1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Blood on the Field of Lilies

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Nuka-sama, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,162
    Location:
    Within the realm of impossibility
    Joyous Gard and its Environs:


    Joyous Gard: The Du Lac’s ancestral home, built by Lancelot himself. It sits upon a hill by Lake Mothira, across from the Abbey. A series of flying butresses and the towers on top give the appearance of rising out of the water, a fairy castle made real through fearsome magic.


    Lake Mothira: According to the Church, Saint Geoffrey slew a sea monster in this lake in the name of the Lord, bathed in its blood, had a vision from God and went on to beatback an invasion by an army of mounted barbarians set to sweep through the continent and turn the sea red with the blood of the pious folk. Is this the truth or internal Church politicking? Who knows. Either way, many pilgrims come to the lake, hoping for a vision or a cure to their ailments, and the city of Bordeu and the Abbey make a profit in selling relics and cures.


    The Abbey of Pentherve: As penance for taking his wife Guinevere from her vows,Lancelot built a large extravagant abbey across from his castle. Several centuries ago, it became the center of a Church reform movement that sought to make the Church more active in people’s lives (which meant charity and of community outreach). It attracted a large flock of faithful and not soon after, the Lake by which it was built was recognized a holy site.


    The Forests of Silence: The Forests of Silence is one of the final frontier of wild magic, one of the last places on earth where wild things still roam. Weeping bells, bloody hydrangeas, Death worms, Stalking Shadow Bats, the undead, kelpies, and in the deepest parts of the forests lie things yet unnamed and unknown. Few dare to travel far within the forest. It is said the only way to reach the center of the forest is to become one with the wild, to hear the tiny crunch as the stalking shadow bat treads on a leaf, or feel the way the shadows shift and the wind moves. The Du Lacs once had a ritual before taking the geas in which the presumptive heir would spend three days deep in the forest and had to survive to return home. This practice was eventually abandoned, though there are some who suggest it is what made the Du Lac family great, and that it embodied the spirit of struggle that characterizes Taliese.

    During the tyrant’s reign, a group of bandits known as the Merry Men operated in the edges of the forest, stealing from the emperor to feed the destitute. The forest as well as the Duc’s tacit approval helped save the Merry Men until their disbandment after the civil war.


    Santomal: The only port city worth mentioning in Pentherve, there is an old joke known throughout the duchy attached to it: “From the city gates to the piers, a traveller will be swindled thrice, pickpocketed twice and stabbed once”. While overblown, this reputation comes from the cities status as a privateering haven, and all the criminal activity those who operate outside the law attract. The Du Lacs have long bristled at having such a shameful trade within their borders but their ability to clamp down was hindered by the fact that one third of all the gold privateers made went to the Emperor, who was extremely vested in making sure nothing touched this source of gold. In the end, Galahad’s great grandfather made the situation somewhat more respectable by simply parking his army in the city to act as a second city guard, replacing the corrupt city guard, and inflicting a variety of cruel punishments on those he deemed corrupt (the punishments included boiling in oil, being dissolved in acid, burning alive, whipping the skin off, pulling apart by horses). In the end, the emperor not wanting to be seen taking the side of criminals against a vassal and Du Lac facing the censure of the Church for his methods came to an agreement - the Du Lacs would scale back their involvement in the affairs of the City and the Emperor would allow them a share of the gold. Whilst the torture itself was ineffective, bringing a formalized and organized set of procedures, as well as oversight to the city guard did make the city barely civilized.


    Bordeu: The capital of Pentherve, it was built around the castle Joyous Gard. A thriving city, and the cultural center of the duchy, where bards gather to sing praises of heroes long past, and where the image of chivalry and heroism Pentherve is known for is most carefully cultivated. There are several attractions to be found in Bordeu. One is the Colosseum, built in better days for the Du Lacs. A large arena seating up to ten thousand, all manners of tournaments and jousts are held here, and competition is fierce. For the Colosseum does not simply hold tournaments, it only holds tournaments with the elites of the elites. In order to ensure that the standards of quality are met, a Master of Arms challenges every applicant who wishes to enter the tournies here. In addition, the Du Lacs have been known to love experimenting with all manner of challenges and shower particularly entertaining fighters with gold. During the tyrant’s reign, the Colosseum fell into disrepair because there weren’t enough ticket sales to maintain it, mostly because nobody had any money. The capital is also the administrative center where all bureaucratic concerns are brought and where cases are brought to court for a legal judgment.
     
    Nuka-sama likes this.
  2. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,571
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    Locations of Montcastel

    Field of Mothlillies

    The scent of mothlilies inspire ferocious hunger and desires. Perhaps, it is fortunate that they only grow here in the most wretched of altitudes.

    The peasants have organized themselves to keep visitors away from these locations, but foolish adventurers continue to journey here in search of hidden treasures. They fall prey to the moth-hunger. Their own treasures lie on the field alongside the bones.

    And so, the cycle continues.


    Mauvais Bois

    The pines grow thick as hairs on a dog's back. The airs of the inner wood are chokingly thick with resin and dust. It is said that, at the dawn of time, a great Lightseeker Moth made its perch upon the tallest tree in this forest. In its blackest hearts, we may be able to find the tree where this dappled creature met with its peers. It will be charred black and split in half from lightning and rotting with finger-sized worms.

    Lumiere Abbey

    Jacques Lumiere, an old ancestor of the current Duc, spent much of his unsavory gotten wealth on the creation of this monumental, forest crowded abbey in Montcastel. Their ways are not exactly orthodox. They celebrate a certain harvest festival with unsavoury vigor.

    Nestled into the forest like a jewel box smuggled in a green robe, a great yew rises in the chapel-courtyard. Beside it is a granite altar, lidded like a sarcophagus. It is marked with moth-reliefs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
    Nuka-sama and jackelgull like this.
  3. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,912
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Le Chateauguay

    The Seat of House D’Antan, Cheateaguay overlooks the Sornel river at a particularly lazy part of the torrent. Only a few league from the prosperous town of Pitre, which is part of the traditional domain of the Seigneure Chateauguay. The castle itself is built on a rocky promontory in the middle of the river, and controlling the span of a bridge the length of the river, which no doubt replaces the ancient ford for which the castle is named. A series of solid defensive towers serve as gatehouses for the bridge, one of two crossing of the river for leagues in either direction.

    The Keep itself is surrounded by solid curtain walls, which also protect a small castle-town, a blacksmith, a chapel, stables, and housing for the Levies. IN the time that the D’Antan family has owned the castle, rumors fly that the lower levels of the dungeons have been converted into complex laboratories and archives, with glass mechanisms to reflect the light of the sun downwards into the darkened halls.

    Ghosts haunt Chateauguay. Not many have seen them, but none doubt that they are there. There is the forlorn lover, throwing himself from the top of the tower when the moon shines too bright, breaking his body upon the stones below. No one know who he is, or what his story was, anymore, but it does not matter to him.

    There is a band of knights who ride in, in resplendent Plate, their Sorcerer-Commander raising an alarm at some unseen foe, before vanishing into a stone wall that likely was not there once upon a time.

    There is, in the kitchen, a lonely ghost. Two lonely ghosts, actually. One is a frumpy woman with curly greying hair, who sadly watches the second, a mousey looking maid, who is fastidiously ignoring her as she scrubs at the pot pan. They appear only once a century, or so.

    On the blackest of nights, a long dead lord passes judgment on long dead villagers.

    There are other ghosts, too, or at least that’s the story. Cats will hiss at corners, and servants whisper silent blessings and ignore them.

    The ghosts of Chateauguay appear only rarely, but they are as much a part of the castle as it’s stones, as it’s people.



    Le Chateauneuf

    The traditional summer-castle of the Holders of Chateauguay, Le Chateauneuf sits on low hills, surrounded by gardens, woods, and placid pondsm, perfectly placed to capture the cooler winds from the northern mountains. It’s winery have produced some of the finest vintages in Taleise, though many older vintages were lost during the Rebellion. It’s wineries are also the southernmost vignobles were Noble Rot is found, allowing for richer, sweeter wines than other, more traditional vignobles. The castle itself suffered during the rebellion, less prepared for defense than many castles, being more of a large manor home than a castle proper. Only a small stone wall protects it, and it is squared by squat stone crenelated towers.

    Im recent years, the Castelan of Chateauneuf has requested funds to increase the defense, though he acknowledges that it’s elegance may suffer for it. Lady D’Antan has, as such, refused the increases.

    In the woods near Le Chateauneuf is a small pond with a stone arch on an island in the middle. It is said that a princess of ancient times lives in the water, and that the stone arch is all that is left of her castle.

    The young girls of the area know that she likes offerings of flowers and other things she cannot have underwater, shinny coins and blown glass and pretty baubles. They know that if they catch her eye, she will guide them towards a worthy boy.

    They tell her their wishes as they throw their gifts from the stone pier into the water.

    “Let him be handsome” One says, gently pushing a small boat with a bronze mirror out into the pond.

    “Let him be brave” another says, throwing a jeweled dagger as far as she can into the water.

    “Let his hands be soft and his manner softer” a third girl says, gently placing a glass figure of the princess in rushes on the shore.

    She watches them all, and smiles, and in her manner, helps as she can.




    Pitre

    Pitre sits in the Domain of the Lords of Chateauguay, and it’s Lord Mayor dines often with his suzerain. The city is a source of great wealth, as it sits upon all the roads that flows from Montcastel and the other northern territories. Even the Savage States that do not yet know the light of the Empire trade through the city. It sits upon the Fork of the Sorel and the Rive-du-chat, upon which many boats travel. The city boasts high stone walls, and a great cathedral, and an even greater market. It is no rival to Clermont, or even to the Ducal Seat of Courceau, but, still, when people say “La ville” in northern Bourtaigne, Pitre is the city they mean.

