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Dies Tenebrae (IC/Fant/Signups Required)

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The Multiversal Library
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Dies Tenebrae (IC/Fant/Signups Required)

Postby The Multiversal Library » Fri Nov 11, 2022 1:41 pm


Palátiou Telaíouyios, Eiselene

Calitan Valentis sighed as he reached the great golden doors leading to the Grand Agora, the building housing the Senate and from where muffled shouting could be heard even through the thick doors. Calitan sighed once more as he pushed the doors open to be met with a cacophonous wave of noise.
"You talk treason, Tzimarios! You would have us forgo our ancient duties, handed down by Telaeus Themself, and cower behind our walls like cattle!?"
In response to this accusation by a large, long red-haired senator of native stock, Senator Aedoros Tzimarios puffed his chest out and said, "Treason? If anyone speaks treason, it is you, Enelcir! I only wish for the continued safety of the people of Eiselene! Why should we risk the lives of our citizens by marching North to protect some barbarians? Eiselene was built by the Aristocheia, and its walls have never fallen, and they will never fall so long as we do not act recklessly!"
Tzimarios then sat down, stroking his short black beard and wearing a smug smile as the shouting match resumed. Calitan ignored the senators as he marched straight across the open marble floor of the round building, right between the ascending benches housing the various senators, with the korónatorikoí senators sitting on the left and the native senators on the right. He walked right up to the throne, situated slightly above the ground, and knelt, holding a letter up to His Royal Majesty, King Leoryx IV. Without a word, Leoryx took the letter, read it, and stood.
"SILENCE!"
The king's voice boomed, the acoustics of the room making it sound as if the king had shouted in the faces of each senator and not from the other side of the room. Almost instantly, the arguements ceased, though Enelcir Orlon, the senator who had been arguing with Tzimarios, was still red faced. Leoryx slowly descended the throne, his sons Codarion and Tharlimon following behind him, their tan skin and black hair almost identical to their fathers, though his was graying and reached to the base of his neck. Once he reached the center of the agora, the aging king began to speak.
"I have just received word that Maeve, daughter of my good friend and vassal Corrigan of Dún Thuaidh, has just entered the outskirts of the city. Therefore, this meeting of the Senate will be closed until I can properly greet and perform the traditional hosting duties for my loyal vassal."
Though many grumbled as they left the Grand Agora, no one would dare oppose the Great Lion of Eiselene. At least not while he lived, as once the senators had all left King Leoryx nearly collapsed, only avoiding falling to the floor due to his sons holding him up. Calitan bowed before Leoryx and spoke.
"My King, as your personal guard I must ask that you allow me to greet Lady Maeve. You are unwell, and we cannot risk your assassination by some Calemite firebrand. The princes and princess will be able to host her ladyship in your absence."
Though Leoryx made to argue, Codarion quickly interrupted.
"Father, Lord Corrigan and Lady Maeve will understand if you cannot meet with her. And my brother and I have sworn to set aside our struggle, at least so long as Maeve is in the city."
Once Tharlimon nodded in agreement, Leoryx reluctantly allowed himself to be led to his apartments, as Calitan prepared to greet Maeve.

The Royal Highway, Outskirts of Eiselene

"By Rían Fhómhair's beard, where the bloody hell is the royal welcoming party?!"
Maeve shouted, as she pushed her spear through the skull of a charging goblin, felling him. Dressed in scale mail and wearing a steel helmet with the visage of a roaring lion, one could be forgiven for not recognizing Maeve of the Coraithe, as her characteristic raven-black hair was hidden along with her freckled face and green eyes. Another goblin charged, spearing the mount of one of her Oathsworn guards, and swiftly cutting the poor man's throat. Another fell to a rock thrown from a sling, hitting her squarely in the face. As she impaled another goblin, Maeve couldn't help but wonder how so many goblins had managed to make it nearly to the gates of Eiselene unnoticed. Perhaps King Leoryx would not be able to help her father as she had hoped. All in all, she counted ten goblins still alive against her five surviving Oathsworn, including the young Edwyd ap Senigor.
"This trip better be worth it," she thought, as the goblins charged once more.

Anga Tierne, the North

The small hamlet of Anga Tierne held little of value, its thirty-odd inhabitants existing mainly due to the abundance of lumber from the nearby forests. They did have, however, a good number of cattle, which they traded for barley with Dún Thuaidh. Like most Northmen villages, Anga Tierne was surrounded by a low palisade and guarded by a small number of night watchmen armed with spears, falxes, and bows. Good against bandits, but not so against a rampaging orc warband, which Suleypaalwah fin Laadkend knew as he entered the tent of his chieftain, Wadaahweh din Kaalopaala. Though orcs did not adhere to the ways of the humans with their "manners" and "respect", Suleypaalwah still knelt before his chieftain, earning him a few snickers from her guards.
"Chieftain, the human village is practically begging to be burnt, and their cattle are guarded by a few old men with sharpened sticks. Give the command, and I'll personally slaughter their chieftain and bring you his head!"

The Ruins of Khol Urendizum, outside of the Dwarf-Held Mountains

Once, the great city of Khol Urendizum guarded the entrance to the Underholds, the cities of the dwarves. Once, its great stone walls held countless souls within them. Once, the features of the massive stone statues on either side of the Gate of Kalgar could be made out as the first King of Khol Urendizum, Kalgar, and his son, King Lavkir. Now, the stone walls have fallen, with hide tents and skulls on sticks replace the stone works of art made by the dwarves. The statues of Kalgar and Lavkir have been eroded so that they seem to be merely giant lumps of stone. And the orcs of the Tribe of the Great and Mighty King Morokzaal vin Naardova squat in its ruins, armed and armored with crudely reforged dwarven armor and weapons. Their "king", Morokzaal, lounging upon the ancient Throne of Kalgar, which had been uprooted from the ruined palace and brought to the center of the dead city so that the pompous orc could lord over his underlings and their human slaves. Morkzaal was giving one of characteristic "speeches" when a dwarf was brought before him, armored and masked but obviously badly wounded. Morokzaal was so surprised by this that he did not hear the first time his scout said his name.
"Chiefta- I mean, King Morokzaal, we found this one outside the northern walls. Tried beatin' some info out of 'im, but he's only been repeating the same words over and over again. Nearly game me a headache listenin' to it."
Morokzaal adjusted the golden circlet on his head, originally worn by the Kings of Khol Urendizum, and fixed one of the teeth he had mounted to it. Then he leaned in close and listened to what the dwarf was mumbling.
"Yalgurd will save us, Yalgurd will restore us."
Smirking, Morokzaal grabbed his great-axe and gathered his warriors with him, leaving the dwarf in the slave-pens. Grinning, he led them out of the city, eager to kill some dwarves once more.
Last edited by The Multiversal Library on Sat Nov 12, 2022 3:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
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Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Sat Nov 12, 2022 2:17 pm

From their tactical vantage atop a hillock, the members of the Orc warband could overlook the whole of what the humans called the Tierne Valley; what they had once called the Taarnaa, or Silver River Valley. Through it cut the Tierne Valley River, which translated literally would be the Silver River Valley Valley River. It had been named by the settling Kindred Peoples had still been one; when there had been no Orcs, or Goblins, or Trolls or even Ogres. Legend told that the wood and stream spirits took pity on the hungry and weary travellers and gave them rest and sustenance. In return, the local Goblins and Orcs took care of the forest, taking only what could be missed.

Chieftain Wadaahweh din Kaalopaala spat on the ground as she looked on from the hillock, her venomous saliva sizzling in the wet grass. The village of Anga Tierne was among the northernmost of the Northmen settlements, which they referred to as their ‘frontier outposts’. It had scarcely stood there for five years, part of the wave of human settlements encroaching further and further north. As they went, they defiled more and more of the places that held deep importance to the Kindred Peoples, heeding only the wishes of the Kindred as long as they felt threatened by their raids. These people apparently felt safe behind their walls, which they thought gave them claim over the forest and the river. They were wrong.

Their defences were not prepared for even a Goblin incursion, let alone an Orcish one. It had not been the walls of the village that had kept it safe for those five years, but rather the fear of the Kindred, Wadaahweh thought. A fear for another defeat, like that of the Coward King Morokewahn fin Laadpaalwah, and losing more and more lands. A fool’s mistake. Had the humans had the strength to push further north, they would have done so already. They required no justification to strip Kindred of their lands, homes, and ancestry. A genocidal and blood-thirsty race, they would have marches north just to kill ‘Greenskins’, as they called the Kindred.

The sun slowly set behind the White Teeth mountains, casting a shadow over the valley and darkening the skies. The herdsmen finished returning their southern cattle to the commons of their palisaded town, leaving the pastures outside the village empty. So too did the last of the loggers return, sending the last logs downstream towards their buyers downriver. The sawmill along the river ceased and the whole of the village gathered inside the wooden walls for the night. As the last gate closed, Wadaahweh stood up and returned to her tent; an ancestral home made from the skins of the long-extinct aurochs.

Inside the tent sat the matriarchs of the three clans, who doubled as the guards of the chieftain, sat cross-legged around a woodfire. They were scarping the last bits of meat off the goat carcass that had been their meal. While cooked food was more enjoyable, Orcish stomachs were strong enough to eat fresh meat raw. It was tradition to do so before battle, as cooking was thought to drive away the fierce spirits under whose protection you would want to fall. With them sat an elder Orc, who collected the clean bones before him. He looked at them inquisitively, and as Wadaahweh entered he was closely inspecting a femur.

