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The history of Calradia IC


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#121 Wololo, ITZ NOT FUNNI!!!

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 12:27

I woke up to the sound of muffled speech and a loud knock on the door.. Still half-asleep I stood up and stumbled towards what I thought must be the door. It was still dark outside so I fell over and bumped face forward into the wooden wall. My mind cleared from the sudden pain in my head I finally found the door. In front of me only dimly lit by the moon, stood a group of villagers. Marek, a middle-aged man in his late 30s, already balding but still stronger than most of the men in the village, muscles hardened from the daily farm working and woodcutting got pushed forward by his wife. He stood infront of me hesitating to speak. "Eh...Karel...what you said about the soul... and the..the heaven and all that..", he stammered "You know how Alla was ill and the herbera couldn't help? Eh well...she died just an hour ago and you said that if we let you put magic water on her she'd have it good. Please come quickly and baptzishish her!"

"It is 'baptize' Marek and yes of course I will come, let me grab my coat and some holy water."

I wasn't sure wether baptizing dead people was allowed. Fairly sure it wasn't, but this was important to Marek's family and if it would bring them closer to god and the church. I would have to take the risk of bending the rules of baptism. I was sure god would forgive me, since I was only trying to save some souls. More elaborate explanations could follow later when the villagers had found to the true faith. We made our way to through the village and as we walked towards Marek's house I could see people peeking out of their windows and doors. We entered Marek's house, a small wooden cabin, but large enough for a family of five. At least for rural vaegirian standards. They led me over to a straw bed. The girl lying on it was reeking of pestilence as if the devil itself had puffed his foul breath into her. That was nonsense of course, I knew the girl and she did nothing to deserve this, she was a pagan sure, but I refused to believe that god would be so cruel as to punish children for a choice they never got to make. The smell was awful, but I didn't let it show. I leaned over and poured some water over her hair.
"In the name of the one and only God and his holy prophet Homerus.. and in the name of the holy vaegirian church I baptize this child. Just like Homerus told the people of calradia to come to him and to bring their children, you shall come to God and find peace."

As I finished I thought to see a light flickering in Alla's eyes. Marek must have seen it too, because he had taken his fur cap off and was kneeling next to the bed holding Alla's hand. The rest of the family was also kneeling down. It seems I had planted the seed of faith in the simple minds of these Vaegirs. God must've recognized my efforts in saving these poor people's souls. Light had come to the darkness of the vaegirian plains.

Edited by Wololo, 04 April 2014 - 14:04.


#122 Lord_Anden, ArchDuke of Vintroth

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 13:37

"Give them a reason to fight eachother? We must avoid larger powerblocks with a decent chance of succes from forming, and if they do, separate them. Meanwhile, we must create and reinforce our own power block carefully and slowly so our enemies cannot do the same to us."

 

Roran did once again have a point. Lyonell drank from his wine, thinking.

Larger powerblocks are more dangerous, that was true. But if they could be weakened, its possible that it might be worth it.

 

Not placing his glass down Lyonell said "Though, if we would launch two powerblocks into war, it leaves a larger possibility for us to create a powerblock of our own, with the promise of peace and prosperity!"

Taking another sip from the wine before placing it on the table Lyonell then continued.

"With that promise we could, depending on the outcome finish up the winner of the conflict."

 

Lyonell knew he was playing with risks in these plans. Before, when it only mattered the Duchy of Vintroth and the area around it, it was easy to plan out events, atleast compared to now. One can only do so much when options are limited. However, with an entire Empire, there are too many players and options.

 


#123 Tywin, Veteran of the Stormcrows Mercenary Company

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 15:29

Blackhaven: The Portents of War

 

He, Tywin, once a Lord of House Lannister, founder and leader of the mightiest mercenary company to ever walk Calradia, put to shame. Unbelievable. Waves of pure anger floated the Captain of the Blackhaven Guard as he left the General's quarters. No. No longer Captain. Just Sergeant, now. He paused, leaning against a wall, breathing heavenly, his pale face glowing reddish. The damn youngsters got no respect anymore. Rebelling, won't listen to orders. Let's see how they would manage on their own. He would no longer put up with their shit. He had resigned from the Captain's rank.