    Four bridges arc over the river that splits the city in two. They are all made of strong wood, built to last.

    One the first bridge, the biggest, every festival, a market springs up. It is closest to River-fork, and sailors and fishermen and craftsmen hawk their wares. It is a happy bridge, boastful and strong, and it reminds the others that it is the heart of the city. That, without it, the city would not earn the wealth that allows even the meanest of beggars a chance to live life merry.

    The second bridge is smaller, a bit rougher, but upon it cross daily the wagons of farmers bringing their crops in from the fields, and their purchases out at the day. It is a sensible bridge, content, though it too cannot help but boast. It, it sings, is the artery by which the lifeblood of the city flows. Without it, it argues, the city starves.

    The third bridge crosses near many homes. Lovers take to it at night to exchange soft promises and stolen kisses. It is a romantic, this bridge, and it calls itself the soul of the city, for without it, where would the future of the city be made?

    The last bridge is small, dark, and it lies in the shadows of the city walls. Children avoid it, and even grown men try not to cross it at night, for they whisper that a troll lives beneath it. This bridge does not speak. This bridge knows all the secrets of the city, and if it spoke, then there would be no city left.



    L’Abbey Abeille

    The great chapter house of the Abbeillan order is a sprawling complex of stone edifices, almost a city of monks and nuns, segregated only by the Riviere-du-chat which flows languorously between stone and grass. Scholars from all over taleise travel to learn at it’s great archives, one of the largest outside of the Colleges and the Cardinal’s See. It is said by some, that the Abbot or Abbesse wield nearly as much political clout as a bishop... though of course none would say so out loud. Nominally subservient to the Lords of Chateauguay, simply because of the realities of geography, in many ways, the leaders of the Abbey are his equals. The Abbey employs dozens of monks and nuns in silent contemplatory labor, producing goods that are sold in Pitre and further affield for the money to keep the Abbey affloat. This includes soft textiles, mead, candles, and more, all affixed with the Bee symbol of the Abbey.

    There is a tree somewhere in the Abbey. It is a tall tree, an oak, and in its branches live a colony of crows. The people believe the tree to have once been a God, or a forgotten hero, or perhaps a starcrossed lover betrayed, turned into the tree to watch the ages pass. They believe the crows are it’s guardians, forever cursed to watch for some ancient slights it. Monks and Nuns leave offerings in the hopes that the saints will help them.

    That is not so. It is simply a tree, and the crows are simply crows, and one day, a storm knocks the tree down. It’s wood goes to build a home, and the crows disappear.

    The stump where the tree stood is still there, but people have forgotten what they once believed. It was simply a tree, nothing more.
     
    Nuka-sama likes this.
  4. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,357
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, JP
    Really enjoying all the content so far! I'm hoping to be able to get the update out over this weekend so we can begin the game in earnest.

    Hot Fixes


    Ruleset has been altered. Improving your demense formulas have changed and the "Energy" resource has been formally eliminated.

    Cardinal Dubois has been changed to Cardinal Fleury.

    I have updated the stat sheet significantly.

    At this point in time, you will notice that the document now includes on the first sheet a "Ducal Prosperity" list. This prosperity is the base potential wealth that can be extracted from the region. It will go up, or down, based on actions, quests, improvements, or war.

    You will notice in your individual stat sheet that your Tax Rate and Stability have now been replaced with number values and that prosperity has been replaced with "Influence". Influence represents how much of the duchy you control, either directly or indirectly; you may be able to have influence in a duchy that you do not directly hold land in if you are able to sway certain minor lords to your side. Tax Rate will now be able to be set at certain intervals and will help you exploit more resources out of your holdings. Stability will provide a flat income boost, and can range from +20 to -20.

    For example, Montcastel has a base prosperity value of 90, a tax rate of 50%, and a Stability rating of -10. If one had 40% influence in the duchy, the formula would be (90+(90*.5)+-10)*.4 to give you your total base income.

    These values can be affected by completing quests, constructing improvements, or swaying lords to align closer with you. At the start of the game, Ducs will have 40% of the influence in their duchy, the vassalage of one powerful PC Comte with 30% of the influence, and the vassalage of minor barons who will make up the remaining 30%. An ambitious Comte may very well find a way to upstage their lord, and with enough strength, could force a change in management.
     
    Ahigin likes this.
  5. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,162
    Location:
    Within the realm of impossibility
    Notable Du Lacs:


    Lancelot: Everyone knows the story of King Arthur, and of Lancelot’s place within it (and his place within the Queen if you know what I mean).


    Alexander the Dragon Slayer: Once upon a time, Pentherve had a dragon problem. Then Alexander happened.


    Alain the Fair: Alain the Fair was the most handsome man in Taliese, women would fall in love at a glimpse of his reflection, and he was both chivalrous and honorable. And so, once upon a time as he was hunting in a forest, he found Elanna the Slayer, warrior queen of Pontria, injured and brought her home to be tended to. She awoke, saw his face, fell in love, and promptly kidnapped him and brought him to her home, leading to a devastating ten year war between the Du Lacs and Elanna. The Du Lacs won and brought Alain home. According to the tale, Alain and Elanna had twins, one of whom inherited the Du Lac lands and the other who became Elanna’s heir. As for Alain and Elanna, the two got married to other people but never stopped pining for one another. That is if you believe Robert Garnier’s version of the tragedy.

    Note: Robert Garnier is a Taliese playwright most famous for the tragedy Alain and Elanna but has also written a whole host of traditional Taliesen tales as plays including Three Blind Men, The Pirate Queen, and the Chevalier. Known for the epic scope of his work and delivering a myriad of complex emotions in his script, he is considered the father of Taliesen theater.


    Lucien the Great: The only Du Lac to earn the moniker the Great and for good reason. Under him the family reached its greatest heights, with Lucien the chancellor of the empire and his daughter wife of the emperor. Under his guidance the empire acquired Nerlandais, effectively utilizing the greater mobility of Taliese to constantly hit the enemy and keep them off balance. He would eventually write a series of books on warfare called “The Glory of Arms” dealing with every aspect of war from how a commander deals with their soldiers to tactics and strategy to breaking down historical battles for the lessons to be learned from them. These books are still required reading for commanders today.


    Jeanne “the Lioness of Pentherve”: When she was sixteen, she was to be married to one of her father’s vassals but the man turned out to be less than honorable and slaughtered her family at the wedding. Jeanne herself fled and found refuge as a cabin boy in a privateering ship. Clever and fierce she earned the Captain’s favor and climbed the ranks. When he retired, she became captain of his ship and became a blight on Free March trade, earning the nickname “The Lioness of Pentherve”. Her fleet accomplished miracles, looting nealy 300 ships in total and virtually ruling the waves from Pentherve Bay to the Marcher Sea. She eventually sailed up lake Mothira to do battle for her family’s heritage, winning her land her back from the usurper. When the Emperor demanded to see her to account for her actions she declared “He should come to see me, to account for his actions” (referring to his failure to punish her family’s murderer) and forced him to acknowledge her. There are more stories about her floating around - her romance and marriage, which were as unconventional as the rest of her life, how she could drink a gallon of ale without getting tipsy, how she could disarm a men in a minute flat and disrobe a man in even less. How much of the tale is true? Impossible to say, but she is the only Du Lac beloved by Santomal, the standard bearer for the romantic image of the privateer, the hard-drinking hard-living rogue that bows to no emperor or god, a will to power so potent it can bring nations to their knees.


    Olivier the Iron Fisted: Olivier first earned notoriety during the war for Orlandy, for being a brutally efficient commander. He sacked every city that had the unfortunate distinction of being on the receiving end of a siege until his reputation alone caused cities to surrender. He brought this military minded state of affairs to ruling his own demesne, resulting in an almost riot in Santomal during his efforts to “clean” the city guard of corruption.


    Leonard the Lion Hearted: Freshly made a chevalier before the war with Kolpchek broke out, Leonard’s regiment was stranded behind enemy lines after the first battle went badly for Taliesen forces. Unperturbed, Leonard made a bold feint to a lightly defende city, before attacking his real target - a group of reinforcements on their way to the main force. He then had his men tie lit torches to their horses and used Light magic to severely inflate his numbers, prompting the surrender of Fort Lyubsha. From there he made it back to Taliesen soil where he distinguished himself even further in the war, earning a medal from Valerien himself. He would be one of the Hero’s earliest supporters, and died in the Battle of Chadon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 8:18 PM
  6. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,078
    Monterino

    -

    Capital of Orlandy and traditional seat of House Montesqieu, the city of Monterino is one of the fairest in all Taleise. Built atop a hill [from which the city is named] rising aloft alongside the waters of Orlandy's largest river, Monterino sits at a crossroads of trade routes both on land and by water and at a centre of one of the richest agricultural regions in the Empire ripe with orchards and fields of grain, making it perhaps the richest city in the Empire apart from Clermont itself. From east to west trade and pilgrims pass through Monterino to Ezia and the Holy City of Cerga wherein the Primarch is enthroned and bring back exotic Latirean manufactures and art to the Empire. From the north meanwhile ore and trade from as far afield as Komenos find their way to the city and to the famed Orlandais alchemists and smiths that abide therein.