“These bones are strong and unyielding” said the Elder Priest, snapping one of them in his knee and sucking on the contents. “And the marrow is sweet and rich. You will achieve victory tomorrow, chieftain” he declared, to the murmur of agreement from the assembled matriarchs.

“I concur with the Seeing” said Klahaawad din Uvaruuwah. “Our position is strong and our target lightly defended”

Orcs did not blindly follow bone-seeing or the oracle of stars. They knew better than to trust the judgement of Haw, trickster god of war and the dead. But this time Wadaahweh’s certainty was only confirmed. A peasant mob and a few night watchmen would be easily subdued. The bone-seeing was required by tradition, not to inform the decision-making of the leader.

At that moment, Suleypaalwah fin Laadkend entered the tent, kneeling and bowing his head before the chieftain. Wadaahweh felt uncomfortable with this, a feeling she had once shared with the matriarchs and which elicited a snickering response. She signalled for Suleypaalwah to rise.

"Chieftain, the human village is practically begging to be burnt, and their cattle are guarded by a few old men with sharpened sticks. Give the command, and I'll personally slaughter their chieftain and bring you his head!" said the young Orc. Of the younger generation, he was certainly the strongest. So strong and capable was he that he almost outclassed some of the older Orcs in battle prowess. But this born strength had made him boastful, and eager to rise to the ranks of the warriors before it was his time. He lacked the wise temperament that age would grant him, and it was exactly this lack that made him unable to see that he was not ready. He knew that only during a coming-of-age ceremony would Wadaahweh allow him to kill an enemy leader instead of doing it herself.

“You are brave, Suleypaalwah” answered Wadaahweh. “But you are not counted amongst our warriors yet. You will lead the other trackers to the commons tomorrow to secure the cattle. I will deal with their chieftain”

This answer clearly upset Suleypaalwah, who looked around the room for support. The Elder Priest and the matriarchs remained silent, however.

“But chieftain” he continued. “Have I not proven myself a hundred times already?”

Wadaahweh shook her head. “You are capable in combat, but the priest tells me that you have little interest in the Histories, the Letters and the basics of philosophy. These are as important as your wielding of a club”

“Chieftain, please. I promise to do better in those, but you need all the warriors you can get. Let me prove that I don’t need Histories and Letters to be of use to you”

“You do need those” retorted Wadaahweh. She sympathised with the boy; she too had hated the philosophies when she had been a tracker, and that was when battle was scarce and there was little else to do. She could hardly fault the boy for taking more of an interest in the campaign than his homework. But now she knew their importance. “We are fighting for our history, our birth right, and we cannot do that without knowing that it is. You will get your chance, Suley, I promise” she added.

“Chie…” Suleypaalwah began, but he was cut off by the thunderous look of the Elder Priest. By right, an Orc had two attempts to persuade their Chieftain a decision was wrong. If the leader was not convinced by them, either the Orc had to drop it, or challenge their chieftain to single combat over their position. Suleypaalwah dropped his head and bowed again, turning around and speeding out of the tent. Wadaahweh shook her head.

“I would have been harder on him” she said, pouring some black-and-white coloured fermented mushroom tea into a wooden bowl. The other matriarchs followed her example. “… had I not been exactly like him when I was younger”

“You were not as stubborn” said the Elder Priest, remembering when he had tutored her.

“Not to your face” she answered, smirking. She raised her bowl in a toast, and the others followed.

“The Dead do no Wrong” she said.

“The Dead do no Wrong” the others repeated, and they downed their mushroom tea; the first bowl of many that evening.

The next morning, elder Osric was awoken not by the rooster’s cry, but by the low thud of a beating drum. He recognised the sound before he was fully awake to process it, and the old Oathseeker rose from his box bed with a start. Anga Tierne was slightly raised above the valley plain for fear of flooding, and thus the palisades did not obscure what was happening on Miller’s Hill. There, a large Orcish priest was using two bones to rhythmically bang a drum. Next to him, a roaring fire had been built, and Orcish warriors were jumping through the fire as other Orcs threw on more and more wood, building the fire bigger and bigger. What would have been potentially lethal for humans was nothing but fire-bruises for Orcs, who endured the pain but were left with no permanent wounds, building up their fighting spirit and pain endurance all the while. Osric was reminded of the ashen war paint of the Orcish bands of his youth.

Supported by his cane, Osric walked towards the armour stand in the corner of his bedroom. He donned his woollen tunic, his mail, his greaves and vambraces. Outside, the drums became louder and louder, and now the cries of exhilaration and pain from the Orcs could be heard even down in the hamlet. As Osric descended from the steps of his house, the few members of his night watchmen and the militia, armed with whatever they had on hand, assembled in his courtyard, fear easily read on their faces. Looking outside, Osric saw that the Orcs were with a few dozen, more even than the inhabitants of his hamlet, let alone the handful of members of the town guard.

“Gael, Brien, open the rear gate” Osric commanded, pointing towards two of the worst-armed militia members. “And get everyone out of here as quickly as possible. People can only take what they can run with. Leave the cattle”

The two nodded and sprinted towards the southern gate of the palisade. Osric then moved forward, beckoning the guard to follow.

“Orcs always commit to a frontal assault, it will take them a while to find out back door. If we can tie them up at the north gate, it may buy the rest some time. They only want our cattle anyway” he said.

“And our land” answered Avrin, doing his best to keep the point of his falx close. “Fucking Greenskins are always eying our land”

“I don’t care for the land” answered Osric. “At least, not as much as the Orcs do. Then again, they were here hundreds of years before us. No matter, getting our families out is what matters”

Their number was less than a dozen, and they had to leave serious gaps between them do cover most of the northern wall. From atop the palisade platforms they had a keen vantage of the Orcish preparations, the drumbeat still louder and the fire ever-higher. Now, the Orcs were jumping straight through the flames, dark plumes of smoke billowing up every time one did. A young Orc tripped and fell into the fire, his comrades quickly pulling him out and dousing the flames. After an ordeal that would have killed a human instantly, the young Orc stood up and roared in exuberance, his fellows following his lead.

Then, the drums stopped. The signal to attack. The Orcs formed a simple line and charged down the hill shoulder to shoulder. Orcs did not shout as much as roar, hardly distinct from the roar of bears. Their heavy frames made the ground shudder as they charged. Osric noticed that none of them carried the infamous Orcish longbow; perhaps a weapon that did not suit the walkover combat that they had prepared for.

“Loose!” Osric shouted as the Orcs came within range. The militia members began to pelt the oncoming horde with hunting bows, javelins and stones, most of which missed. One javelin hit the ground right in front of them, tripping one Orc, but the gap was closed soon enough and the charge was unchallenged. Osric himself loosed an arrow from his war bow, hitting a female Orc straight in the chest and sending her backwards. She remained still for a moment, but sat upright within moments, drew the arrow from her chest and got up again to join in the charge. Before long the Orcs had reached the palisade, and started their vicious clawing at the woodwork. Those at the gate started hammering with their iron-studded two-handed warclubs for which the Orcs were famous. These walls had not been constructed to halt dedicated attackers; just enough to stop roving bands of fortune seekers from getting in at night. Under the relentless kicking and bashing of the Orcs, the gate began to crack.

“Aim for their heads!” came Osric’s command. “Let them heal from that! Aim for…”

Before he could finish his sentence, a large green arm reached over the palisade and grabbed Avrin by the arm. Osric tried to grab hold of him, but Avrin was gone over the wall by the time Osric had even lifted a finger. A cry of pain was followed by a cry of unimaginable suffering as two Orcs took his arms and split him in two. Looking down, Osric saw that the Orcs were clambering over each other’s shoulders to get to the top of the palisade. Another guardsman was picked off that way, the Orc impaling him on the sharp palisade top with a single move of her thick arm.

“Back away from the walls!” yelled Osric, who sped down the stairs as quick as his old knees would allow it. He got onto the main road leading from the north gate to the commons, where he could see Gael and Brien running up from the south gate. Out of breath, Osric gestured for them to turn around.

“Turn around! There is nothing… Save your…” he cried out, but the words that followed were drowned out as the gate exploded into a hail of splinters, and the Orcs came roaring through the gap. Osric felt a sharp pain in his ankle and went down into the dirt, the stampede of Orcs running past him towards the commons, Brien and Gael running for their lives. Osric felt for his calves, but when his fingers touched the five inch splinter that was sticking out, he passed out in pain immediately.

When Osric woke up again, he was seated on the steps of the temple, his head resting against one of the wooden pillars. He felt a blanket around him, and opening his eyes, he saw the Orcs, throwing wooden furniture on a large pile on the commons. The cattle was slowly being driven out towards the pastures, the Orcish youngers guiding them with the hand of practiced herdsmen. The cows seemed to instinctively react to the words of command the Orcs used, though Osric could not make out what was said. He looked over his shoulder, and the druid Cormac noticed that the elder was awake, speeding to his aid. Osric touched his calve, and found it had been roughly but cleanly bandaged.