Captain or not, he got business to do. Tywin took a moment to calm down, then continued to his brigade's barracks. At least the old crew was still loyal to the bone. Once inside the building, Sergeant Tintin and several others came to greet him. They had not seen him since he had returned from his journey south.

His friends looked interrogative. "Will explain later", he said, then louder:

"Listen up, guys. His royal majesty of Calradia got his skull crushed at his own tourney. The Emperor is dead!"

Excited chitchat floated the hall. The news had not come so far north yet.

"What now?", one of the soldiers asked, sitting shocked above his meal.

"War, I'd guess. Trouble always means war, one way or another.", Croaker grumbled from behind.

Tywin nodded grimly. The General wanted the troops to get ready. That would mean war, on the long term.

"We will move out in one week. Get your stuff ready and make sure your weaponry is in good shape!"

The old brigade growled cheerfully. Sitting around was boring, and being bored was even worse than fighting a war. At least you thought so when you were not fighting.

"So. The old company on the road again.", stated Tintin, a dim smile on his lips. 


#124 Colonel_Will

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 01:41

Will returned to the brigade barracks after returning from delivering his letter he had found out of Tywin's resignation he walked up to him and saluted.

"Ah, Tywin. My condolences for the demotion its quite a said affair. You of course was and still is a superb tactical commander." Will shrugged.

"But Sergeant is not a bad position sir. Its much better than a mere fourth in command of the brigade. All I have is my platoon of knights. Besides Tintin and I will always support you as we did in the old company. Oh and my platoon is back in your service"

Will took of his plate and mail gaunlets and toyed with them in one hand.

"Also Sergeant, I brought this up to the Governer but the Duchy of Vintroth hasn't reacted with major actions since the emperour's like some of the other duchies such like the other duchies and patriarchs. They might be planning something...." Will glanced slightly raising an eyebrow.

"What do you make of it?"


#125 Roran 13, Sandorra's practice target

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 08:02

"Yes we could... But ofcourse it will be dangerous. There's always a risk to war, and the point is taking the right risks. And before you ask, you'll only know what the right ones are when the war's been fought." He replied with a sly smile playing around his lips. Sitting next to the young man made him feel old, despite that he hardly was a decade older. He knew he was sitting next to an ambitious conqueror, but would he also be as succesful in the battlefield of intruiges?

 

The easiest way to stop any major powerblocks from forming was to discourage from the current powerblocks from forming large alliances. The electorate states were obvious targets to sow dissent amongst, but the larger archduchies should certainly not have their share of it. But someone would have to do that. Someone whose integrity would be unquestionable, someone whose creativity and skill would be sufficient enough not to let anyone suspect they were behind this. He didn't know anyone that had both of these qualities, but he knew someone with one of them, and that would have to do.

 

Toying with a piece of stew-soaked bread before eating it, as he actually had eaten enough, he tried imagining what'd happen first in this conflict, and who would make a grab for the throne the earliest.

Edited by Roran 13, 18 February 2014 - 08:03.


#126 Lord_Anden, ArchDuke of Vintroth

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 13:21

Lyonell took a moment to think.

Maybe he was planning to far ahead, maybe he should make a short term plan, not just focus on the outcome at the end of the road. Lyonell took another sip from his wine.

 

"We need a plan of some sort, a plan to follow. Lets start with a focus, I'd say that forming a powerblock of our own would be the first step."

 

A block of peace might not be what it sounds like, considering that even the peaceful need to defend themselves. Lyonell knew this, but both the formation and managing of such a block wouldn't be an easy task.


#127 Roran 13, Sandorra's practice target

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 21:34

He nodded, and was about to answer, when one of his squires gently tapped on his shoulder, seeking his attention. Roran gave the young lad a harsh look, before the boy disappeared, and then offered his liege an apologetic smile. "My attention is required elsewhere my duke. Please excuse me." He said, already standing up. He didn't realy care that he should ask for permission first, or that it was extremely rude to leave just like this in the middle of a conversation. He had gained the reputation as a rough man, and that allowed him privileges like this. Thereby, that squire of his hardly dared to speak to him for that very reason. If he dared interrupt him in a conversation with his liege something bad had to be going on.