    The city itself is built of marble quarried from the Orlandian hills [the same which was used to embellish Chermont itself] amidst numerous gardens and flowering trees and embellished everywhere with art, be it shrines to saints, delightful churches embellished with mosaics in the Latirean fashion or statues of renowned chevaliers and magi past that called the town home in their own day. Perhaps the pinnacle of this man-made beauty is to be seen in the cities Cathedral, whose graceful spires and gilded dome soar unto the heavens and can be seen shining like the sun from afar long before a traveller reaches the city walls. Within its gilt bronze gates atop seven crystalline steps lies a gilt hall filled with images of the divine court and of the Churches greatest saints in rare pigments and embellished by previous stones. This panoply of colour rises to soaring vaults painted in imitation of the starry heavens and illuminated from on high by windows of stained glass. Its greatest treasure however is a relic of the Saviour Himself, kept enshrined above its high altar in a tabernacle of purest gold and protected by myriad holy wards and spells that shimmer with holy light and radiance. For this reason (and for the holy waters that flow from a miraculous spring at the temples right side) pilgrims from afar come to worship and beg favour from the Lord, and many a miracle is recorded in the bishops archives as originating from this holy sanctuary.

    Yet if any artifice were to compare with this bastion of divinity, the Chateau de Montesqieu, seat of the duc and centre of all temporal power in the Duchy of Orlandy would surely be on any travellers list. Originally a rather functional and squat castle in the days when Monterino was part of Clermont and on the border with an independent Orlandy, today it is a graceful edifice of white stone set alongside the cities cathedral upon the cities summit and matching it in honour if not in outward splendor, its towers reach skyward like lances and its courts ripple with the latest in music, art and courtly fashion. Its gardens and courtyards are bedecked with roses and fair imperial lillies and flowers of every kind delight the senses to the music of fountains great and small. Indeed with the unfortunate disrepair of the capital there is no garden the equal of it in the whole Empire. Truly it is the seat of Orlandais culture and a match for any of the courts in Clermont, with its masquerades and balls being the most prestigious in all Orlandy. Its gilded halls and polychromed halls and mirrored promenades notwithstanding provide a fitting setting for the lords of this most wealthy of imperial domains.

    Yet for the common man, the most beguiling aspect of the city is its Alchemical workshops and forges. Here the baronage and lesser nobility as well as talented magicians of the lower orders fashion various potions and tinctures and forge swords and armour and trinkets anointed with secret concoctions and bound by spells for the chevaliers and soldiery of the ducal court and Taleise at large. Located by the river downstream of the rest of the city lest the noxious waste products contaminate the living quarters of its people and disturb its serenity, any marvel imaginable can be found for man willing to pay the price in gold, or perhaps risk a foray into the Forest of Loren across the river to the west to procure rare ingredients for the alchemists experiments. That is not to say however that alchemy is al the city offers when it comes to matters mystical. Under the aegis of House Montesqieu, noted ritualists themselves, less exalted ritualists and magi in service to Lord or Faith offer ceremonies of benediction and maintain ancient wards in restricted towers for the protecton of the citizens from plague and spell. These practitioners, through their lesser acolytes of course, even offer to inscribe scrolls and trinkets with power for a price, afterall for a wizard to maintain the appropriate living standards of one in such a station a certain amount of money is required. Least of all in Orlandy which seeks to outdo Clermont itself in extravagance... at least when it comes to its nobility.

    Finally one cannot mention Monterino without reference to its great market. Here the agricultural wealth of the surrounding lands is on full display every Saturday in numerous stalls and tents set up by local farmers and burghers peddling their produce and wares. The sound of the sales pitch and the laughter of children in response to the street magicians and buskers and acrobats of every kind that take over the streets on market days compares favourably with the shattered ruins of the capital in these dark times. So too is it only in Monterino that the mix of Taleisian and Latirean culture can be seen in its most harmonious expression with each uplifting eachother as western art and vibrancy and imperial sensibility, nobility and grace combine in a glorious tableau that no traveller of the Empire should rightfully disdain. For it is in this merging of cultures and in the magnanimity and nobility of its Lords that Monterino truly is second amongst the Empires great cities, inferior only to Clermont itself in splendour and in prosperity, and equal to it in loyalty to God and Lord and in pious devotion to our Holy Redeemer.

    ~ Baron Martin de Greille as written in his famous work "Anecdotes of the Holy Empire"
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 4:06 AM
    thomas.berubeg and Nuka-sama like this.
  7. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,357
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, JP
    Cardinal Hercule de Fleury (71, M) has been Cardinal of Taliese for five years now. He had been a high-ranking official in Clermont during the Hero's rebellion but was disgusted by the depravedness and the decadence of Emperor Valerian. He made the decision to join the Hero Roland, first by funneling the rebellion funds and then outright joining him. His first act of rebellion was to kidnap the former Cardinal, put him on trial for apostasy, and after finding him guilty, burning him at the stake.

    After the rebellion, he became the Emperor's choice for Cardinal of Taliese and received the Primarch's approval. He has spent the past five years rebuilding the country of his flock, using the Church of Taliese's considerable financial resources. He is affable, God fearing, and is considered a fair man, but he is also feared for his impressive battle prowess and his cunning; he is not the sort of man one wants to make an enemy of. And if they do, they too will face his flames.
    Spoiler :

    Dreaded
    Dignified
    Educated
    Diligent
    Just
    Friendly
    Pious
    Proactive
    Arrogant
    Wroth
    Rebellious
    Obsessed
     
  8. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,162
    Location:
    Within the realm of impossibility
    Homecoming


    Isolde enters her brother’s quarters hesitantly. It hasn’t actually been long since she’s seen her family, she’d only been married two years, but she’s different now. She has fed the poison to her husband’s lips in a mocking facsimile of a devoted wife giving her lord husband antidote to his ills.


    The room is still the same, but she fills it’s space differently. She has reclaimed something of herself by coming here, or maybe it is this place that reclaimed her. Maybe there’s something here, the weight of history, latent fairy magic, some calling etched deep in the blood that will always make this place sing of the melody of home.


    Or maybe, she thinks wryly, she’s getting sentimental over a castle.


    Galahad is here too. He is different now as well. Once, Isolde would have sworn him to be like a bird, or maybe a spirit made flesh, something that merely touched down upon the ground rather then truly walked among the world of men. He is more grounded now. It makes sense, she supposes. Leonard is lost to death and Tristan is lost to vengeance; Eleanor is six, someone has to lead the Du Lacs through this rebellion, make sure the taxes are collected and justice is served, and so Galahad is no longer lost to the arcane.


    He is sitting behind his mahogany desk, busy reading some kind of report. She knocks on the wood to get his attention, and he looks up from his work.


    “Isolde” he shouts happily, his face lighting up. The expression is so foreign to the Galahad she remembers it makes her wonder if this is really him.


    Then he stands up an hugs her, and from the way he gingerly holds her, at once trying to bring her close and keep some distance. She understands; Galahad has not changed so much, he is simply trying to connect with her.


    “Galahad, it’s good to see you again. How are you?” she asks.


    “I’m good, dear sister, How are you?”


    Then his voice dropping to a conspiratol whisper, “I know your husband was on the opposite side of the war. He didn’t, he didn’t hurt you?”


    There are many things she could’ve said then. She could deflect and tell him, “There are many ways to hurt someone, Galahad, you really ought to be specific”.

    She could have said, “No he never harmed me” which would’ve been truth of one kind.


    But Isolde was resentful of the being shipped off from home to be the property of some stranger she never met, and since Galahad is here, and Isolde is cruel she spits out, “I killed my husband and I enjoyed every minute of it”.


    Galahad flinches back at the venom in her voice, seemingly confirming his worst suspicions. And because Isolde is trying, as well, she follows it up with, “He wasn’t a violent person. He did not strike me, or make me feel unsafe. He simply cared for me naught, except as a beautiful object which could deliver him an heir, and I cared for him naught, except as a power that had absolute authority over my person. We weren’t people to each other not really, so it felt more like a dangerous game to kill him without raising suspicions, a test of my skill rather than a murder.”


    Galahad nods his head at this.


    “I understand what you mean. When I use my magic to blind the enemy or to cast illusions that create diversions for my troops, it gets easy to get lost in the technical aspects of the magic and forget that what I’m doing, is in essence, killing people.”


    There’s a brief moment of silence saturated in contemplation, as Isolde and Galahad reevaluate each other in the context of what they’ve learned of one another. Two years ago Galahad and Isolde were siblings, distant from one another. Now they are adults - different people altogether and the relationship between this Isolde and this Galahad has yet to be determined.


    Galahad breaks the silence.


    “I’m sorry you didn’t feel valued for who you were in your husband’s household. I want you to know that won’t happen here. I value your opinion. I want to know your opinion on how to manage the estate and how to solve various challenges facing our family. You always seem to have a way with people.”


    He is sincere in his intentions and Isolde feels a knot in her chest untangling. She hadn’t been sure what to expect from her homecoming but this acceptance was better then she had any right to expect. It had always been her dream to manage a household.


    “Is there anything in particular you’d like help with?”


    “Well there’s this lord who claims to want to defect to the Hero but I don’t entirely trust his intentions…”


    And so Isolde and Galahad try to build a closer sibling relationship and Isolde begins to be knit back into the tapestry of the Du Lac family.
     
    Nuka-sama and Kyzarc Fotjage like this.
  9. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,357
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, JP


    Far above grand Clermont, a spell was wrought in a tower
    A loud, explosive noise, the smell of sulfur and fire
    Upon this land would descend a great and terrible power
    To those who heard, an eerie feeling it would inspire

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    The hero lays bedridden, waylaid by dark malady
    No one to save us, our terrors seem demon-sent
    And he sits unmoved, unaware of this great tragedy

    For in this year, this Age of Storms
    The terrors unending, the air filled with cries
    The screams of the children yet unborn
    No truths are told, where sweet words hide lies

    In fair Taliese, where we lay our scene,
    Where magic blood makes magic hands unclean.

