree to his left.

“Hyah!” He stirred his idle horse. Tephron neighed and continued, crushing a line of bushes under its weight as the rider unsheathed a broad sword. More arrows whistled by his side, and he realized he was isolated from his group. A light rider appeared behind a tree, and turned towards him. The savage raised a sword and Attarsiyus raised his own to block the strike as both riders crossed and passed. He then turned and chased. The other one uttered a loud grunt as he turned his light horse and struck the knight before he could return the attack. His great sword once more blocked the hack. But more came, and he had to raise his sword and defend himself. He pressed his feet, and Tephron advanced against the brown Garron.

Pushed away by a bit and unbalanced, the nomad now had to defend himself, as his iron shield blocked Attarsiyus’s broad sword, thundering down on the nomad from a reach greater than the smaller sabre. He turned his grey horse and changed the direction of his attacks. This time the man had little to do. Attarsiyus drove his sword into his back and severed the spine, the body collapsing on the back of the horse, and then on the floor, hanging by one leg to the seat as the Garron trotted away. The Great Knight looked around once more, and noticed a chance to join the group; three riders in armour passing at some distance, relatively safe towards the main attack. He rushed to join them.

Plains between Leide and the Khangli Encampment.


The sounds of battle reached the boy’s ears as the sunset was in full swing. The line of back-held squired watched, some mounts making nervous sounds as the horn blast rang again. Eanred kept his eyes open, looking the distance between the forest and their own position. Could more come?

“This isn’t right…” He muttered. One of the squires replied.
“What do you mean?”
“This was a large party. But they allow themselves to be attacked like that? I think this could be a trap.”
Tense looks went between the squres, then to Eanred. “I will go ahead and scout. If another of those Khans shows up now they are all dead.” He squished his mount’s ribs and rushed ahead. Soon he noticed a couple of other squires followed him, and he slowed down.
“We go with you. Let’s hope we don’t die.”
“Wouldn’t miss the lashing for disobeying orders.” He replied with an ironic smile.

The three riders headed towards the northern flank of the battle, always keeping a distance that allowed them to be safe from stray arrows, but able to notice any horn, any yell for retreat or call for a renovated effort. They reached an elevated spot north of the clash and looked about, the sun dying beyond the horizon.
Arlye Austros, the New South. In the Nibaru Expense. -Future Tech-
Patagonia and its regional neighbours are dominated by the Frankish Kingdom of Argentina and use Modern tech for their affairs. -Modern/Post Modern Tech-

Chilean-Argentine, Pro Union of the Americas (all three). Anti Chavism, anti other stuff. Conservative, but not in extremis (hope so).
Pro Stark, Impeach Tommen

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Theyra
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5413
Founded: Aug 29, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Theyra » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:13 pm

Cyryl Zvybas
Edryssian Ecclesiarchy
An encampment on the road to Leide


Traveling around the continent has been a good experience for Cyryl so far. From Beornia to all the way to the Mordkan Republic. Cyryl has learned much about the history and people of the continent then he had from his books. He has yet to see the Shatter Lands but, plans on heading there soon. He kept notes of his travels in a journal he kept close to him. By looking at his clothes you could not tell that Cyryl was a noble. Wearing plain and simple clothing, the last thing Cyryl wanted was to be noticed as a noble. Unwanted attention and he liked it that way. So the people he travels with do not treat him differently and make him not stand out. He is just a traveler seeking to learn and explore the continent. Nothing more and nothing less.

The young noble sitting down around a large campfire with his fellow caravanners. Talking and joking around, it is the first time he had joined up with a traveling restaurant instead of a normal caravan. At least the food was good in comparison to the normal caravan food he gets. A nice change of pace and Cyryl managed to get in front of the ling and got his food. Returning to the campfire to eat and took his time to enjoy his meal.

It was then that Cyryl overheard someone say something about a Khangli horde. He looked up at the horizon and quickly spotted the incoming raiders. Dropping his food to the ground and instinctively got up and went to his things. Getting out his bow and quiver and readied himself for a fight. He is used to fighting bandits while on the road and the occasional hunt of them. Cyryl never had to fight a Khangli horde. He knows full well the reputation of the Khangli horde from his travels and from his books. They need to get out of here and fast before more show up. As he waited for the caravan to get going and as the incoming Khangli group got closer. He readied his bow and nocked an arrow. Training his eye on the closest of the raiders and waited for either the raiders to get closer or for the order to leave.


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