“Osric, good to see you alive” said Cormac. “Those Orcs know how to clean a wound. Not strange if you think about it, they probably have even less time to dress a wound before it closes”

“Did we get any?” Osric asked, pointing towards the pyre being constructed. Cormac sighed.

“No” he answered. “Those are us. The Orcs hardly got scratched”

“But why…” Osric began, but he saw Cormac’s face turn pale. Following his line of sight, he saw a female Orc approaching, her face still blooded, and her hands firmly held around her war club.

“Who’s tha…” Began Osric, but the druid cut him off.

“Their chieftain” Cormac explained. Any additional information could not be given in time, as the Orc chieftain walked up to the steps of the temple. She made a slight bow towards the druid, who reciprocated. Then, she turned to Osric.

“You abandoned your position” she said, in a deep and accented voice. Osric was taken aback, never having suspected that Orcs even had language, let alone that one could speak his. But not surprising, as it was known Orcs had dealings with the Northmen of the mountains. He nodded in response.

“I tried to adopt a better position” he explained, but the chieftain scoffed.

“It is very human to construct an environment to do the fighting for them. A true warrior would have met us on the open field and spared his people from danger”

“I am not the warrior I once was” Osric said, tapping the walking cane that Cormac had placed next to him. The chieftain seemed unabated.

“Cowards tend to get old” she said simply. The comment stung Osric, but he could hardly hold his back straight under the current circumstances, let alone stand and retort. He just nodded weakly.

“Yeah, I would have been better off taking a bat to the temple anyway” he said, pointing at the pyres. “If that’s what in store for us”

For the first time in his life, he saw an Orc lift her eyebrows incredulously. She looked at the pyres, then back to Osric, and for a moment, the elder could have sworn that the edges of her mouth curled slightly upwards, and that there was a twinkle of humour in her eyes.

“Some day perhaps, chieftain. But not today, if Haw sees fit to reward your partial valour with good healing” she remarked. Osric looked up at Cormac, but the druid seemed to understand even less of it then he did. The elder cleared his throat.

“You… aren’t going to… you know…” he began, but then the Orc let out a cackling laughter, which sounded all the more frightening coming from her.

“Roast you and eat you?” she said, slapping her knee. “Man, you must be 100 years old, there’s no good meat on you anymore” she added, continuing her roaring laughter. Cormac smiled kindly, not understanding the humour, and Osric offered up a silent prayer. When her audience remained in silence, the Orcish chieftain shook her head.

“You humans have no sense of humour” she said, resigning herself to a more serious tone. “Killing unarmed foes is not out way, chieftain” she explained. “And we take no prisoners. Neither are honourable. A true warrior leaves opponents to fight another day. That’s a true test of strength”

“You know we will return to our lord?” asked Osric. The Orc nodded.

“And you will ask him for help reclaiming your land. I hope he answers, this was hardly a fight at all if I am honest” the Orc said. “And I hope to meet you on the field of battle again, chieftain. I have no need to artificially weaken my enemy. Or build a fake vantage point to hide behind” she added, pointing at the palisades.

“But you cannot remain here. After your wound is healed, you and your priest will be sent on your way to reunite with your people. This land is ours; we will remain here until we can sell the cattle to Goblin merchants following our trail, we will burn it down and then move on. You have done enough harm to our forest and our river” she said firmly. She turned around, just as the carefully washed remains of the human soldiers whom had perished were laid atop a platform on the funerary pyre. With them were laid their weapons, however rudimentary. Around them were laid some of the spoils of conquest, the things they had tried to defend while alive. Orcs then placed dry hay in the open crevices of the pyre. One of the clan matriarchs handed the Orc chieftain a lit torch, which she handed to Osric.

“Please perform their final rites as required by your tradition” she requested. Osric carefully took the torch from her, and looked into the dancing flames.

“You are kind to those who died fighting you” said Osric. The chieftain looked at the pyre undisturbed.

“The dead do no wrong” she answered cryptically. “And we know better than to upset the gods. May they have better judgement in the next world”

Wadaahweh watched as the druid performed some of the final rites for the boys and men who had lost their lives, and cherished the warmth as Osric lit the pyre. As her warband celebrated, she thought about the road ahead. Despite their battle prowess, almost no Kindred had in living memory seen a full-on war with humans. They would soon find out if the stories of their cowardice were true, or exaggerated by old men seeking to discredit their ancient enemy. There were hard days ahead of them, and as she looked around her warband, she knew that not all of them would live to see their end. She was startled out of her pensive state by the strong smell of mushroom tea and the heat of a bowl against her upper arm. The Elder Priest grinned as she accepted.

“You think too much, Waadaahweh. Worrying is a human trait” he said.

“Which is why you like them so much, isn’t it?” She retorted. They laughed together, and for that evening, forgot the troubles of the road ahead.
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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Kaledoria
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Libertarian Police State

Postby Kaledoria » Mon Nov 14, 2022 5:46 am

Mythes oversaw the new settlement, the refugees from Boiotia had built for themselves, in the eastern outskirts of Eiselene. It was common lands and even if it had laid barren for several years, the farmers promised that the next harvest was going to be reasonably good. That was - if the terrors from the rest of the continent would not follow them here. They were situated outside the proper city walls and even if the network of watchtowers and the makeshift outer wall should give them enough warning time to retreat inside the walls in case of an attack, Mythes felt besieged. In constant danger, some Orcs or Zombies could come and devastate the fields, dooming them to mass starvation when the supplies would run out coming winter.

Since they had arrived, a few hundred with useful skills had found their way into the city but most of the 14,000 stayed out here. The more weeks had passed since their journey, the more they fractured into small-self-organized groups. Mythes, while being the last remaining son of the former doux had never announced his claim to leadership openly. While they were hunted by the Cult and the monsters and the undead, his skills just were useful, and the people followed him. Many still respected him for what he had done for them then. Yet now, it was quite clear, many of them did not see the Half-Elven bastard of dead ruler of a fallen Duchy of a fallen Kingdom as their leader anymore. Given his knowledge in court-affairs, Mythes still represented them in official business with the capital's bureaucracy, but he had no authority over them.

While the farmers were busy getting the fields ready and the masons and carpenters also had more than enough work to do get the living conditions in their settlement fixed, there were a few jobs that had no immediate necessity and those people - like Mythes - looked for other ways to make themselves useful. The constable at the city guard's post at the gate offered one obol for every Goblin head and six for every Orc - which was not nearly enough to justify the risk but, in the end, the Boiotian refugee settlement had to be guarded anyway and if they got a free soup out of it why not take it.

Mythes patrolled the area with eight other men. They spotted two Goblins, managed to surround them and when they sprang forth, kill them, as they tried to run away. The Half-Elf knew that Goblins were intelligent (well sentient) creatures. People basically. But those two were armed, sneaking around near the human settlement. They clearly were up to no good and there was no system in place to make prisoners, so death for them was the only option.

Their trapper made out the direction they had come from. The "militia" followed this direction. Goblins were light and sneaky and soon they had lost the tacks. "They can't be all the way here on their own, can they?" Mythes asked. "Maybe they were just thiefs and no scouts," another one answered. "Silence" they were interrupted, "was that a scream?"
They listened and heard "...hair's beard, ... bloody hell ... coming party..."
Then another scream, cut short. The Boiotins ran, sprinted. Soon they could hear battle sounds and broke through the trees and as they broke through the underwood, they saw a group of foreigners, probably from up north, attacked by Goblins. The little Greenskins outnumbered the humans 2:1.

"Attack"
Last edited by Kaledoria on Mon Nov 14, 2022 5:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ovstylap
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Postby Ovstylap » Mon Nov 14, 2022 4:09 pm

The Royal Highway, Outskirts of Eiselene

It had always been a risky idea. A party too small would be unable to appropriately have sentries during any rest at night, or would be overwhelmed should it come across a greenskin or wildmen party with the courage to attack a group of riders. A party too large would travel slower, and take away much needed fighting men from Dún Thuaidh itself. Even more concerning would be the prospect of attracting the eyes of an especially ambitious greenskin party. Not that a good Oathsworn would be afraid of an honourable death. But a pointless sacrifice? That was another matter. To deprive a child of their father. A wife of her husband. Many friends of a loved one. To deprive the High Chieftain Corrigan's of favored warriors at a time when there was a great demand for them? Of the people of Dún Thuaidh of one of their own when they were beset by ever greater numbers of greenskins and other threats. Nay, that was not a fate any Oathsworn wanted to unnecessarily meet.

Of course, a party of somewhere in the middle had been chosen to escort Maeve, heir to the High Chieftain. A dozen and a half riders, including Maeve. A quick and able force, with the ability to watch over itself at night, and cut through any dismounted bands that attempted to block the highway. It had all relied on one assumption however. That the road to Eiselene was much clearer than turned out to be the case. In the lands of Dún Thuaidh, even if it was beset by those hostile to the Caraithe and their sworn peoples, at least kept much of its inner frontiers clear. Thought and precedent would leave many, understandably, forgivably, to assume that the further south one went, the less greenskins there would be.