    Four great wizards, each alike in dignity
    Known for love to one, and hate to another
    On the night before their mutiny
    The night before brother would kill brother

    One dreams of Fire, Ice, the carnage is fate
    Light and Dark, twins; two sides of the same coin
    Potions brew, words with hate, lands incinerate
    A hateful power will spew from their loins

    Flying high above in the sky
    I see a great mountain in the distance.
    I know today is the day they die
    Come forth, thy fateful roar, for I count on no assistance

    Salvation is the path I had hoped to take
    But only death will come if this was a mistake

    The good knight dreams with terror and fear
    Of those he could save, and did not
    Of the good King Roland, he could not persevere
    How the darkness had turned him to rot

    Now we embark on the era of the sun
    For he gave us his cogitable daughter
    Does he know what must be done?
    Will they be victim or agent of the slaughter

    The last does not dream at all
    They know they must not fail
    For they must be the last to fall
    If they intend to peek behind the veil

    When the battle's lost and won.
    That will be ere the set of sun.​


    _______________________________________________________________

    “This isn’t good” said the maid

    “No...no it isn’t” said the butler. “We can’t be here. We need to leave. quickly."

    “They won’t hurt us….will they?”

    “They will.”

    “They’ll understand, won’t they? Lor-”

    “They will not care.”

    “But they’ll find us, won’t they?”

    “We need to be long gone before they find out. Get on a ship, and never look back.”

    “***** maybe?.”

    “No one will follow us to *****.”

    “******”

    “*****”

    “I’ll go home then, pack my things. Can you-”

    “Idiot, there’s no time! We have to leave, now!”

    “What about money?”

    “Look around! There’s gold everywhere! Grab anything...no not that! Imbécile! Are you trying to get us killed? There, much better.”

    “What about my sister”

    “She’ll be fine. They know who you are, not who she is.”

    “I’m scared.”

    “Me too….me too”

    _______________________________________________________________

    It was morning in Clermont. A heavy fog had settled over the city, and as he walked the bridgeway towards the palace, Reinhard von Ascania could barely see in front of him. He had half thought of not coming in today, figuring that if both he and Morgana were absent, the council would not have a quorum and he would have a day where he did not need to listen to Gaston’s gabbling. It was a tempting thought, but the thought of relying on Morgana sent a shiver down his spine. Instead, he walked through the fog, nearly ruining another white cloak on the way over.

    At the halfway point, he saw an impossibly large figure, blocking the way. Sighing deeply, Reinhard braced himself as the figure stepped closer. “Might I have a word?” said Gaston d’Ribeau.

    “Curse this red hair of mine, I might have slipped past you otherwise.” He walked, briskly, and Gaston kept pace, with others on the bridge making way for the two Maréchals.

    “If you intend to ruin my morning, you may as well get on with it.”

    “I had the dream again.”

    “Mmm.”

    “It was the same as before. Roland, dead...the city destroyed, and the tortures were being done right here in the palace. I heard Valerian...but then...”

    “My, is the great knight Gaston scared of a nine-year old? How pathétique.”

    “Of what she could become! You were but a child when Valerian’s madness ruled us all. If your claim is true, then HIS blood flows through her. I remember his magic, I remember how we five-”

    “That’s enough!” snapped Reinhard. “We swore an oath!”

    “Right” said Gaston, sighing heavily. They walked for a few minutes in silence, and as they entered through the palace gates, Gaston attempted to break the silence.“Reinhard” he said, with some sincerity “You know, I think of you as a son-”

    “I didn’t realize you had such a low opinion of me”

    “You were the son I chose. You and Roland both. The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. Just as I would not choose Roland’s 'daughter' to succeed him, I would not choose any of my sons to succeed me…” He paused for a moment to collect himself before continuing “When I die, I would feel comfortable with you as my heir.”

    “You flatter me” said Reinhard, dryly. “Alas, neither of us will become Emperor.”

    “Maybe not. But nor will that street rat.”

    “You’re impossible, Maréchal. One minute you proclaim her Valerian’s heir, the next you think her street rat. You cannot deny that magic, that nobility, flows through her veins-”

    At this, Gaston moved, faster than a blur, slamming Reinhard against the wall. One hand around Reinhard’s throat, the other holding his sword hand. Gaston was enveloped in a blinding light, but his voice was quiet, so low that only Reinhard could hear.

    “Listen, boy. The only reason I haven’t killed her, nor you for that matter, is for the love I bear Roland, and the slightest of possibilities that girl is indeed from his loins. But rest assured, the minute, nay, the second that Roland dies, I will kill that child with my bare hands, and anyone who stands in my way will meet the same fate.”

    As he tightened his grip around Reinhard’s throat, Gaston shouted in pain as his body was set aflame. Releasing his grip, Gaston tore off his clothes in an attempt to escape the burning and jumped into the fountain in the foyer. Immediately, the water turned into ice, imprisoning Gaston.

    Rubbing his neck, Reinhard shook his head. “I guess you really do see me as a son. Really though, I’m glad to hear where you stand regarding His Majesty’s daughter, for I now have no qualms about what has been going through my mind as of late. I have not killed you yet because of the love I bare for Roland. But upon his death, we will come to blows, I assure you, Sir. And I have no intention of sparing you then. Riliane will be the ruler Roland was meant to be, and I will not have some fool like you stopping her.”

    Roland released the ice prison, allowing a shivering, naked Gaston to emerge. A maid offered Gaston a warmed towel, which he graciously accepted to dry his hair.

    They walked in silence for the remainder of their journey, until just before the council chambers. Just as they arrived at the door, Gaston stopped suddenly. “Pity” said Gaston, with genuine sadness, his hand on the handle but not willing to open it until he had his final say. “We both want the same thing. We just can’t agree on the path to get there.”

    “Pity” said Reinhard, pressing Gaston’s hand down. “How many thousands will die for your delusions?”

    _______________________________________________________________

    There was a heavy silence hanging over the council today, the air tenser than usual. At the head sat the Chancelier, nervously looking around the table. A small, unassuming man, he had remarkably survived four years with the Maréchals, but he had a feeling that today would be his last here. Reinhard, usually the friendly one, was silent, his arms crossed as he leaned back in his chair. Morgana was smiling: never a good sign. Gaston was naked and Juliana, usually the one to drive the meeting agenda, was absent for what the Chancelier believed for the first time ever.

    Without Juliana to drive matters, he was forced to start the agenda, forcing the others through the matters of state. But he did not know why he bothered; for anything to pass, all three of them would need to agree. But try he must.

    First, payment on debt to the church would need to be deferred; it could not be agreed on how it should be divided. Gaston suggested that Reinhard and Juliana take on the brunt of the payments since they did not have enemies at the gates; naturally, Reinhard rejected. Funding for new forts on the Northern border with Kolpchek actually had some promise; Morgana was even stirred enough to argue for it, and Reinhard was prepared to vote with her, but Gaston cut in with a demand that if the North received funding, the East should too, and with that, the entire proposal collapsed. Funding to rebuild Clermont was regarded as unessential, and a punitive expedition into the Marches as unwise.

    As Gaston brought up the imperial succession, the Chancilier could not help but groan, as the room descended into a shouting match between Reinhard and Gaston.

    I really shouldn’t have bothered to come today” thought the Chancilier, dreaming of a cottage on the Orlandian coast that he would retire to tomorrow.

    _______________________________________________________________

    “Are you sure? If you’re making a mistake, I’ll make sure you’re swinging alongside me.”

    “Trust me. I saw the body. No mistaking that. Nastiest thing I’ve ever seen, I’ll tell you that. I hope they clean him up for the funeral.”

    “Did you tell anyone up on the way?”

    “Better believe it!” he cackled. “A hundred florins!”

    “A hundred?”

    “It was the smallest coin they had!”

    “They let you keep it?”

    “Barely, can you believe that git asked for change? I put on my best Montcastelan accent and said pardon gouverneur, I have, how you say, no coins!”

    They both laughed, and then the other said “You know, I’ve never seen a hundred florin coin before. Can I take a look?”

    “Well..”

    “Come on, what am I going to do, steal it? But you’ll be buying the first round tonight.”

    “Fine, fine. Take a look then.”

    As the man examined the coin, with the Emperor’s visage on it, he smiled slightly. “Sorry, friend”

    “What fo-”

    At that, the man pushed the other off the tower towards the river, hundreds of feet down.

    “Sorry” thought the first man “that coin will feed my family for a year though.”

    And to think, that was just pocket change for some wizard. Best not to dwell on that though...right?

    And then he rang the bell ten times.

    The Hero Emperor was dead.

    _______________________________________________________________

    Cardinal Fleury was not a man to be trifled with. The minute he heard the bell, he rode towards the palace, with his chevaliers clearing the way. Time was of the essence; if he was to do this, it would be done now.

    As they swung upon the council doors, the sight of ten chevaliers in armor black and red, flanking the cardinal startled even the Maréchals. “Good.” said the cardinal, “You’re all here. Let’s make this quick.”

    “Cardinal Fleury” said Juliana “We were not expecting you.”

    “We weren’t expecting you either today, Juliana” said Morgana with a smile.

    Ignoring their comments, Cardinal Fleury said “Now then. Emperor Roland, may God rest his soul, is dead. Now I understand this council has been deliberating on a decision for some time now on who is to succeed him. The Empire’s enemies are circling, waiting for a sign of turmoil so they can attack. We must show strength in this moment, unity even. Have you come to an agreement yet?”

    He knew they had not, and their silence only confirmed it. “I was afraid of that” said the Cardinal. “Very well then. Shame on me for allowing three children and a man-child to continue on like this.”