 

Once he arrived in his personal chambers he found some knights and a single vassal of his gathered there. "What's the problem?" Roran asked, straightforward as ever. The squire who had led him here seemed to shrink against the wall as the vassal spoke. "I've heard that local resistance against the Vintrothian capture have found monetary support from an unknown source recently near my hold in the County of Vyincourd. They have managed to succesfully capture my holdings after a rapid attack. The rebels now control the only road South of the Yaragar river and North of the Cullmar ridge. If we're expecting war, then this is most likely an opening move, and a bold one, may I add." Roran gave the man a reprimanding look, knowing that that would be all that was necessary for his vassal to realize the results of his mistakes. "It's simple then. We march for Targay Hold and will recapture the road. Warn the Archduke of the situation, and that I'll solve it. Also call all levies in the county of Vyincourd. Order them to be gathered at the bridge of the South Yaragar river. That'll be all." He ordered everyone present in the room, while walking towards his personal quarters. 

 

His rooms in Uxkhal were large compard to those he had owned in Vintroth Castle, and they allowed for a bit more luxury, such as the empty wooden bathtub standing on the ground a meter to his right. Instead, he went for the large wooden closet across the room and changed his expensive brocade vest for a more practical doublet with maille to fill up the gaps in his suit of 'armure blanc'. His squire was already gathering the different pieces of the revolutionary plate armour as he strolled back into the main room. 

 

"What'r you waiting for, boy?"


#128 Lord_Anden, ArchDuke of Vintroth

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 16:51

Lyonell was on his way to his chambers with the steward after his breakfast, discussion and rather rude but accepted end of the discussion with Roran.

 

Just as he was opening the door he heard a voice.

 

"Your grace!"

Closing the door again and turning around, clearly annoyed by whoever it was interrupting him and the steward.

He saw one of Roran's Vassals.

He told Lyonell of what had happened and that Roran was going to deal with it. He bowed and left going back the way he came.

 

Lyonell turned back and opened the door, heading inside his chambers with the steward.

He walked over to a chest and opened it. He took out a small velvet bag from the chest before closing it again. Ignoring the chatter of the steward for a moment.

He sat down at his desk, opened the bag and poured what it contained onto the desk. Rings in gold, silver and iron. Each one engraved with his name and title. The steward was quiet now, waiting for Lyonell.

Lyonell took a piece of parchment and placed it infront of him. He wrote,

 

"My chambers, now, before you leave.

-ArchDuke Lyonell"

 

He folded the parchment and sealed it. He picked up an iron ring and stood up.

"Steward, get a servant to give this to Lord Roran, ring and letter."

The Steward took the ring and letter, went outside the chambers and soon he came back without them. Lyonell was seated again at his desk.

"An iron ring your grace? If you don't mind me asking."

"Yes, its an old Vintrothian custom, I almost forgot about it, but now as I remembered, I thought I could use it again."

 

Lyonell had planned on starting using this old wasteful custom again when he took back Vintroth and the land that was rightfully his, he had forgotten until now though.

 

The old custom was quite simple. If you sent a letter or requested a meeting you sent your letter and a ring engraved with ones name.

You sent a gold ring to those that outranked you, a silver one to those of equal rank or unknown rank. An iron ring to those that were below your rank.

One was also supposed to offer the ring back during the next meeting, the owner could then choose to take it back as one normally did, or force the receiver to keep the ring. One could put up the rings received on a stall or put them in a bowl to show who is seeking who.

A great deal of iron rings would show that a lot of higher ranking folk are looking for ones thoughts or company. A great deal of silver rings would show ones great social circle and a great deal of gold rings would show that ones subjects care to keep in touch with their liege or other higher ranking folk. 

 

Then there were other kinds of rings, wood, leather, bone, horn and so on. All with different meanings.

Lyonell sat there, smiling to the memory of his father forcing him to learn the useless system as he collected the rings and put them back into the bag.

Edited by Lord_Anden, 11 March 2014 - 16:52.