Yet that was not the case. That was simply not the case. Around the territories laid claim to by Dún Thuaidh, in between the settlements of other Northmen, in the valleys, and in the tunnels, through the forests, and by night, in the passes shown them by wildmen, they had come. Bypassing patrols, bypassing stronger settlements, many greenskins continued to come ever southwards. The past few winters had been harsher than those faced by the Northmen of the last generation, perhaps that was what drove the greenskins down. All that mattered however was that the road between Dún Thuaidh and Eiselene was not what it once was- an oft-travelled road of safety and trade.

****

None of these thoughts would occupy the mind of Edywd ap Senigor, son of Arigir and Rena, Oathsworn of the Caraithe, in those moments. He was one of their newer members, having been with them for not even two seasons, yet already blooded. On this one trip, he had seen more of his brothers and sisters fall than in the last few months. He had seen other warriors fall, but rarely an Oathsworn. As he leant to the left of his saddle he thrust his spear towards a goblin which was attempting to grab the reins of another Oathsworn, another goblin darted away from his own horse towards Maeve. Edywd's target noticed the spear coming and dived away from it, but was ridden over by its original target, leaving it convulsing and bleeding. The goblin headed for Maeve moved away from a feint, before being stabbed between the eyes, as Maeve's steel spearhead punched through its skull. As she did so, she shouted: "By Rían Fhómhair's beard, where the bloody hell is the royal welcoming party?!"

The fighting had been desperate, but had only been going on for a couple of hundred breaths. Three riders had fallen sick with fever and had been left at a friendly village, within a couple of days of leaving Dún Thuaidh, one had been killed and another severely wounded by an accidental encounter with a random group of wildmen, and yet one more had been killed during a night attack of goblins. That had left eleven Oathsworn accompanying Maeve. They had been riding hard along the highway the next day, seeking to avoid having to encamp outside of Eiselene, but had come across a grisly sight. On a bridge over the river Yedrin, a hunting party, accompanied by dogs, had scared the horses of a wagon baring ale for sale in Eiselene. The horses had shied away, with one climbing up onto the bridge's edge, before falling as the dogs chased the scared animal. It had caused the cart to collapse sideways, crushing a couple of the dogs, and the others had thus attacked the first horse, which was unable to escape their attacks due to being harnessed to the fallen wagon.

When Maeve and her riders had arrived, they had found a couple of dazed, shivering men sitting absent-mindely on the stone wall of the bridge. The wagon was crushed up against it, surrounded by the bodies of a horse, several dogs with varying amounts of their carcasses remaining, a couple of hunters, and the wagon rider, and a handful of goblins. A horse was hanging by its tether, suspended over the edge of the bench. During the ensuing altercation, the group had been beset by goblins, who had slaughtered everyone, and the men had jumped into the river to escape. One of their number had never surfaced again.

Appaled by what they had seen, Maeve and her Oathsworn had assisted the men, gathering and cleaning the bodies, before digging graves for them. They had cut loose the horses, and with great effort- and having tethered their own horses much further away, had dragged the horses off of the bridge, before clearing the wagon- first removing the remaining barrels of ale, then the wagon itself. The spokes had been damaged on one side, and so they had left the wagon at the side of the bridge. The Caraithe had camped on the other side, with the two rescued men, and drank sensibly of the ale, away from the dead.

The next morning, they had continued for Eislene, and had passed by another grim scene. A group of several peasants were all dead, butchered, around a couple of handcarts, a few grains remaining indicating what they had been transporting. A single dead goblin told the story of what had happened. Although they had wanted to bury the dead, Maeve by now had been growing increasingly concerned, and so they had continued. Riding through a woodblock, a flurry of arrows and slingstones injured a handful of the riders, and a couple of eager goblins had charged out, only to be cut down. They had ridden through that ambush, cresting a ridge where Eislene came into sight. Off to the eastern side there was a large, and seemingly new part of the city, which had caused a couple of frowns amongst the older Oathsworn with the group. Riding over a wooden bridge, the advance couple of Oathsworn had been startled when the planks collapsed under them part way through, and the other riders had to reign in, as a group of yet more goblins sprung an ambush. The first two men to fall fought briefly, but were killed underneath the bridge, and as the riders back away from the bridge, a javelin caught one man in the throat, causing him to dig in his heels and ride through the goblins, who whilst taking some injuries, felled the animal.

Maeve had taken the opportunity then to call upon her escort to charge, and they had ridden through those goblins, and travelled north for a while, before coming to a ford, and headed across, travelling south and then going across country to hit the highway further along, closer to the city. It was there that the current attack had happened...

****

On the highway ahead two wagons had blocked the path, and the party had come to a halt, to assess their course of action, and they attempted to see if there could be an ambush on either side. That was exactly what the goblins had wanted, the sneaky bastards, and had sprung from the long grass from both sides of the road. Goblin javelins, and a few arrows were loosed, and the riders had had to fight desperately from the beginning. Eight Oathsworn against what appeared to be two dozen, or maybe even thirty goblins. Edwyd had drawn his dagger, and hurled it at one goblin, catching it in the shoulder, before riding straight at a handful of the goblins who did not have polearms. One of the more injured Oathsworn took the unfortunate brunt of the goblin missiles, taking two arrows to one of his thighs. Rallying around him, the riders had fought off the goblins for a while, before the risk of being surrounded caused them all to ride outwards, attempting to spread their assailants apart.

The wounded man however was hit by more arrows, and overwhelmed, leaving seven. Edwyd turned his head to the left, guiding his horse Manus to follow his movement using his legs, as Aneirin's horse was speared as it reared to avoid a different spearhead. He watched, knowing even as he spurred Manus forward that it was too late. A goblin punched a dagger into his right boot, and another jumped up, ducking under his wild swing, swinging its own falchion at him. The blade slammed against his mail, but only winded him, and the goblin fell to the ground, looking up in fear as Aneirin's horse came down atop him, with a crunching sound. It thrashed on the ground, and Aneirin screamed as his daggered leg was trapped under his own horse, whilst another goblin held down his sword arm. Edywd thrust his spear straight into one goblin, and cried out in anger as he watched a different one drag its blade across his comrade's throat, blood spurting up into the air. The two goblins which had killed him turned as Edwyd approached, ceasing their celebrations as he drove Manus straight into them, leaving his spear in one, and swiftly dismounting. He hurled himself under the swing of the murderous goblin and tackled it to the ground. He reached for his own dagger, then realised that he had thrown it, and instead, pinning down the goblin's sword-arm with one of his own, he grabbed a rock and repeatedly struck the goblin, closing his eyes as it clawed at his face.

Edwyd grunted as the goblin spasmed, smacking the rock against its head once more, a crack giving way to a quelch. He climbed to his feet, and whistled for Manus, who had just split open the head of a smaller goblin which had attempted to climb onto him with a dash of a hoof. Manus came over, and he climbed up into the saddle with some effort, and turned his head to see the other Oathsworn gathering around Maeve. Five horses around hers... four riders. He realised that one rider, the soft-voiced Maelis, was being dragged by her stirrups. He rode over to them whilst the goblins paced around them, looking for a weakness in the gaggle of riders.

There were ten of them, against the six Caraithe. Easy odds under normal circumstances, but two of their own were wounded, and the goblins were furious. A handful of others still writhed, crawled, and cried, their wounds leaving them unable to fight. As Edwyd caught his breath, he caught the eye of the eldest of the others, Ewen, who nodded at him. He nodded back, and stretched his neck, before a glint of sun upon steel caught his eye to the south. A group of men had come out of the undergrowth yonder, and after a moment of observation, were sprinting towards them. The goblins had noticed too. Somehow Edwyd just knew that the goblins would attack again, as if they tried to run now they would be ridden down. They had no other choice. They were predators. And like cornered predators, they would fight. Edwyd drew his sword, and kissed the blade, before looking ahead at the closest goblin, and chose that one for his next kill.

His heart hammered. His breath misted. All was not lost. They would make it to Eiselene, even if was without the dozen others they had set off with.
Last edited by Ovstylap on Mon Nov 14, 2022 4:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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The Multiversal Library
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Postby The Multiversal Library » Tue Nov 15, 2022 9:39 am

The Royal Highway, Outskirts of Eiselene
The sound of fighting caused the contingent of the Royal Guard, led by Captain Calitan Valentis, to force their horses into a gallop, nearly crashing into the Boiotian militia. Calitan quickly saw that several of the Oathsworn guards of Maeve were dead, or at least gravely wounded, and that the remaining Northmen had formed a circle around their lord's heir. He also saw the half-elf Mythes leading his militia to assist the Northmen in slaying the last few goblins. Grunting, Calitan lowered the visor of his helmet, the rest of his men doing the same, and charged with his ten men ahead of the militia. One goblin raised his sword, only to be run through by the Oathsworn he had turned his back on. A Boiotian militiaman severed a goblin's head from his shoulders, while Calitan himself crashed into a goblin bowman, the weight of his barded horse crushing the poor goblin beneath its hooves. The seven goblins formed a loose circle of spears and hastily made pikes, attempting to fall back, however there were too few goblins and too many bows on the side of the humans (and half-elf) for this to work. The Royal Guard switched to their shortbows, and with the help of the militia made short work of the remaining goblins.
Calitan rode up to Maeve and removed his helmet.
"Lady Maeve, I presume? My condolences for your men, and let me apologize for the state of the roads. No doubt you experienced attacks from greenskins on your way here, or at least seen the carnage from greenskin raids on merchants. It is not for me to say, but the officers in charge of the patrols have pulled their men back in preparation for...unpleasantness should their preferred heir not take the throne."
Maeve raised her hand to silence the captain, an instinctive response to allow her to think. After a moment, she spoke.
"Captain, my men are exhausted, wounded, and in dire need of a strong drink. I have come not to get involved in some war between princes, but to ask His Majesty the king for reinforcements. I care not who sits the throne, so long as they understand the sacrifices the Caraithe, and by extension all the tribes, make for the security of the realm."
Calitan went to speak, but again Maeve silenced him. "I will meet with the king tomorrow, once I have had time to clean the blood and shit of these animals off my armor and spear, and once my men have been given quarters befitting their station. Surely His Majesty can wait a day?"
Calitan nodded, then turned to Mythes. "You are Doux Kalados, correct? My thanks for your timely aid. I would have you accompany me to His Majesty, so that he may properly reward you and your people for bravely defending his vassals."