    Fleury snapped his fingers and two attendants ran into the room, each holding the side of a massive chest. “This” said Fleury “is a situation the Church cannot allow to fester. So I am prepared to make you an offer you cannot refuse.”

    “Your Excellency” said Reinhard, as the attendants worked to open the chest. “Do you really think you can bribe us? We-”

    “Oh, not at all” smiled the Cardinal. “Behold”

    Inside the chest was paper, stacked one atop the other, filled to the brim.

    “Are these-” began Morgana

    “Loan contracts” said Gaston, with bitterness in his voice.

    “Ahh” said Fleury “Yes, you’d be familiar with these, wouldn’t you Sir? Yes, these are loans, but not just any loans. I have twelve more just as full as this one that represents every loan I hold throughout Taliese. Well over a million florins in this one alone.”

    “So then” said Juliana “What’s your offer? Do you have someone you have in mind that we should enthrone?”

    Fleury smiled at that “Oh don’t look at me like that! Taliese can crown the street rat or the man-child or even the rat catcher for all I care. But this ridiculous system of governance ends now. Here’s my offer: call a Great Council, or I call in every loan in the entire Empire.”

    The next day, hundreds of ravens flew from the palace, with a simple message. “Your presence is hereby required at The Third Great Council of Taliese”

     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 1:22 AM
  10. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,357
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, JP


    Update Zero

    Storm Year 5, Winter​

    The Great Council

    Spoiler :
    The Great Council is a gathering of the lords of Taliese, from the Ducs down to the Barons. Nominally, the rules are simple. In the Council, all men are equal in terms of their vote’s worth, and one is not bound to vote with their leige lord: ballots are counted in secret. In addition, all are sworn to obey the results of the Council, whose decisions will become laws of the land. It is intended that the council will officially declare an Emperor or Empress and, if necessary, a regent. The leading candidates are currently Princess Riliane and Maréchal Gaston, but most nobles have not yet decided their vote, perhaps hoping they might receive generous offers for their support. Aside from Riliane or Gaston, a third candidate, such as Laskia or a particularly popular Taliesean noble, could very well emerge as a compromise candidate. The Great Council must approve the new Emperor or Empress with a majority vote, and a vote will be held once per week until a decision is made. A vote for “Undecided” is perfectly valid. (Each family is allowed to send one representative to the Great Council, to vote on the crowning a new monarch for Taliese. This is considered a free action)

    The funeral of the Hero Emperor is the first event that the imperial nobility has been assembled for since his coronation, and it is expected that at least one member of each noble family attends. This will be a good first place to figure out what the mood of the nobility is regarding the current situation. (This is considered a free action. Medium, Appeal, Guile)

    What would be a gathering of Taliesean nobility be without a tournament? There will be a joust and a melee to participate in, with a large purse going to the winner of each. Any noble is welcome to participate, and if one wished to make a political statement, they might decide to wear a symbol of their political allegiance. (Martial, Guile, Tournament)

    In addition, both Maréchals Reinhard and Gaston have decided they will play a game of Tourmort. Participation is open to all nobles, though joining one side or the other will clearly be a political statement. While it is a bit ah, dangerous, it would be an excellent way to gain their favor. (Hard, Martial)

    The Camp of Maréchal Gaston has been rather loud in its proclamations and promises; of a new era of chivalry, conquest, and, a new era of no taxation. He has also even proposed greater equality among noble ranks and the expansion of the droit de cuissage It sounds exciting to many, but with the Empire’s debt situation on the verge of collapse, many wonder what it might mean for their own fortunes. It may take some convincing for them to see the wisdom of Gaston’s plan. (Hard, Appeal, Intendance)

    The supporters of Gaston have loudly denied Princess Riliane’s heritage, but to many, Reinhard’s word is worth its weight in gold. If there was proof, one way or another, it could decisively be used to settle the question of succession...or it could be manipulated for personal and political gain. There may be clues to be gathered among Reinhard’s documents, but to find the truth, one may have to venture far beyond Clermont… (Very Hard, Guile)

    For his part, Gaston feels that sometimes the best way to make a point is with a sword...point. Gaston’s battle prowess is legendary, but it wouldn’t do to have the future Emperor threaten his vassals directly. But if another, suitably intimidating lord were to take his place…(Medium, Martial)

    The Camp of Riliane (some mockingly call it the Camp of Reinhard) has meanwhile focused on the Princess’ descendance from the Hero. It’s a compelling argument to make, but to some, it is falling on deaf ears, unconvinced that a nine-year-old girl, even with a regent, can rule the Empire. Still, if enough major lords throw their weight behind her, and convey that to the host of minor lords, it may swing the difference. (Medium, Appeal, Renown)

    Some note that while it is thought Gaston is in debt, it is unclear to what extent and to whom. If it was revealed that he was in debt to some shadier figures or, worse, foreigners, it could see defections from his cause. (Hard, Guile, Intendance)

    Maréchal Juliana’s camp has been unusually quiet about the succession, in contrast to her active involvement in most other imperial affairs. To many, it seems almost far-fetched. Getting a straight answer out of her might be impossible, but there must be something, a document, a loose-lipped servant, anything that might give some idea of what she’s doing. But then again, does anyone want to try prying into the affairs of Juliana d'Gournay? (Extreme, Guile)

    Maréchal Morgana has, instead of advocating for the woman she had seen fit to crown Empress, has instead spent most of her days in her tower, ruminating on the mysteries of magic. She means well, and when she bothers to talk, speaks about the great world of magic she is working towards. Unfortunately, the Duchies of Montcastel and Franchpais suffer from her neglect. A conversation with her might bear some fruit about her strange position, about her studies, about asking for assistance...or it may be the most socially painful fifteen minutes in one’s entire like (Hard, Appeal, Intendance, Knowledge)

    Meanwhile, the Pontrian ambassador has seen himself accosted and interrogated so much, to the point that he too has taken to locking himself in his rooms for large portions of the day. If he is here to advance the claim of Laskia, he is doing it rather poorly. A friendly chat, or a look into his correspondence, might reveal something about this strange “also-ran” Queen. (Medium, Appeal, Guile)

    By nature of the Great Council, it is possible that a completely different solution might be able to emerge, perhaps as a part of a compromise candidate. Perhaps one might even see a regional Duc or a Comte elevated to the imperial throne! But for that to happen, one would need a critical mass of supporters, a good amount

    Despite calling for the Great Council, Cardinal Fleury has not taken a clear side in the matter. As the man holding much of the Empire’s debt though, his support for a candidate could tip the scales. A conversation with him could reveal some of his thoughts on the matter, and if not, it’s said he always at least sets a good table. (Hard, Piety, Appeal, Guile, Knowledge)


    Imperial

    Spoiler :
    Wine was once a prized export of Taliese, bringing wealth and prestige to its growers and sellers. Unfortunately, the Hero’s rebellion destroyed many prominent vineyards, and as a result, Taliesean wines have lost out to wines from Ezia. Now, a powerful merchant by the name of Pierre Brejoux desires to reverse this unfortunate trend. He has declared he will host a wine tasting in Clermont in three years time, where Taliesean wines will be pitted against those from Ezia. He has invited figures from all across Magnolia so that they might participate in 'The Judgement of Clermont' and has offered a significant prize to the winning vintage. He has asked the lords of Orlandy, Bourtaigne, and Pentherve to rebuild their vineyards, so that the true superiority of Taliese can once again be recognized. In wine, at least.

    The Colleges of Besangueux and Champilême are to be conducting entrance examinations this coming summer and it is widely recommended that interested applicants take the time to study, as the examinations are quite rigorous. Some tutors have offered their services to help study for the tests, for a reasonable price. (Characters age 15-25 can use up to three action points to study, gold can be spent to hire a tutor. Intendance, Knowledge)

    Ruins can be found all throughout Taliese, dating back all the way to the First Era. Exploring them might be dangerous, but can result in great treasure...and the more dangerous the ruin, the greater the treasure (Ranging from Easy to Extreme, all traits may be used in exploration)


    Clermont

    Spoiler :
    The ancient families of Clermont are, in some respects, equal to the Ducs and Comtes of the provinces. Though they lack retuines to call upon, their fortunes are vast, and their prestige is unquestioned. They will have great influence on the selection of the next holder of the Throne of Lilies, so it may be a good idea to build up ties with them. (Medium, Appeal)

    The Imperial Chevaliers are perhaps the greatest warriors in all of Magnolia. Trained in sword, spell, and lance, they are always looking to further hone their skills. They’re more than happy to train with lords and ladies, and if one were to prove themselves to them, their respect could be earned. (Medium, Martial. Results and rewards may vary).