#129 Roran 13, Sandorra's practice target

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 21:43

Grumbling Roran made his way to his lord's quarters, and arrived there, dressed in his full suit of armour, his spurrs already attached, with a considerable frown on his face. "You called for me, my liege?" He said between clenched teeth. If there was anything he didn't like, it was being called to someone's lap like a servant. Despite that, Archduke Lyonell was his liege, and he'd do exactly the same to any knight beneath him. He'd have to bear with it he guessed. The iron ring clenched in his hand was something of an intersting artefact. He had heard of the widespread tradition of the nobility in the past, several hundreds of years ago. It had been customary at the court of Evan the Great who had for the first time created a lasting Vaegir Kingdom by introducing the feodal system in the chaos that was the chiefdoms. It was an interesting way to promote communication in the realm, and keep everyone in check because they sought prestifue through the rings. Sadly, the tradition had died down not much later than Evan died.


#130 Lord_Anden, ArchDuke of Vintroth

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:06

By the time Roran entered, the old Steward had left. Roran was frowning, clearly annoyed.

 "You called for me, my liege?"

 

Lyonell stood up and made his way around the table, holding a small note.

"I know you are eager to leave, but a minute here or there wont change much. Now, I called you here for three reasons. One, I want this finished quick, therefore I want you to take a part of the garrison here and partly raise the levy at Vintroth." Lyonell handed the note over, it was for the garrison commander who would refuse without it.

 

"Second, make sure they understand what happen if they rebel against Vintroth, make them pay for defying my house. That way it shouldn't happen again. Thirdly, I'll leave for Suno later today or tomorrow, I need to be there for the Emperors burial."

 

Lyonell knew as everyone else that he, together with all other Dukes of the Empire had to be there to pay their respects. It was going to be well guarded and even if something were to happen it would raise the entire empire against whoever the attacker would be.

True, he could have told Roran all this in a letter, but no, he did not like to use letters for contact when its about important matters, and even less when it was in the same keep. This way, Roran could also respond if he would wish, even though it was more of an order than anything else.

Edited by Lord_Anden, 20 March 2014 - 11:10.


#131 Roran 13, Sandorra's practice target

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 13:48

"Understood, my liege. I shall make an example of the rebells near Vyoncourd castle. The road will be clear again in about three days. The Vintroth levy will preent itself here at that time." He replied, and left the room with a professional salute. Walking down the countless stairs again he arrived at the stables, ignoring the looks of the occasional noblewoman or servant he met on the way. All the noble lords were busy with the oncoming war. Not that all of them realized it would be... Down at the stables he mounted his destrier and drove out of the keep's gates with his retinue of knights. The iron-clad column attracted a lot of attention and cheers as they rode through the town towards the outer walls. As a mercenary captain his welcoming had often been quite different. Back then he had been welcomed by curious children and fearful people, but now he was cheered on by a public of young townsgirls and children alike. Once outside of the bustling town he made way for the bridge near Yaragar. That'd be their staging point for this expedition. 


#132 Lord_Anden, ArchDuke of Vintroth

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 12:57

A few days after Lyonell's departure from Uxkhal.

All the rambling of priests and then the Emperors burial was annoying at best and it took its time. The emperor was a good man though, and Lyonell did give a respectful speech in his honour. For the first burial of an emperor, they had not wasted more money then expected even though it was still more money then needed.

 

Lyonell entered his chambers. He sat down and wrote a letter.

Almost all the Duchies of the Empire were old. Even Vintroth was in the sense of its history, however, it was considered new by most as it just regained its power and land. The newest of Duchies were however, the Duchy of Kelredan. Duke James had proved himself in the year before the the formation of the Empire. He was a Count, but he had taken the title of Duke from his own liege after the King was killed. In the chaos no one really cared for it, but now, most other Dukes looked down on him. Therefore they didnt want anything to do with him, Lyonell however was not going to be that foolish. James was a similar man to Lyonell, he was just as ambitious and not as stupid as other Dukes thought, therefore he would know the importance of allies.

 

Lyonell sealed the letter and sent it to James together with a silver ring.


#133 Wololo, ITZ NOT FUNNI!!!