The Hall of Council, Dún Thuaidh
On his throne in the center of the hall, Lord Corrigan of the Caraithe listened to the elder of Anga Tierne as he told his story. After dismissing the man and giving him and his people food and a place to camp outside the walls, Corrigan stood.
"What should we do, oh wise councilors of mine? I am sure that you all, like me, would like to take the fight to those savages and retake our land, but know this; should we weaken ourselves defeating one orc warband, when a great horde descends from the North, driving wildmen before them? I ask you, should we risk the lives of our Oathsworn, of a single Teulus, just to see a few orcs dead?"
There was silence for a moment, before Teulus Aellyg of the Danacaine spoke up.
"I say we fight! If we simply give ground to the orcs, the lesser tribes and clans will think that they are more fit to be Chieftain Above All then the Caraithe. We cannot have conflict among ourselves with a horde on the horizon!"
At this there were many sounds of agreements, but Teulus Carachein of the Duhmraile motioned for silence.
"Why have our Oathsworn and heroes die, when there are hundreds of money-hungry adventurers to die for us? Think about it; most of them have combat experience equal to an average clan soldier, and each of them will be willing to fight and die for money and the promise of treasure. Even more so if we promise them land if they can push the greenskins back into the North, perhaps even into the Far North!"
While some grumbled that it was dishonorable to send others to fight for them, eventually most agreed that it would be best to use the adventurers to fight the orc warband that had ravaged Anga Tierne. So it was that thousands of gold coins were sent to the Adventurer's Guild, hiring nearly every adventurer they had available to drive back the orcs, and even more coin went to the independent adventurers and their parties. So it was that 250 adventurers left Dún Thuaidh to the sound of cheering crowds, and marched north to Anga Tierne.

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Ovstylap
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Postby Ovstylap » Tue Nov 15, 2022 11:03 am

The Royal Highway, Outskirts of Eiselene

Edwyd turned his head for a moment, noticing a number of Royal Guards charging to the aid of Maeve and her party. The Boiotian militia joined with the Royal guard, and the goblins started running to each other for protection. The closest goblin to him had raised its sword, and Edywd grinned as Maeve spurred her horse forward, and impaled the goblin with her spear. Quickly, the Oathsworn and their allies cut down the remaining goblins, and Edwyd sat back, breathing deeply as he watched the Royal Guard shoot down the terrified cluster of goblins with their shortbows. One of the goblins dropped its spear and started to raise its hands but was struck by two arrows, and fell to its knees, before being hit by a third, silencing its gurgled cry. He dismounted, swinging his leg from the saddle, and wiped his sword free of blood on the leather cuirass of the largest goblin. He walked along to the two goblins he had slain with spear and dagger still embedded in them, and retrieved them. One goblin was crawling away, its legs crushed by a horse, and it turned as it saw him approach. It covered its face in fear, and Edwyd took pity on it. It was terrified, and for a few moments he didn't know what to do. But then it lowered its hands and looked at him with anger that its pain wasn't over, or at least that was how he understood it. He went over, and finished it off with an axe from one of his fallen brothers.

Edwyd and the other Oathsworn in silence were moving along, gathering their dead, and those of the goblins, and a handful of the Royal Guard and Boiotians joined in, which the men of Dún Thuaidh were grateful for. Ewen had remained with Maeve, who was in conversation with who appeared to be the most senior of the Royal Guard. With the Oathsworn dead gathered, their armour and weaponry was gathered, and placed upon the two mules which had managed to survive the journey. His own mule, Brian, had been left behind in Dún Thuaidh, to help with the harvest. He was relieved at that, since of the six mules they had brought, three had had to be finished off, whilst one had been killed outright.

The goblin dead were beheaded by some of the other militia, and Edwyd asked one why. He was told that for each goblin dead, they would receive an obol. Though most of them hadn't done the kills themselves, some of the men looked rather thin or ill-equipped, and so Edwyd sighed and shrugged his shoulders as they continued. Himself, with the others, took shovels from the two remaining mules and began to dig graves. Maeve turned to them, and said that she would meet them in the city, and headed off with Ewen. For a good while yet they dug graves for their own dead, and laid them to rest side by side. One of the other Oathsworn said a few words, and each of the Oathsworn told a funny story of a memory, paid respects to the attributes and achievements of the dead, and asked for forgiveness for what they felt they had never had it for. It was done in the open, in front of the others. Secrets spoken into the air as the dead were lowered into the ground. Each also forgave the dead of any and all wrongdoing they thought that they should. It was a solumn affair, and no doubt Ewen and Maeve would privately say their own prayers in memory that night, asking the dead to understand that their duties to the living had delayed their respects to the dead.

Almost two hours after the others had departed, the remaining Oathsworn rode into the city. Edwyd was the only one who had never been to Eiselene before, but only two of the others had actually gone within its walls. They were incredibly impressed by the scale and splendour of much of the city. However there was certainly something off. An air of something unpleasant. There were those who appeared suspicious of the newcomers, or those who were surprised, as if the city had much less trade and visitation than normal. There were more armed men in the streets, and the merchants were less shouty, far less so, than Edwyd had been expecting. Nonetheless, they proceeded through, and asked for directions from a Royal Guard who appeared to be enlisting a number of men into some form of militia. Hopefully, they would be able to get directions to their quarters, and reunite with Maeve, and find out what had been happening.
Please check out G-Tech Corporation's new RP: Corporate Cosmos, a fantastic combination of narrative and gameplay mechanics, set in a Cyberpunk style dying world, with Powers and Corporations competing to take advantage of new technology to reach for the stars:
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The Grene Knyght
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Postby The Grene Knyght » Tue Nov 15, 2022 5:06 pm

Somewhere North of Eiselene

Dio held the dagger in a white knuckle grip and prayed to whatever gods might be listening that she wouldn't have to use it, as the goblins crept around the tomb complex. This was supposed to have been an easy expedition. A safe expedition. And one of the first that she and her fellow students of Rhetor Hadrio had been trusted to take alone. But then, nothing beyond the walls of Eiselene was safe these days.

She heard the creatures talk among each other in their guttural tongue. Were they going to investigate further? She strained to grasp some meaning from the words, from the tone, anything, but their meaning remained opaque. They didn't know she was here yet, or she'd be dead already, that much she knew. Her fellow students, she didn't know. And it was her fault, of course. She had insisted on investigating the underground necropolis before they had ensured these hills were safe. She had delved deeper and deeper in spite of their misgivings. When the greenskins attacked the camp, she was stuck within.

They were coming down the passageway now, cautious. She pushed he back against the corner that she was hiding behind. They would surely find her now. She squeezed her eyes shut and uttered a last, silent prayer. Think. She opened her eyes. Painfully slowly, she crouched and picked up a piece of fallen masonry. Hard as she could, she threw it deeper into the tombs. The goblins, alerted by the sound, abandoned all wariness and flew after it. Such was their single-mindedness that as they scampered around the corner, they missed Dio altogether and disappeared deeper into the sepulchre. She breathed a sigh of relief and disappeared toward the now-empty entryway. She dearly hoped her companions had fared as well as she had.

Outside, the camp was a shambles. The fire still smouldered but all the equipment was scattered across the ground. The packs had been torn apart and rummaged through. An ominous spatter of blood shone wet on the grass, but no other indication of the fate of the rest of the expedition remained. She didn't want to remain, she knew the goblins could re-emerge at any moment, but she stood stock still in despair for a few moments longer, not knowing what to do.

"Dio," came a hushed murmur from the direction of the woods. Marsius, another of the Rhetor's students, was there, apparently uninjured. He waved her over. She could have wept with relief. Quietly, they padded back toward the Royal Highway, toward Eiselene.
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The Multiversal Library
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Founded: Apr 28, 2022
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Postby The Multiversal Library » Wed Nov 16, 2022 4:38 pm

The Royal Highway, Northern Outskirts of Eiselene
"Now, as I was saying, the conflict between the Minascenaean governor in 156 I.C., who according to the Kyverníticon Avchasítou and writings by Antidonos of Pedaxitus, was either named Acopios or Acadosios-"
"Finyeas, will you shut up?"
The hooded Finyeas quickly shut up, and quietly sulked as his traveling companion, the native mercenary Menhor, stopped and scanned the surrounding woods. After a few moments of silence, Finyeas spoke up, his hood falling to reveal tan skin, short, unkempt black hair and a sad smattering of facial hair. "Menhor, why have we stopped? I get that you find my companionship boring, but surely it is preferable to standing in the middle of the road?"
To answer, Menhor drew his crossbow and shot a tree near the highway, his bright green eyes set in his pale face focused on the bushes under it.
"Whoever's hiding there, you'd best come out. Next one's going into what I think may be your chest."