    The Imperial Chancellerie is a massive, sprawling institution in Clermont filled with all sorts of mages dedicated to running all aspects of the Empire. Although its mages are technically noble, they are of the lowest rank and dream of patronage from the wealthier lords and ladies. They could be useful allies to have. (Medium, Appeal, Guile)

    The bards of Clermont are excellent musicians, yes, but they are also trained spies, assassins, and seducers. During the reign of Emperor Valerian, the bards experienced a golden age with “The Game” being played at the Tyrant’s court, but saw a slowdown during Emperor Roland’s reign. Now though with his death, the bards are preparing for a new era that will make Valerian’s rule look calm in comparison. One should move quickly to ensure that they can secure the service of the best of the best. (Medium, Guile, Gold)


    Orlandy

    Spoiler :
    Disappearances in Orlandy are rather common for the most part. Unlike much of the Empire, laws in Orlandy that tie the peasantry to the land or their masters are minimal. It has mostly been a boon, but oftentimes these migrants lose contact with their families. Most of the time, it’s a miscommunication and they are able to reunite come winter time. But as of late, there have been numerous disappearances, particularly of young men. Some suspect they have been captured and sold into slavery, others wonder if they may have been pressed into banditry, or worse. Investigating could please the peasantry, especially if these young men can be returned home. But at the same time, do you really, really want to really investigate that? (Hard, Guile)

    Orlandy has always been known for being a trendsetter in culture, even if they might be more bourgeois than the other duchies. But between the parties, the fashions, and patronage, many Orlandian nobles find themselves deep in debt. Some have taken the audacious step of marrying particularly wealthy commoners to deal with their financial issues. While some families argue it’s no ones business but their own on who they marry (and they’ll thank you kindly to stay out of the matter), it is becoming an embarrassment for the duchy: there are now no less than three baronesses now of common blood! Particularly harsh actions might alienate the powerful mercantile families in Orlandy, but at this rate, an entire generation of Orlandian mages might become weaker due to the dilution in their blood. (Hard, Appeal, Intendance)

    Orlandy is, for the most part, safe, particularly in the south. However, in the north, Orlandy shares a border with Montcastel, and the native Gourlois have been encroaching on Orlandian territory. If the situation is not dealt with quickly and decisively, the Gourlois may begin raiding into the Orlandian plains. It may be beneficial to either lead an expedition into the mountains, or to reconstruct some of the forts that have fallen into disuse. (Medium, Martial, Intendance)

    Orlandy was once home to some of Magnolia’s richest vineyards, with its rich soil and moderate climate. Unfortunately, war and neglect have put many of them to ruin. If one were to take the time to reconstruct the vineyards to take part in ‘The Judgement of Clermont’, it could bring great wealth to the duchy and the family who sponsored a winning vintage. (Medium, Alchemy, Intendance, Knowledge)


    Montcastel

    Spoiler :
    Montcastel is filled with veterans of raids and wars, which makes them a hardy people used to violence. It is useful when the Duc of Montcastel needs soldiers to fight; less so when he no longer needs them, for too often they turn to banditry. The roads are now unsafe, with powerful bandit clans controlling key sections of the roads that connect Montcastel to the riverlands. Destroying these bandits would be an excellent start to revitalizing the region. (Medium, Martial)

    Much more dangerous than your average bandit though are the Gourlois. Fiercely independent, these hill tribes have taken over many of the peripheral settlements of Montcastel and have conducted raids deep within the duchy. While they were always known to be powerful warriors, as of late it seems that they have become a much more dangerous opponent. Their weapons and armor have improved, as have their tactics and magic. The Gourlois barbarians are surely too primitive to have come up with this on their own. It might be wise to ascertain where this help is coming from before attempting to attack them. (Hard, Guile)

    At one time, the mines of Montcastel brought incredible wealth to the duchy, filling the treasury with gold and precious gems. If Montcastel could reopen the mines, it would go a long way to revitalizing the region. Unfortunately, the bandits are the least of their worries; in the mines they say lurks beasts of great and terrible power. They will need to be dealt with before any revitalization of Montcastel can begin. (Very Hard, Martial)

    Montcastel’s orphanages are, unfortunately, rather crowded. And, so long as the bandits have free reign over the duchy, the numbers of orphans will only increase. Unfortunately, their resources are already strained to their breaking point; if a wealthy benefactor does not step in soon, many Montcastelian children will need to grow up quicker than they should... (Very Easy, Appeal, Guile, Intendance)


    Bourtaigne

    Spoiler :
    Bourtaigne has long prided itself on its chivalric tradition, rivaling even Pentherve. But the cities of Bourtaigne have grown significantly in the past ten years, and though they are not at the level of Clermont or even Orlandy, bourgeois culture has flourished in the region. It has brought some prestige to the region, but also tension between the magical aristocracy and the non-magical bourgeois. Which culture will define the future of Bourtaigne? (Medium, Renown, Prestige, Appeal)

    The fourth bridge of the town of Pitre is said to host all manners of secrets, avoided by both man and child in fear of what lies beneath: a troll. No one has ever seen it, but it has been rumored to be living beneath that bridge ever since Pitre was founded. If true, the troll may have all sorts of secrets and knowledge to trade...though they are notoriously unhelpful towards humans. Alternatively, slaying the troll could bring one great fame. (Hard, Martial, Appeal, Guile, Knowledge)

    Experiments at the Académie de Besangueux have always been...strange, bordering on dangerous. But the recent ones have been pushing boundaries beyond what many think is safe. Recently, the Academy has been attempting to contact river nymphs in the Sornel, in hopes they might reveal a magic completely different from humans. While nymphs are not known to be particularly malicious, and indeed, they’ve been known to be helpful on occasion, tampering with such forces can be...rather dangerous. Still, if you listen to those at Besangueux, they will tell you the reward far outweighs the risk…and they may be right. (Very Hard, Appeal, Knowledge)

    Bourtaigne was once home to some of Magnolia’s most innovative vineyards, who were constantly pushing new ideas and flavors. Unfortunately, the war and neglect of the past few years have put many of them to ruin. If one were to take the time to reconstruct the vineyards to take part in ‘The Judgement of Clermont’, it could bring great wealth to the duchy and the family who sponsored a winning vintage. (Medium, Alchemy, Intendance, Knowledge)


    Franchpais

    Spoiler :
    The Knyazhestvo of Kolpchek has never had good relations with Taliese, especially with the imperial conquest of Franchpais. But as of late, the raids have grown in both number and audacity, abducting women and children as slaves while burning the towns and killing the men-folk. Something must be done, or the entire region will fall into chaos! (Hard, Martial)

    One thing that has been noticed about the Kolpchekian raids is how...easily they are performed. The villages they hit are always unguarded; raids on imperial outposts are done when they are at their weakest; the carts carrying Franchpais’ taxes are, without fail, plundered. It’s as if they have eyes and ears everywhere...and they probably do, considering how the land used to be a part of Kolpchek. It might be impossible to root out every Kolpchekian spy, but it’s possible that those at the top can be tracked down and eliminated...or put to other use (Medium, Guile)

    As part of concessions to the Cheks of Franchpais, it was agreed that the Chekian rite would be respected in Franchpais, allowing a communion with the Church in Kolpchek. This is not something that pleases Cardinal Fleury, who is determined to regain control of the region’s dioceses. However, greater imperial control could upset the fragile, hard won peace. A compromise seems unlikely at this point in time. (Hard, Appeal, Knowledge)

    There has been a disturbing rumor in the villages of Franchpais as of late. If one listens to peasants, they say that deep in the bogs there is a frog that can talk. That in itself is not necessarily strange; talking animals, though not rare per say, are certainly uncommon. But what the frog claims is. The frog claims that she is a powerful sorceress, who finds herself in this unfortunate state due to an experiment gone terribly wrong. If one could reverse the terrible state she is in, she would be forever in their debt, though only a powerful wizard would be suitable for the tasks needed to free her. (Hard, multiple attributes required, multiple part quest)


    Nerlandais

    Spoiler :
    Freihandlers from the Marches are doing thriving business in Nerlandais. Luxuries from the Eastern continent, sturdier goods from the Free Marches, and even services like financing and loans are all coming to Nerlandais. Local merchants are complaining, and demanding privileges, protections, monopolies, even expelling the Freihandlers! Meanwhile the Freihandlers simply point out that they pay all the necessary taxes, and that the taxes they pay are quite significant. Whatever is decided, it can be certain that not everyone will be happy. (Medium, Appeal, Guile, Intendance)

    Freikorps, on the other hand, are making the safest of the marcher duchies into a growing problem area. The border fortresses are not well-maintained, and it has allowed for probing raids into Nerlandais, much to the Duc’s embarrassment. Each border Marcher has denied responsibility, and refuse to do anything about those who are not their subjects. Action needs to be taken of course, though anything too harsh may cause tensions to flare with the Marchers. (Medium, Martial, Appeal, Intendance)

    In the small towns in the interior of Nerlandais, nestled near the forests and the hills, there have been strange rumors as of late. With most imperial soldiers needed at the border, the interior towns are often forced to turn to mercenaries to deal with the problems of the town, particularly those of a magical nature. One such town, that of Hamelin, recently hired a man to deal with a horde of rats that had overrun the town. Using strange magic with his music, he was able to dispel the rats and return the town to a grateful populace. However, the people of Hamelin were unable to pay him, and as punishment the wizard decided to kidnap the children of the town, threatening to sell them into slavery unless the village can come up with the agreed upon payment ten times over. The Mayor of Hamelin is begging for help, in hopes that someone, anyone, might be able to save the children. (Hard, Gold, Martial, Appeal, Guile)

    In Nerlandais, legal obligations to stay on the land are rather weak, allowing many to leave for towns all across the duchy or even across the empire. The benefits have been rather positive for the most part, creating a wealthier duchy as a whole, but there have been some significant drawbacks: it is quite difficult for the lords to ensure they have a properly trained levy for service in war. While this might be fine in Orlandy, it is unacceptable in Nerlandais due to the hostile Marchers across the border. But what to do about the situation has eluded its rulers since its conquest. Do they take away free movement and create an angry, impoverished populace? Or do they rely on mercenaries and chevaliers, and simply pray the Marchers never march as one? (Hard, Martial, Intendance)


    Pentherve

    Spoiler :
    Pentherve prides itself on its traditions, even when they stand in contrast to the rest of the empire; in fact, they prefer when they do. One such tradition in Pentherve is droit de cuissage; a lord’s right to any woman in his domain on their wedding night. Illegal in the rest of Taliese, through a mix of oversight and some legal precedent, it remains technically legal in Pentherve and has become a cherished right and tradition for many lords, including Maréchal Gaston, though it is hated by the common folk. Taking a side in this debate could earn the love of one, and the enmity of the other. (Medium, Appeal, Intendance)