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 14:03

(Uh snap ! D:)

"Another day rose before me and coloured the vagierian plains in red. It was cold and I shivered as a freezing breeze lifted my soutane. It seemed unusually cold, but then again what would I know, it was always cold in vaegir and whenever I commented on how cold it was Marek only had a knowing grin in store for me. A reminder of how much colder it would become once winter descended upon the land. I made my way back to the church, it was time for the morning mass. People were already waiting infront of the church doors. Most of them greeted me warmly as I opened the door and let everyone in. The village had come to accept their new faith, Marek was very influential in the village so a lot of them followed his example when he and his family got baptized. Some of the more pragmatic ones seemed to at least prefer going to the mass over having to sacrifice good meat every now and again. I would show them the light soon enough, their willingness to listen to the holy word was enough for the time being. I started my sermon, but just as I was opening one of my holy books to read a story about the holy atlatus, the door was pushed open. Heads turned to see who was disturbing the mass.

 

An old woman, no a hag was standing in the doorway, it was beyond me how such a gaunt figure could open the heavy church doors with such force as she appeard to have. Her gnarled finger pointed at me across the church hall. "You...you dare challenge the true gods of these lands? Cower in fear mortal, you wouldn't be the first to feel their wrath! The gods are jealous beings, they won't tolerate a new pretender for their throne!". I hesitated, who was this woman? Was she the herbera? I always assumed she was a nice old lady only there to help the ill with herb pastes and selling fake potions. Noone had told me she was a religious figure.

 

I felt warmth rising from in my body, I hadn't had that feeling in a long time. Memories of gore and violence flashed before my eyes. This was different though, this wasn't the same uncontrolled rage of the savage, this was purer, holier. Divine rightful wrath must've gripped me, god was with me, he recognized the foe, the spawn of satan and came to aid me. "Get thee hence, demon! I compel you by the power of homerus!" The holy scripture in one hand, my other one a risen clenched fist I walked towards her. As I came closer fastening my pace, I could see the fear in her eyes. "Leave this place devil! Your presence befouls this church." I swung at her with the heavy book and she stumbled backwards and fell over. She sent hateful stares at me that might have caused a weaker mind to falter. As she realized her powers had no effect on me she got up and limped off hastily.

In hindsight that limp should've been prove enough of her evilness, all spawns of satan have to hide their hoofs with dark magic, such was the walk of her gnarled legs that her boots could only have held hoofs. It was obvious. Nonetheless I had banished her from the village, for good."

End of padre Karel's diary.

 

 

Oh how wrong he had been...

Edited by Wololo, 04 April 2014 - 18:23.


#134 Wololo, ITZ NOT FUNNI!!!

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 18:22

Weeks go by and the village had forgotten about the herbera's appearance at the church. By now almost everyone agreed that joining the new faith was a good idea, not only because padre Karel said it'll save our souls but also because most of the people preferred to keep the food they had instead of having to sacrifice part of it to the gods. Well the padre lived off what the village produced, but at least we saw him eat it instead of letting it rot somewhere or burning it.

My name is Marek, I am.. I was the father of 3 children and I have sworn to tell the story of Karel and my people.

It was getting colder and colder, Karel would comment on how could it was, but his pride didn't allow him to complain. The little southerner would experience the winter at the northern borders soon enough. He was a mysterious man, he seemed to be convinced that his faith was what made me and the others trust him. His enthusiasm and conviction was what convinced us. Even the older men that had seen enough preachers and false prophets wouldn't openly question him, they had seen the scars on his arms and his back. Karel hasn't always been a priest, he wasn't like the other weaklings that have come to us. We had never mistreated any of them, but they didn't understand our life either. They didn't want to hear of our struggles and only kept demanding things of us, their god was just as greedy as the ones we had, the difference being that ours were ours, not those of a stranger. Karel changed that. Now we heard the stories of his god, the stories of his champions that Karel called saints, just as wonderous as our stories were, but most of them more compassionate, none of their saints raped and killed. Karel told me that all men are born in sin, noone is safe from the temptations of the devil, but good people will try to fight them. This was Karel's story, I could see it in his eyes, he had defeated the very demons he was speaking of. A trait truly admirable.

We lived our new life as christians, until one day a messenger from the hetman came. A pale skinny man on a horse, he told us to assemble the village so he could tell everyone the message from the hetman.
"People of this.... village,... does this shithole have a name? Don't tell me I don't care. The hetman has heard that this village has converted to christianity, he has therefor sent me to collect the church tax. I will collect a tenth of your property and you will pay a tenth of all your income each year from now on. Now someone bring me something to eat and some ale!"