Eiselene Proper, Eiselene
The Royal Guard pointed to a large building surrounded by stone walls and topped with a tall tower.
"His Majesty has set aside room within the fort there for you and your men. Just ask for a fellow by the name of Hephron, he'll-"
The guardsman stopped mid-sentence as the citizens walking around suddenly found much better things to be doing. The rhythmic sound of marching feet suddenly filling the silence, interrupted only by the sounds of tearing flesh. The guardsman's hand fell to his sword, and the militia and recruits behind him scowled.
"Well well well, if it isn't 'His Majesty's' pet dogs. Oh, and some Northern barvarikoi as well. Tell me, barvaros, why are you here? Surely you have not come to slobber at the feet of your master, that filthy mongrel Leoryx."
The offending voice came from a palanquin, hoisted by several members of the Kyradímonas, clad in their golden plate armor. The voice's owner was a grossly fat, splotchy-skinned korónatorikoí, who feasted on what appeared to be a lamb. Not a lamb chop, an entire lamb. By himself. He continued speaking.
"Surely we have not fallen so low as to rely on barvarikoi to defend this once-great city! Oh, but where are my manners. I am Senator Exphemus Soticos, of the blood of Minascenae. I would ask your name, but I doubt I would understand your barbaric dialect."
At this the Kyradímonas not holding the palanquin, of which there seemed to be ten, laughed, until a rock clanged against one of their plumed helmets. Immediately, they formed into a phalanx in front of their lord.
"That's enough out of you, you bastard! These are guests of the king! We will not have our honor sullied by you insulting them!"
One of the recruits stepped forward, a giant of a man, easily seven feet. He had an axe in his hands, one meant for chopping wood, but the militiamen behind him held spears, swords, and even a few bows. As this confrontation continued, the Royal Guard from before placed his hand on Edwyd's shoulder. "Please, let me escort you to the barracks before any blood gets spilled. I hate to say it, but if we get you and your men out of here, that pig Exphemus may just decide that it isn't worth death to fight a few angry militia."
Last edited by The Multiversal Library on Wed Nov 16, 2022 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ovstylap
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Postby Ovstylap » Thu Nov 17, 2022 9:14 am

OOC Note: Incorporating the above post to show Edwyd's perspective.

Eiselene Proper, Eiselene
The Royal Guard pointed to a large building surrounded by stone walls and topped with a tall tower.
Edwyd followed his gaze, and nodded, glad that their accomodation would be in a well-fortified area.
"His Majesty has set aside room within the fort there for you and your men. Just ask for a fellow by the name of Hephron, he'll-"
Edwyd smiled, and was trying to think of the correct way to say a sincere thank you, when the man stopped.
The guardsman stopped mid-sentence as the citizens walking around suddenly found much better things to be doing. The rhythmic sound of marching feet suddenly filling the silence, interrupted only by the sounds of tearing flesh. The guardsman's hand fell to his sword, and the militia and recruits behind him scowled.
Edwyd and the other Oathsworn stared with some confusion as the situation changed somewhat quickly. It appeared that there was tension between the different forces at the disposal of Eiselene, perhaps this was why the roads were so ravaged by greenskins, and why the people were not safe. The thought of that caused a stirring of emotion in Edwyd's chest, but he took a deep breath, and attempted to read the situation.

"Well well well, if it isn't 'His Majesty's' pet dogs. Oh, and some Northern [i]barvarikoi as well. Tell me, barvaros, why are you here? Surely you have not come to slobber at the feet of your master, that filthy mongrel Leoryx."
The offending voice came from a palanquin, hoisted by several members of the Kyradímonas, clad in their golden plate armor. The voice's owner was a grossly fat, splotchy-skinned korónatorikoí, who feasted on what appeared to be a lamb. Not a lamb chop, an entire lamb. By himself. He continued speaking.
"Surely we have not fallen so low as to rely on barvarikoi to defend this once-great city! Oh, but where are my manners. I am Senator Exphemus Soticos, of the blood of Minascenae. I would ask your name, but I doubt I would understand your barbaric dialect."[/i]

Edwyd and the others listened to the newcomers for a few moments, though Edwyd could not help but raise an eyebrow at the sight of the fat man eating straight from a lamb. It was very rare to see someone so obscenely overweight in the lands north of Eiselene, and the man's demeanor clearly bristled with the locals. Even though they did not correctly understand every word spoken by the man, his tone and the way he looked at them, and emphasised the word 'barvarikoi' told them enough. Edwyd, the youngest of those Oathsworn, bristled, and as he was the one closest to both the offending man, and the Royal Guard whom he had been talking to, it was likely him who would respond, considering the others were all equal to him. He puffed out his chest slightly, and put his shoulders back, inherently adopting a more ready posture, though his hand remained away from his scabbard.

At this the [i]Kyradímonas not holding the palanquin, of which there seemed to be ten, laughed, until a rock clanged against one of their plumed helmets. Immediately, they formed into a phalanx in front of their lord.
"That's enough out of you, you bastard! These are guests of the king! We will not have our honor sullied by you insulting them!"
One of the recruits stepped forward, a giant of a man, easily seven feet. He had an axe in his hands, one meant for chopping wood, but the militiamen behind him held spears, swords, and even a few bows. As this confrontation continued, the Royal Guard from before placed his hand on Edwyd's shoulder. "Please, let me escort you to the barracks before any blood gets spilled. I hate to say it, but if we get you and your men out of here, that pig Exphemus may just decide that it isn't worth death to fight a few angry militia."[/i]

A rock clanged off of one of the gold-plated men's helmets, and Edwyd took a polite step back as the men formed into a phalanx, deliberately he kept his hand away from his sword arm, but found this a difficult choice, and so crossed his arms. A sturdy militiaman confronted the golden phalanx. He looked like the kind of man Edwyd was more used to compared to the apparent 'Senator.' The Royal Guard placed a hand on his shoulder, and offered to escort him to the tower. Edwyd nodded, and turned to his fellow Oathsworn. "Let's go with the Royal Guard." The Royal Guard appeared to let out a slight sigh of relief, but then no doubt tensed up again as Edwyd turned to the phalanx.

"Well, Senator. Thank you for making your position on your impressive city's own allies so clear. I can see now why the roads were so dangerous coming here, and why we found the bodies of so many of your own countrymen along the Royal Highway. I see now why we had so many Greenskin to slay. It would appear as though you have more dislike of those within your walls, than those who would seek to breach them. You call myself and my friends, barvarikoi? What is that? Outsider? Yes we may live outside your walls. That's why there are even less Greenskins making it to your walls. I will not exchange insulting words with you anymore, I shall fulfil my obligations to this city and will hope that your city will fulfil its obligations to my own people."

Edwyd had spoken somewhat sensibly, in his own mind, but was filled to the brim with rage, angry also at himself for containing for the sense of sensibility his own frustration and insulted pride. He was filled with unprocessed grief for his fallen comrades, and now was outraged that this appeared to be part of the reason why. He let out a big huff, and turned to the Royal Guard, but could not ignore the voice inside his head which was telling him if the man so much as uttered aloud a single word of insult he would draw his sword. He leaned in towards the Royal Guard and whispered.. "Honour bound me respond, perhaps let us go before he says something I have to respond to again." One of the other Oathsworn patted Edwyd's shoulder in a sort of 'well done, that was hard' way, and Edwyd took his first step away from the fat man who he already found despicable...
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Kaledoria
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Libertarian Police State

Postby Kaledoria » Fri Nov 18, 2022 3:24 am

The Royal Highway, Outskirts of Eiselene

Goblins were dangerous when they had the initiative and superior numbers but as they themselves were surprised and outnumbered, they were felt without causing further losses.
As they were defeated, Mythes ordered his men to collect Goblin heads. It was not just for the bounties, although the Half-Elf did not talk about it. While he had not yet seen any signs of Necromancy around Eiselene, he knew that when it struck, it would come by surprise and it was best not to let functioning corpses lie around. This train of thought brough Mythes to the fallen Oathsworn. As he inspected them, he realized one man was still alive. He bandaged the unconcious warrior and offered the help of two of the Militia to bring him to a surgeon in the city, who could patch him up. As for those, that were in fact dead, Mythes resisted the urge to call for decapitation or cremation and witnessed the Northmen's funeral rite instead.

Mythes closed his eyes and felt into the flow of magic. While the ritual was basically mundane in nature - none of the warriors seemed to have any magical talent - they combined faith did leave a slight change in the flow of ambient mana, a positive flow that would at least slightly hamper necromancy and Mythes used his own talent to increase this effect.

As they were ready to leave, Calitan addressed the Half Elf. "Mythes Kalados," he responded to being called by the title of his family. It was not an outright rejection of the title but certainly not an acceptance either. In Mythes eyes this would have been an arrogation. While clearly some of the people in his community still regarded him as their leader, an equal number did not. Beyond that, there was the problem, that in Boiotian tradition, the passage of the title had to be acknowledged by the King, who was dead and the even more severe problem, that the only remaining inhabitants of the Theme now were murderers, madmen and monsters.