    Santomal has long had a reputation throughout the Empire as a haven of privateers or pirates, depending on how accommodating Clermont was at the time. Recently, Maréchal Gaston has been quite supportive of the privateers, so long as they line his pocket, though it has contributed to a state of near anarchy in the city. Though gold from privateers is surely welcome, the fact that Pentherve’s only port of note is in such a state has ensured the city has never been a major trading port. Action could be taken to improve the rule of law in the city, though it could incur the wrath of the Maréchal. On the other hand, such connections could be useful and lead to some interesting opportunities...but one must always be wary when dealing with criminals (Medium, Martial, Guile, Intendance)

    Pentherve’s knightly traditions have made horse breeders into very wealthy men, and the duchy’s warhorses are regarded as the best in the world. Every year, there is a Festivale Equestria where the horse breeders show off their best, and where chevaliers spend vast sums securing the best mount. This year has plenty of great horses, but far and away the star of the show is a horse called Bayard. It is far and away the largest horse and could easily fit four riders: if they could stay on that is! Not only that, but the breeder claims that the horse has magic in its blood, and can even understand human speech! The breeder has offered the horse to any rider who can tame it. Many have tried, but all have failed. It would take a particularly good rider or an unorthodox method to tame this horse (Hard, Martial, Appeal)

    Pentherve was once home to some of Magnolia’s most prestigious vineyards, with methods and techniques dating back to the First Age. Unfortunately, war and neglect have put many of them to ruin. If one were to take the time to reconstruct the vineyards to take part in ‘The Judgement of Clermont’, it could bring great wealth to the duchy and the family who sponsored a winning vintage. (Medium, Alchemy, Intendance, Knowledge)


    Family Quests

    Lumiere

    Spoiler :
    A strange man from the Academy of Besangueux has been found traveling within Montcastel. Outsiders, even fellow Talieseans, are considered suspicious, and he was thoroughly questioned. Apparently, he is writing a book, called “Dangerous Beasts and Where to Find Them”. And though he is apparently an idiot for coming up here, he’s also apparently the foremost expert on magical beasts. It might be useful to figure out what he knows, and potentially offer to aid in his quest. (Hard, Martial, Appeal, Guile, Knowledge)


    Cuimilt

    Spoiler :
    Iseult Cuimilt is an unfortunate young girl, suffering gravely from the curse placed upon her by the tyrant. As she grows weaker by the day, it is important to understand the curse the Tyrant placed upon her so that one day, she might be freed from it. Lady Cecilia may desire to keep the affairs of the family under wraps, and can continue to study it on her own, but there is another way. The headmaster of Besangueux, Antoin Darcy, is not known to be a compassionate man, but he is the world’s foremost expert on Dark magic and the experiments of the Tyrant. If anyone can help understand what is happening, and what can be done with her condition. (Hard, Appeal, Guile, Knowledge)


    Séverin

    Spoiler :
    The calling of the Great Council has put a divide in the House of Séverin over who is to attend. Zénaïde is rather sick, and the healers warn that such a journey might kill her, so someone ought to take her place. The question is should Sarah attend, as the regent of Franchpais? Or should Romane, as the heiress? Only one can speak for the Duchesse, and whomever is chosen will signify much for the future of the duchy. (Medium, Appeal)


    Verniseul

    Spoiler :
    The House of Verniseul was a powerful force to be reckoned with during the days of the Tyrant, terrifying his enemies and delivering his ‘justice’ through a network of agents, powerful dark magic, and other “assets”. Now though, the Verniseul network lies in ruins...or does it? There are scores of documents here, written in a coded language, that could spell out what the family’s empire was...and what might still remain. (Medium, Guile, Intendance)


    L'Écuyer

    Spoiler :
    Achille L’Écuyer is well-liked by his nobles, with his effortless charm and friendly disposition. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of his cousin, Élodie. While many in Bourtaigne are rather open-minded, taking orders from a seventeen year old girl on the ducal throne can be...chafing at times. It may take a tour de force of some sort for Élodie to earn their respect or, at least, their obedience. (Medium, Martial, Appeal, Guile)


    D’Antan

    Spoiler :
    A letter arrived from a contact at Besangueux, a professor who is involved in cutting edge magical research. The letter is terse, befitting a scholar, but its contents are promising: he believes there may be a way to cure Valerian from his incapacitation. He warns you though, this will not be an easy nor straightforward task. He asks that when ready, a D’Antan meets him, so that they might discuss things in person. (Easy, Knowledge, May require multiple steps)


    Carnard

    Spoiler :
    The Thurian Legends tell of a man named Sîvrit, a great and mighty king during the Age of Heroes. According to the legend, he was able to fight and kill a dragon that had terrorized what is now Nerlandais and, if the record is to believed, his ancient home could be nearby. It will take some digging, but with enough research, logic, or brute force, his castle could be found, and his secrets uncovered. (Medium, Martial, Intendance, Knowledge)


    Croy

    Spoiler :
    Guy DeCroy’s background is rather...unique for a noble. It has tarnished the familial name, but having friends in low places can be rather useful. With the Great Council about to be convened, with both high class courtisanes and lower class “girls” hoping to make a fortune heading to Clermont. Having a few girls on the ‘inside’ could get the DeCroy family some interesting insights… (Medium, Intrigue)


    De Maximilien

    Spoiler :
    The Pleasure Seekers are a group with...interesting abilities. Nominally, they are a performing troupe, performing incredible acrobatic stunts. But they also engage in other activities. Through scents, light magic, and potions, they are able to create a certain...appealing atmosphere, that defies what is possible. Unavailable to the public, they are willing to entertain members of the nobility for the right price. And while that price might be expensive, among them is Hélène d’Aeneid, said to be the most beautiful woman in the world... (Difficulty: Easy, Recommended Attributes: Appeal, Gold)


    Montesqieu

    Spoiler :
    The Archbishop of Monterino is, at the ripe old age of a hundred and seventeen, on his deathbed, with perhaps days to live. And with his death comes the issue of his successor. The Duc of Orlandy has the right to appoint any Church official to the position of archbishop and due to Taliese’s immense power, the Primarch has stayed away from trying to influence appointments. But with Alduin Montesqieu, he has seen a potential opening to bring Taliese closer with the Holy City. He has dispatched a Legate, asking that Duc Alduin consider the appointment of one of his own favored candidates and has promised that if he were to do so, the Church would look upon the act with “great favor”. Of course, the last thing that Cardinal Fleury, head of the Taliesean Church, wants is interference from the Primarch. He has noted to Duc Alduin that the Primarch’s candidate would be “too foreign to our ways in Taliese” and has suggested another candidate, one of his own protogees, for the position. Fleury noted that were he to appoint his candidate, he would be in Duc Alduin’s debt. Both men would have powerful favors to give, but would make for dangerous enemies. And unfortunately, there is little room for compromise that would leave both parties satisfied. (Medium, Appeal, Knowledge)


    Abbandonato

    Spoiler :
    As the highest ranking Latirean family in Orlandy, the Abbandonato family is uniquely situated in the Duchy. Though they are not the most prestigious family, many Latirean artists, scholars, financiers, and even minor nobles would prefer a mistress of their own culture, for the right price of course. If they’re careful about who will have the privilege of serving, it could ensure the Abbandonato family will have the greatest minds working for their glory. (Medium, Appeal, Guile, Knowledge)


    Du Luc

    Spoiler :
    The Last Charge of Leonard Du Luc saw the family’s ancient sword, Arondite, lost to the Tyrant. He stowed it somewhere in the Imperial Treasury, but after the Hero’s rebellion and the destruction of Clermont, the treasury was looted and Arondite was lost to history...or was it? It may be useful to go to Clermont, and find out more from the Imperial Treasurer, though that would likely be the start, not the end, of the quest. (Easy, Appeal, Guile)


    Remillard

    Spoiler :
    The village atop Montagne Belle Neige was once the Penthervean ideal. Productive villagers would make mulled wine and cider in the winter for festivals, the abbey sat atop a natural hot spring, and there was a large festival each winter, making it the perfect winter court for the Remillard family to relax and enjoy time in the snow. But ever since the Hero’s Rebellion, Bella Neige has fallen into disarray, and dangerous beasts stalk the land, forcing many to abandon their mountaintop home. Direwolves chief among them, but rumors say they say that they pale in comparison to ‘The Beast’, a powerful, white furred creature with a terrifying roar. It would take a master chevalier to clear the mountain so that the village might return to its glory days. (Hard, Martial)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 1:06 AM
  11. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,357
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, JP
    That's update 0 in the bag folks! You will be sending orders for Summer, Storm Year 6

    In the quests, you may notice a few different difficulty ratings, based on your levels. Easy is basically anything 14 and below. Medium has a rating of 15-20, Hard 20-25, Very Hard 25-30; Extreme 30+. Though the exact difficulty rating might range, it will cap at the highest possible number. If for example you took an Easy Martial quest and had a rating of 14, you would have a minimum of a 75% chance to succeed. Other skills or traits may present an easier option to completing the quests.

    You can do any quest in any region, so long as the character is located in that region, and they are of suitable age (ie, above 16). Family quests are limited to those in that family, of course. Traveling, of course, takes 1 action, but I am granting 1 free action for you to bring a single character to Clermont. You may also have an additional free action to bring a child with said character to Clermont (under age 16)

    You have 6 Action points to distribute among your characters, with a maximum of three per character. You may take actions not specifically listed as quests, and even if your characters are idle, they will still do something, influenced by their traits.