 

That was outrageous. The hetman's job was to ensure the peace, the independent villages of the mountains and woodlands never had to pay taxes. Their life was hard enough with the cold winters and their sparse crops. Their only responsibility to the kingdom was to send men at times of war. It began to dawn on me that the hetman was trying to make a profit out of the clash of faiths arising throughout the vagier lands. I would have to talk to the other villages, we have sworn oaths to one another, but wether they would consider them binding towards someone of the new faith I couldn't tell yet. For now we would have to be careful not to give the hetman any reason to mistrust us.

"Bring the man to my house and give him something to eat. We can talk about the taxes later."

 

I could see the others were enraged just as much as I was, but I motioned them to stay calm for now.

(To be continued)
 

Edited by Wololo, 05 April 2014 - 12:00.


#135 Wololo, ITZ NOT FUNNI!!!

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 20:32

While some others kept the messengers busy in my house i called the men together to talk about our situation. Wlodek one of the farmers, a broad-faced wiry man with a bushy beard was particularly engraged.
"I didn't spill my blood against the nord for some lousy fields far away from home, just so that these twats can come and steal from me!"
"The old law guaranteed our independence, the borderlands never had to pay taxes, our duty was to protect the borders and send men to the hetman wielki at times of war, the hetman is definitely overstepping his rights. Maybe he thinks the old law doesn't apply because the oaths were sworn to the old gods."
Wlodek grunted, "Pah, I knew we shouldn't have trusted that priest, should've kept our own gods!"

"Blasphemy, Wlodek! You better shut your mouth, before you doom your own soul."

Karel had joined the group of men.

"Who do you think you are?! You brought us into this, your god is why the hetman thinks he can do what he wants! I won't have a southerner tell me what do!"

"Then perhaps you will have god's will tell you!"

Before I could react Karel had reached Wlodek, lifted him up and threw him to the ground amidst us. His eyes glowing fiercely he stood up above Wlodek, towering over him. Wlodek was too shocked to say anything.
"I will have noone abandon their souls as long as I am your shepherd! I am the fire that lights the darkness, I am god's servant and I will do his will no matter what."

Wlodek, stood up and went back into the circle of man looking down to the ground to avoid eye contact with Karel's glowing grey eyes.
"I suppose this is settled then. Either way I have to talk to the other villages. For now we will have to try to get rid of the hetman's messenger."

The men agreed, as if anyone would've dared to speak his mind after Karel's demonstration. I went over to my house to speak to the hetman's courir, who was just coming out of it.
"Good, good... your ale tastes surprisingly well, anyways where is the tax? I think I have given you enough time to provide at least a small sum to please the hetman until he comes himself to collect the rest."
"I am afraid we cannot give you anything right now, we barely have any money and the little we get for trading our wares we need to buy supplies for the winter. As you know the days are already becoming shorter and shorter, we need everything we have to survive."

"I have no time for your excuses, do you think you are the only one that has to get through the winter? You are christian and as such you have to pay."
"We will not pay any taxes. We have never paid our taxes in gold, we pay them in blood for the crown and we will continue to do so. Tell that the hetman."
"The hetman will not accept this, I will warn you a last time. You will face punishment if you refuse to act according to the hetman's will, he has been bestowed with the right to keep the peace as he sees fits by the king and the gods."
"His gods are not our gods anymore. Leave now."
He looked as if he wanted to say more, but he seemed to realize where he was and instead climbed back on his horse and rode off.

"I do not care for your earthly matters, but it seems the hetman is not a man of the true god. If this tax stands in the way of your people's faith, it stands in the way of god's will."

Karel had stood behind me the entire time unnoticed.
"Thank you Karel, but this is not your fight, we have handled our own affairs in the past and we will continue to do so."
"Careful Marek, this was not an offer. I am telling you god's will and neither you nor the hetman or any other mortal will stand in the way of god's plan for me. I will fulfill his divine commands, I will not fail on my quest."
It was pointless to argue with him. I nodded and walked off, there were preparations to be made and old alliances to be renewed.
 

Edited by Wololo, 28 May 2015 - 22:17.


#136 Wololo, ITZ NOT FUNNI!!!