The Boiotian militia dispersed. Some would go collect the head-bounties, some would distribute the Goblins' equipment (as far as it was usable by humans), one collected the bodies of four goblins, to bring to the pig-farmers as food for the livestock and some would trace the tracks of the Greenskin band to make sure they were not part of a larger army hiding nearby. Mythes went with Calitan and Edwyd. Being visible to his Majesty was the best anyone could do, to have the needs of the refugees represented in the city.


Eiselene Proper

Mythes had heard of Senator Exphemus. Now that he saw him, he realized, that the servant he had spoken to had left out a lot of details of the charming personality. Apparently, the senator did not think highly of either Chamilókrátes or Northmen and Mythes did not want to find out, what the glutenous man thought about a bastard from the east, so he stayed in the background and kept his helmet on.
Last edited by Kaledoria on Fri Nov 18, 2022 3:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Grene Knyght
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby The Grene Knyght » Mon Nov 21, 2022 11:02 am

The Royal Highway, Northern Outskirts of Eiselene

Marsius hadn't been the only survivor afterall. They were all okay. Only Gairus had been injured, a nasty slash on his arm, which accounted for the blood she had seen. It turned out the goblins had been surprised as they were. When the greenskins saw they were outnumbered, the fled into the ruins, trapping Dio. The students, armed but with no combat experience, and worried about more goblins prowling around, had hidden, apparently trying to figure out a way of rescuing her - although Dio doubted that last part.

Now, regrouped, they were making their way swiftly and quietly as they could back to the road. Not quietly enough though.

Thunk. The bolt embedded itself in the tree next to Diogenia.

"Whoever's hiding there, you'd best come out. Next one's going into what I think may be your chest," the man called.

Dio's face reddened. She stormed out of the bushes, slipping out of Marsius' grasp as he anxiously tried to pull her back.

"Who the hell do you think you are, threatening me and shooting at me like that?" she shouted. "You could have killed someone!"

Marsius followed her out. "Don't shoot!" he was saying, gesturing obsequiously, and trying to stop Dio from advancing any further towards the strange - and clearly dangerous - men "We mean you no harm."
[_★_]
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The Multiversal Library
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby The Multiversal Library » Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:36 am

The Royal Highway, Northern Outskirts of Eiselene
Finyeas swatted the crossbow out of Menhor's hand.
"Sweet Telaeus, Menhor! What the hell is the matter with you!"
Menhor muttered something about "goblins on the road" and bent down to pick up his crossbow as Finyeas turned to the two strangers.
"My sincerest apologies for my companion. Menhor can be a bit...paranoid at times. I am Finyeas Graceas Nikiani, scholar and historian, and this contentious fellow is Menhor Elthros, my friend and bodyguard."
Finyeas squinted his eyes at Dio, and then at Marsius.
"Do I...know you two? Perhaps from the Herodotaria?"
Recognition flashed in his eyes then, and he stepped forward, hand outstretched for a handshake.
"That's it! You're Hadrio's pupil, aren't you? The senator's daughter, right? Is that old dog around here somewhere? I've got a personal invite from His Highness, Prince Aden, to join us on the expedition! Oh, what a fortunate coincidence, wouldn't you agree Menhor?"
Menhor merely grunted as he retrieved his bolt from the tree.

The Royal Barracks, Eiselene
"Here we are, the Royal Barracks! Head right in there and ask for Hephron, and he'll get you and your men a hot meal and warm rooms."
The Royal Barracks was a large, stone building surrounded by an imposing stone wall. Patrolled by iron-clad members of the Royal Guard, the barracks was home to the few soldiers not on the Kyradímonas' payroll, and the guardsmen made it a point of pride. Inside the barracks, a large man sat behind a counter, with two hallways branching off into different parts of the barracks.
The guardsman who had brought the Oathsworn to the barracks turned to Mythes.
"Apologies for dragging you all across Eiselene, your lordship. If you'll follow me I'll take you to the palace."

Palátiou Telaíouyios, Eiselene
As the guardsman and Mythes approached the Palátiou Telaíouyios, two groups of well-dressed men converged on them.
"Ah, Doux Kalados! His Royal Highness, Prince Tharlimon, wishes to invite you to a feast in his personal estate!"
The noble who spoke, a young man with a truly magnificent black mustache, was elbowed out of the way by a large, older man wearing a bright green toga.
"Out of the way, Inos, the adults are talking! Your lordship, His Royal Highness, Prince Codarion, wishes to invite you to a speech by Calemos Laskareton."
At the mention of Calemos, both groups began staring daggers at each other, as the two spokesmen stared expectantly at Mythes, the escort blocked off by a wall of nobles.

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Ovstylap
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Postby Ovstylap » Tue Nov 29, 2022 9:28 am

Edwyd had been able to walk away, escorted by a Royal Guardsman, as the senator had been distracted when someone threw a sandal at him from a nearby stall, and the people began angrily harassing him and his escort. With the commotion, the Oathsworn, accompanied by one of the men who had come to their assistance, and had politely seemed to be involved in his own way in the honorary service of Edwyd's fallen comrades, made their way to the Royal Barracks. The Northmen were most impressed by the sheer scale of all of the buildings, they were fascinated by the architecture, and the rich and diverse array of clothing worn by those others browsing merchandise, itself mixed and varied, or otherwise going about their business.

The Royal Barracks itself was well-fortified and impressive, almost like a citadel to the Northmen, and yet it was just one of many fortified areas within the city. They headed inside, and Edwyd sought out the man named Hephron. He hoped, and expected that the other Oathsworn also thought similarly, that very soon they could be reunited with their companions and their noble lady. Things in the city were far too tense.
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Kaledoria
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Libertarian Police State

Postby Kaledoria » Wed Nov 30, 2022 3:42 am

The Multiversal Library wrote:Palátiou Telaíouyios, Eiselene
As the guardsman and Mythes approached the Palátiou Telaíouyios, two groups of well-dressed men converged on them.
"Ah, Doux Kalados! His Royal Highness, Prince Tharlimon, wishes to invite you to a feast in his personal estate!"
The noble who spoke, a young man with a truly magnificent black mustache, was elbowed out of the way by a large, older man wearing a bright green toga.
"Out of the way, Inos, the adults are talking! Your lordship, His Royal Highness, Prince Codarion, wishes to invite you to a speech by Calemos Laskareton."
At the mention of Calemos, both groups began staring daggers at each other, as the two spokesmen stared expectantly at Mythes, the escort blocked off by a wall of nobles.

"Sires!" Mythes held up his hands as if surrendering. "This is highly unusual to just ambush me with these invitations like this - though obviously the privilege of royalty to do so. As a low noble, I'm honoured by both invitations. ... I assume that the feast and the speech happen coincidently?" Mythes took a step towards the man who was called Inos by his peer and bowed slightly, "As much as the prospect of a feast sounds tempting, I fear I must respect Prince Codarion's seniority in this scheduling conflict."
Mythes made another step this time towards the man in green. Loud enough for the two sides to hear it, he said: "I have heard much about Calemos Laskareton already, some that I agree with, some which I don't. Tell his Royal Highness, I will be there and that I look forward to getting a first-hand impression."

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The Grene Knyght
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby The Grene Knyght » Wed Dec 07, 2022 9:15 am

The Multiversal Library wrote:The Royal Highway, Northern Outskirts of Eiselene
Finyeas swatted the crossbow out of Menhor's hand.
"Sweet Telaeus, Menhor! What the hell is the matter with you!"
Menhor muttered something about "goblins on the road" and bent down to pick up his crossbow as Finyeas turned to the two strangers.
"My sincerest apologies for my companion. Menhor can be a bit...paranoid at times. I am Finyeas Graceas Nikiani, scholar and historian, and this contentious fellow is Menhor Elthros, my friend and bodyguard."
Finyeas squinted his eyes at Dio, and then at Marsius.
"Do I...know you two? Perhaps from the Herodotaria?"
Recognition flashed in his eyes then, and he stepped forward, hand outstretched for a handshake.
"That's it! You're Hadrio's pupil, aren't you? The senator's daughter, right? Is that old dog around here somewhere? I've got a personal invite from His Highness, Prince Aden, to join us on the expedition! Oh, what a fortunate coincidence, wouldn't you agree Menhor?"
Menhor merely grunted as he retrieved his bolt from the tree.