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 22:26

Light snow was gathering on the roofs of the village. Winter was approaching and I shivered at the thought of long dark nights and of guard duty in the cold in constant fear of the hetman's men. I had failed in my task to call upon the old oaths of the other mountain clans. None of them were willing to send help right before winter and few of them had managed to hide their mistrust towards my new faith. The large tree in the centre of the village had lost all its leaves but a new fruit was hanging from one of the thick branches. It was the former herbera of the village, hung up with a thick rope around her neck. Wlodek who had joined me on my visit to the other clans spat out in the snow.

"Bloody priest is upsetting the old gods, too now. Making too many enemies Marek. I'm telling you, it better be that darned Karel hanging there next or it'll be us who pay the price for this new god nonsense."

 

"Quiet Wlodek. We've known each other since we were children. Trust me we don't need the other clans and that old hag was causing more problems than her herbs had ever solved. The hetman would be mad to try and attack us in the winter. His men would risk getting snowed in if they came here before spring."

 

Wlodek mumbled something in his beard, but turned towards his house. As did I, eager to meet my family. We had dinner and the small one told me all about how brave Karel had defeated the satanic wench and publicly hung her after dispelling her curses and magic words. Lying in bed I pondered over Wlodek's words. Perhaps I had been blinded by Karel's determination, but for now I needed him to give the villagers strength in the dark days and darker nights that lay before us.

Edited by Wololo, 28 May 2015 - 22:27.

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#137 Wololo, ITZ NOT FUNNI!!!

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 00:20

All was quiet but the steady howling of the cold winds sweeping through the valley. From my watchpost up the side of the mountain I could only as much as surmise the outskirts of the village. A single light from atop the church tower assured me my village was still there as it had been since my father's and my grandfather's days. The moon was hidden behind the mountains and in the dark it felt colder than it was. Snow was gathering around the watchpost, which was little more than a small wooden canopy dug into the hard soil making it almost impossible to spot from the outside. As I watched the snow gather I heard Bogdan, one of the three of us on guard duty, mutter something about having to dig out the watchpost in the morning. I nodded keeping my gaze on the village below. Not more but about a hundred souls, as Karel liked to put it, lived down there. He had tried to take on guard duty a few times, but gave up after he realized how much colder it was up here. Despite his determination he was a southerner afterall. Not as soft as others but a southerner nonetheless.

 

"I still wonder who cut down the herbera."

 

"What does it matter? We wouldn't want dead meat hanging around the village anyways, once the wolves around here get hungry."

 

"Still Karel said not to get her down. Someone was willing to risk angering Karel. It's not good if people still have ties to the old gods."

 

Bogdan sniffed and blew some frozen snot and mucus out of his nose. He had a closer look at his nasal discharge and I could make out a satisfied grin in the dim light of the candle we had lit. He didn't care much for what happened in the village as long as it didn't interfere with his pursuits of the village girls. Tihomir didn't respond at all. He was a devout follower of the new faith, but didn't speak much ever since his wife had died. At least his faith had gotten him out of his house again. He was an experienced hiker and knew the mountains better than a lot of us. My musing was interrupted by snow crunching under heavy boots. Tihomir looked at me, but I motioned him to stay seated and got up to look who it was myself. I hadn't seen anyone, which meant it was someone from the village. The small passage along the side of the valley was hidden by rock formations and shrubbery, only known to people from the village. It was also the only safe way to the village we couldn't oversee from the watchpost. Avoiding it would have meant building the watchpost quite a long way further up the mountain. I went outside the back of the enclosed canopy to see the broad figure of Wlodek stand infront of me a torch in his left hand.

 

"What is it Wlodek? Put out that torch you are making it easy to spot us."

"Couldn't really walk up here without any light, if I don't want to break my legs."

"Which is why you shouldn't have come. What is it?"

"I need to talk to you. About Karel."

 

He tried to spit out into the snow but his lips were dry from the cold so most of it landed in his beard freezing to it almost immediately.

 

"What's with him? I doubt you had to come up here to chat about him."

"Marek, we need to get rid of him. He is angering the gods and the hetman. If you won't do it I will."

"Damn it Wlodek, we've talked about this already. Karel's god is our god now. You've seen what his god can do. He is better than the old gods ever were."

"I feared you might say something like that."

 

Just now I noticed the axe hanging from his belt.

 

"I will kill him now and rid us of his false god Marek."

"You know I won't let you do that Wlodek."

"I know."

 

I heard a buzzing noise and a short scream from inside the watchpost behind me. Before I could become aware of what happened Wlodek burst into motion whipping out his axe while discarding the torch and quickly lunging at me. I barely managed to fumble my sword out of its sheath before his axe came swinging at my chest in a wide arc. I brought my sword inbetween me and the axe and the force of the blow nearly knocked it out of my hands. Stumbling backwards I regained my footing, Wlodek coming after me again swinging the axe, this time in an overhead motion aimed at my head. A quick sidestep brought me out the way and I thrust my sword into Wlodek's exposed side. He gasped then retched, clawing at me with one hand whilst trying to free his axe from the wooden post of the watchpost it had been driven into. I drove my sword deeper into his side and he coughed up blood, his clawing hand scratching across my face leaving trails of pain on my cheeks. His efforts faded and he fell down. I struggled to free my blade, finally wrenching it free as I became aware of quick steps crushing snow behind me. I whirled around to see a massive axe coming at me. Before I had brought my sword back up, the world tumbled upside down, a headless torso spinning in and out of sight. My head stopped spinning and I watched as a familiar body slumped into the snow, light arterial blood gushing from its neck, before everything faded into darkness.

Edited by Wololo, 09 June 2015 - 01:43.


#138 Welsh_Lad, All i want for the New Year is an Elli Haloo

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 08:28

The glory days of the people who call themselves Rhodoks where behind them. The king had grown old and mad in the years following the rebellion from the Swadian Empire. The farms were going without maintenance and becoming inefficient as the kings administration took a decidedly Jelkala focus. This of course has led to peasant rebellions in the land along with army desertions. Amongst these deserters was Kalym. Kalym had once been amongst the Marksmen of the Rhodok Army until his family had starved thanks to an especially hard winter coupled with a lack of supplies sent from the capital. 

"Oi, Marlu come over `ere" Shouted Kalym asking for his friend who had fought with him in the consolidation war of 1378 against the Swadians following the successful 1365 uprising against the empire. 
"What yer found ay" 
"You`re gonna wanna see this" 
Both men almost couldn't believe their luck when they found a cart carrying the maintenance cost in gold for the city of Jelkala.
"`ow much ya reckons `ere then Kalym?"
"Gotta be at least 50,000 denars"
Both men then consolidated that they should keep it away from the other deserters in the camp, then when the morn come they should ride of with it into Vaegir lands. A fatal error they had not judged was that the journey could take as long as 2 years through the deserts of the Sarranids and the steppes of the Khergits, as of course they dare not venture into Swadian lands. 

When the two men woke up you quickly dressed and set out from the deserter camp which composed of around 40 men, many of these men had deserted with Kalym following the winter. "It`s `ere Kalym, hahah we are rich" 
"Not yet boyo, we gotta long way to go" 
So they began pulling the cart out of the ditch which it had fallen into. With it lifted up out Kalym went to fetch a couple horses to help ease the journey that lay ahead of them. When Kalym returned Marlu helped fix the horse into the trailer of the cart and they mounted up ready to go. The all of a sudden Rhodok Sergeants shouted from out in the bushes, glaives ready they were obviously here to collect the toppled cart before any mountain bandit came. What they hadn't accounted for was that a company of deserters would find the gold first. "Put that cart down and get of yer `orse lad" exclaimed the captain of the troop of Rhodok soldiers. ""Aight, were gettin` down arnt we" The two men Kalym and Marlu stepped down from their horses. However Marlu stepped behind the cart obviously gathering the crossbows they had ready loaded in case of bandits earlier. With but 3 shots he knew he would have to aim for the correct men. As the Rhodok troops emerged out of the bushes fighting started back towards the deserter camp and Marlu and Kalym knew this was their chance of escape. Marlu shot a bolt straight into the necks of the sergeants who appeared out of the bushes. Kalym and Marlu then quickly mounted up and head in the direction of the Sarranid lands in search of refuge from their own mad king.

Edited by Welsh_Lad, 10 June 2015 - 11:06.





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