“Oh it’s… you!” cried Dio, trying and failing to recall who the man before her was. “Finyeas. Of course. I’m Diogenia.”
Dio introduced the other students of Hadrio who formed their small company.
“We were attacked!” she explained, “By goblins! Rhetor Hadrio isn’t with us. We heard of some interesting ruins here, and we had set off alone from the city.” Some pointed glares from Dio’s fellows established clearly exactly whose idea that was.
“But an expedition?” Dio’s eyes shone with excitement. “You couldn’t mean… that is to say, are you by any chance… Do you have an invitation for the expedition to Minascenae?”
She could barely contain her eagerness. She didn’t even stop to establish whether this was indeed the expedition he referred to.
“Are you going there now? How did you get an invitation? When does it leave? You're right, this is a fortunate coincidence.”
[_★_]
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The Multiversal Library
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby The Multiversal Library » Mon Jan 09, 2023 11:53 am

The Royal Highway, Northern Outskirts of Eiselene
Dio's excitement was clearly infectious, as Finyeas was practically jumping up and down in a manner that could only be described as girly.
"I do have an invitation to the Minascenae expedition, I'm going there now, and I have no idea how I got an invitation!"
A stifled laugh from Menhor caused Finyeas to stop his joyful jumping and compose himself.
"Ahem, but yes, I do have Hadrio's invitation with me right here," he patted a small satchel on his side for emphasis, "and I think you and your peers here will be quite happy to know that His Highness has allowed us scholars to take as many assistants and apprentices as we need to accurately catalogue all that we find in that ancient city."
The distant sound of Goblinspeak could be heard, and Menhor motioned that it was time to get going. After a quick gulp of fear, Finyeas spoke again.
"But, ah, I think it best if we continue this conversation within the safety of Eiselene, don't you?"


Palátiou Telaíouyios, Eiselene
The large man in green smirked smugly at Inos as he draped his arm across Mythes' shoulder as if they were old friends.
"Your wisdom knows no bounds, your lordship, for all know that Prince Codarion is truly the most enlightened thinker of our time, and let it be known that I, Eivralus Hylecanthir, said that!"
As Eivralus very forcibly led Mythes away from Inos, the younger man scowled as another noble walked up to him.
"Now why did we have to fawn over some dead foreigner's half-elven spawn as if he was a conquering hero?"
Inos spat in the direction of Eivralus and Mythes before turning to his friend.
"He holds some sway with those freeloaders outside the walls, and His Royal Highness Prince Tharlimon wants to make sure that they'll stay out of the way when the old man bites it. Speaking of biting it, we still have a banquet to attend."

Laïkó Fóroum, Eiselene
Eivralus led Mythes to the Laïkó Fóroum, a large but simple amphitheater where all are welcome to debate and speak. And the one speaking was Calemos Laskareton, called a rebel by the nobility and a savior by the lower classes. So many had come to see Calemos speak that Eivralus had to throw his considerable weight around to make an opening as he fought to get both himself and Mythes to the section reserved for Prince Codarion and his retinue, the red rose of Eiselene surrounded by a green garland on their tabards showing them as Codarion's people. Upon finally reaching the prince, Eivralus bowed deeply and began to introduce Mythes, but was interrupted by the deafening cheer coming from the crowd. Calemos Laskareton had taken the stage at the center of the amphitheater.
Smiling, Calemos looked over the crowd, saw Prince Codarion, and bowed his head slightly before raising his hands for silence. When the crowd settled down, he began to speak.
"My fellow countrymen, I thank you for coming here today, in this forum of free debate and speech, to hear how the current system is failing!"
A few people chuckled at this, but quickly quieted as Calemos continued.
"Many of you are freemen, laborers, and merchants, but I feel that you should know that today you rub elbows with slaves who risk mutilation and death to simply see what you all see without fear of harm! Even His Royal Majesty, King Leoryx IV sees this, as his son, Prince Codarion is here today!"
Many turned to face Prince Codarion, when a twang echoed out, shortly followed by a scream. One of Calemos' guards grasped a crossbow bolt piercing his throat before falling.
"Forward! Kill these rebel scum and the False Prince!"
The command came from the golden-plated and crested-helmeted figure leading an entire battalion of Golden Guards into the Laïkó Fóroum, slaughtering all who attempted to flee. A Golden Guard broke through the crowd to attempt to run Codarion through, only to be struck down by a man wearing Codarion's colors.
"Rally, rally to the Prince! Death to Tharlimon and his goons!"
While many of the crowd were trampled or slain attempting to flee, some broke off and formed up with Codarion's and Calemos' guards and began battling the Golden Guards, with cries of "Codarion!" and "Tharlimon!" ringing out as the two forces clashed.

The Royal Barracks, Eiselene
A middle-aged man sat behind a desk, one leg replaced with a wooden peg-leg, and looked up when he heard Edwyd and his fellow Northmen coming.
"You must be the Northmen I was told to expect. Shit, you lot look like, well, shit. Mess rooms that way," he pointed down a hall where the sounds of talking and clinking plates could be heard, "or if you just need rest, the Aristokyrion's Suite has been set aside for you and your men. Supposedly Aristokyrion Kalysandros and his men once slept there, and it's a tad bit nicer than the main barracks. It's right through that door there-"
The banging open of a door startled Hephron into silence as the Royal Guardsmen who had escorted Edwyd to the barracks ran back in, having left to calm things down in the market.
"Tharlimon and Codarion's men are fighting in the Laïkó Fóroum! It's a massacre! The King's ordered us to contain it and restore the peace."
Hephron sighed, before pressing a button on the wall behind him. Immediately, the sound in the mess hall stopped as the Royal Guard began streaming to the armory and out the doors to form up into neat marching formations. Hephron turned back to Edwyd.
"You lot can rest, the Royal Guard will deal with this."
Last edited by The Multiversal Library on Thu Jan 12, 2023 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Observation Post 13
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Observation Post 13 » Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:49 am

Willis Philips rode his horse up the cobblestone path leading to the gates of Eiselene. He had been journeying for days, and was eager to join Prince Aden's expedition to Minascenae. He was dressed for battle, wearing a suit of polished steel armour, a shield strapped to his back, a sword at his hip, and a spellbook tucked into his belt.

The outskirts of the city were littered with the dead remains of goblins that had been slain in previous battles. As he rode further into the city, he could see a huge fight taking place at Laïkó Fóroum, a large but simple amphitheater. The Golden Guards were locked in battle with Codarion's and Calemos' guards.

Willis urged his horse forward, ready to join the fight. He took out his sword and shield and prepared for the battle. As he galloped towards the center of the arena, he could see the intensity of the fight and the desperation of Codarion's retinue to survive the onslaught. He knew he had to join them in order to tip the scales in their favor.

Willis charged forward, sword and shield in hand. He swung his sword with precision and strength, cutting down the enemies before him. He used his shield to deflect incoming attacks and protect himself from harm. He also used his spellbook to cast spells of protection and healing, bolstering the morale of Codarion's guard and helping them to fight with renewed strength.
Last edited by Observation Post 13 on Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Multiversal Library
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Left-Leaning College State

Postby The Multiversal Library » Thu Jan 12, 2023 11:56 am

Laïkó Fóroum, Eiselene
The Golden Guard, Kyradímonas in Minascenaean, are the inheritors of a great martial legacy. Each one of their members can trace their lineage back to the greatest army of the greatest empire in the world, the Hundred Minascenaen Legions, specifically Legion VII 'Spáthaton Aristokyrion' a.k.a. the Swords of the Aristokyrion. Out of all the various militias and private guards on the island of Avhasia, only the Golden Guard may be called a professional force, with a single regiment often enough to break a greenskin siege. Yet none of them were prepared for the madman riding into the rear of their formation, cutting through the surprised guards with ease. Until the ones in the rear quickly reformed and turned towards this new attacker. A third of the surviving Golden Guards formed a phalanx and moved to slowly encircle Willis in a ring of very sharp spears, as the rest held off their invigorated foes.
Prince Codarion, meanwhile, remained in his seat nursing a very expensive wine. Seeing his men suddenly fight harder, he chuckled to himself.
"Theurgy, perhaps? No, just hedge-magery."
Seeming to remember that he had invited Mythes to sit with him, he turned to him and said, "Ah, but Mythes, may I call you Mythes? Let's talk about a productive partnership you and your people can have with me if you support my claim. Honestly, according to agnatic-cognatic primogeniture, I am the only proper heir, but my dearest younger brother has decided to invoke some old Minascenae law stating that I'm not "mentally fit" to rule. Rubbish, of course, but that's beside the point. How would you like to be a king?"

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Observation Post 13
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Founded: Nov 10, 2021
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Observation Post 13 » Thu Jan 12, 2023 12:20 pm

Laïkó Fóroum, Eiselene

Willis grinned and drew his sword, the blade glinting in the sunlight. He took a step forward and raised his blade, the Golden Guards flinching slightly at the sight of it. The air around him seemed to crackle with energy, and a sudden wind blew past, carrying with it the faint smell of ozone. With a mighty cry, Willis leapt forward, his sword slicing through the air like lightning. He twirled and slashed, parried and thrust, each move more graceful and deadly than the last. The Golden Guards were taken aback, but soon enough they rallied and readied their spears. In a single, synchronized motion, they thrust forward, aiming for Willis's center of mass. But Willis was too fast, and he easily dodged each one, his blade carving a path of destruction through their formation.

The Golden Guards were stunned by Willis’s sheer power, but their training and discipline quickly kicked in. They regrouped and started to move as one, forming defensive and offensive formations, covering each other’s flanks and protecting the weak. They were a formidable force, and Willis had to fight hard to keep up with the coordinated attacks. Soon, the battle had reached a stalemate, and it seemed that Willis was going to have to rely on his wits to win the day. He feinted left, drawing the Golden Guards’ attention, and then made a daring dash to the right. He quickly leapt over the stunned guards, and in a split second, he broke out of their encirclement.


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