    The Great Council requires at least one character, minimum age 16, to attend. You will be allowed to vote for who you wish to see become Emperor or Empress. There are a large number of NPCs voting as well though, and the vote may not end in one turn.

    If you could get orders into me by let's say January 24th that would be lovely. Let me know if that is infeasible.

    Feel free to post now!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 1:53 AM
  12. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,078
    To Comte Remi de Remillard
    From Duc Alduin de Montesqieu


    House Montesqieu has long admired the ancient tradition and chivalry of Pentherve and respects House Remillards upstanding place within Pentherve as a noble house and custodian of the noble arts of alchemy and the arts of the chevalier. Hence it comes to mind that it would be beneficial for both parties to unite our houses in common celebration of tradition and noblesse oblige in the sight of the Most High through Holy Matrimony, that the unity of the Empire may be advanced by the union of our houses in these testing days and that likewise we might find common cause in that most unifying of substances, blood.

    Hence we propose the marriage of our esteemed brother, Valerian de Montesqieu who shall be attending the Grand Council on our behalf on behalf of our Duchy as it pertains to the matter of the succession and your fair daughter Josephine Remillard. Through such a union we are certain that the bonds of friendship between our houses may be advanced and that the glory of our Empire might be raised to new heights after the unfortunate severing of many noble bloodlines in the aftermath of the recent unrest of several years past to the regret of many interested in the preservation and advancement of high magic. For our part we are confident such a union would greatly support our studies in arts magical, and that unifying your house to our prestigious and ancient line could bring nothing but benefits to House Remillard.

    Yours faithfully.

    Alduin

    -

    To: Duc Gabriel de Lumiere
    From: Duc Alduin de Montesqieu

    We proposed to your eminent Lordship the betrothal of our younger son Benoit de Montesqieu to your young daughter Alice de Lumiere and offer to take her up as a ward to be educated in the courts of Monterino as a gesture of our sincerity to our proposal. For indeed it is our belief that a future marriage between the two is not only fitting for children of their status [for the ducal houses are sadly lacking in young children to this end] but that such a betrothal would strengthen the bonds between our great houses to the mutual prestige of both, and to their ennoblement for in such a union the ruggedness of Montcastel would be united to fair refinement of Monterino to the perfection of each characteristic to their rightly ordered ends in Faith and in the sight of God.

    Yours Faithfully

    Alduin

    -


    To: Contessa Romina Abbandonato
    From: Duc Alduin de Montesqieu

    It is said that Gurlois savages have of late engaged in troublesome raids in the north of Orlandy. This offence cannot be permitted to remain unpunished lest the barbarians be emboldened to raid deeper into Taleisean lands and cause distress and anguish to the people. Hence we have decided to dedicate funds to the restoration of the fortifications that have heretofore been neglected and fallen to disrepair as a consequence of the war against the tyrant and have instructed our sister Lucie to effect and administer this end, as well as the garrisoning thereof with good stout men.

    Nonetheless such solely defensive measures are insufficient in the long run to ensure that the Gurlois remain in the barren wastes where they belong. An expedition to put them in their place and restore the natural order of things is necessary. Hence we desire to appoint your Lord brother, Giovanni Abbandonato, whose experience in matters of war as a mercenary is well known, as captain of just such an expedition to suppress the barbarians. Through such we hope to enjoin solidarity between out two houses, and effectually put to rest the disturbances that plague our northern lands and threaten the livelihoods of our respective subjects. Should Your Excellency and His Lordship be amenable to such a request we would necessarily request His Lordships collaboration in ensuring the necessary preparations are made and provisions set aside for said expedition to be initiated in the summer if circumstances allow, or next year if they do not.

    We look forward to Your Excellencies favourable response.

    ~ Alduin.

    notes
    Spoiler :
    requesting Giovanni and House Abbandonato take part in a military expedition against the Gurlois in Orlandy. House Montesqieu will of course supply forces should such an expedition proceed however House Abbandonato would need to raise troops or call up levies for the appointment of Giovanni to be feasible [can't have an outside running things if all the troops are mine] if it accepts. Alternatively House Abbandonato could decline the request as Duc Alduin has not invoked the bond of fealty to compel you to take action [which would imply the Gurlois are a serious threat, which would be absurd, absurd I say!]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 7:23 AM
  13. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,571
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    To Duc Alduin de Montesqieu
    From Duc Gabriel de Lumiere

    We regrettably cannot commit to your proposal of betrothal at this time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 7:58 AM
  14. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,078
    Ducal Decree of State Mourning

    -

    By Decree of His Grace the Most Excellent Duc Alduin de Montesqieu, Duc of Orlandy and Lord of Monterino, it is decreed that a state of mourning shall be imposed upon the subjects of the duchy in reverent memory and honour of His Late Majesty the Emperor, who by providential grace from on high delivered our Sacred and Imperishable Empire from the snare of the Tyrant who recently passed away from the wounds inflicted upon Him by the same tyrant. This state of mourning shall persist until the Great Council elects a new Emperor to succeed to the throne.

    While this state of mourning is in effect the following edicts are to be followed.

    -

    1: Excessive extravagances, luxury and expenses as well as public events of a jovial character unbecoming of the present state of things on the part of the nobility are to be curtailed and mourning dress worn in public save on high holy days of a celebratory character, weddings and namedays as a public expression of grief and respect for His Late Majesty.

    2: The Noble Lords of Orlandy are encouraged to repay debts as they are able, forgive offences of their fellows and offer alms to the poor according to their means. We urge them to reconcile themselves to God through penances and prayer that by penances God might exercise His mercy on the Empire for the sins of its members. We most particularly urge prayer for the soul of Our Late Emperor for his good and salvation in the world to come.

    3: The common people of Orlandy are enjoined to likewise pray for the soul of the late Emperor and for the good success of the Great Council according to the divine will that the Empire may prosper in the days to come. Likewise we entail our subjects to dress modestly in suitable attire according to their means and respect the requirements of public mourning in their conduct.

    4: The clergy, where circumstances allow, are urged to offer requiem masses for the soul of the Late Emperor each Friday, and offer up the intention for the success of the Great Council on the main celebration each Sunday and High Holy day that God might effectually guide the Empire and the Duchy in the days ahead to a speedy and good end .

    -

    issued by the decree of Duc Alduin de Montesqieu, 12 day of Winter in the Fifth Year of Storms.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019 at 2:52 PM
    Nuka-sama likes this.
  15. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,078
    To: Duc Gabriel de Lumiere
    From: Duc Alduin de Montesqieu

    Inasmuch as the present circumstances bring much uncertainty to our Empire, and given the youth the parties involved we keep our proposal outstanding and pray that times change with the seasons to a favourable outcome in the months and years ahead.
     
  16. Ailedhoo

    Ailedhoo wonderer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    7,461
    The Duchess Zénaïde Séverin of Franchpais would announce that her house will have presence at the Great Council.

    As you alas are aware the Duchess is not at the best of our mortal status, for her illness bars her from making the journey. As dictated by noble requirements we will send in her place. The Duchess has mediated on the matter. She has decided that we like to help in council to Cardinal Fleury on the fate of our realm and will send forth Sarah Séverin, the regent destined, whose piety will help channel the divine in judgement for the next sovereign. She will also be able to show the nobility the humility of those of the clerical and to In the regent's absence Romane Séverin will conduct matters of the duchy to help in supporting her mother, the Duchess Zénaïde, in management of Franchpais.

    Our main desire is to judge the candidates on whether they would support us against the heathen Knyazhestvo of Kolpchek who are raiding our lands, looting both property and the populace themselves. We will urge the Cardinal to use his pious station to call a holy call to arms against the barbarian infidels that threaten us so!

    We will also send Ulysse Séverin, for he will wish to apply to the tournament. As a noted heroic knight his presence would be most popular at the tournament and any victories could also be handy to promote our prestige, as well as to grant a opportunity to impress any landless knights and warriors who may wish to be employed by the Duchess of Franchpais to help us counter the barbarian raiders that are ever a threat to our subjects and the properties of the House of Séverin.

    As for who we support: we will judge. If the south is serious to enshrine the glory of the Empire then it should join us of the north in handling the barbarian menace. The Knyazhestvo of Kolpchek must be tamed before it despoils the realm!
     
  17. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama :)

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,357
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tokyo, JP
    Queen Laskia the Dragonslayer of Pontria (F, 28)-A remarkable young woman that has inspired a remarkable mix of fear, envy, and worship. To hear Pontrian propagandists tell it, Queen Laskia is an enlightened monarch ruling justly over her subjects and protecting them from exploitation. To hear her detractors tell it, she is a tyrant worse than Valerian who has destroyed the natural order.

    The truth is somewhere in the middle. Laskia was, likely, a bastard daughter, raised by a peasant milkmaid. When her abilities in dark magic were found out, she was conscripted into a local lord's army. She was forced to fight on a campaign against a Kolpchekian invasion. She killed hundreds and eventually helped force them back. The war was hailed as a great victory by the King of Pontria, but when Laskia arrived home, she found her mother, along with the rest of her village, slaughtered. They had not been allowed in the local lord's castle, as he feared they would run out of food if the Kolpchekians put them under siege. Enraged, Laskia slaughtered the lord and his family and began what became the first successful peasant rebellion since the Savior.

    Less than a year after she began her rebellion, the King of Pontria was disposed, and the nobility was crushed by her and the rebels. Those who could, fled. Those who could not were forced to become slaves, living batteries, channeling their power into her. She was able to use this power to eventually confront and slay the dragon that had resided in the Pontrian mountains. Obeyed and revered by her people, Laskia has radically remade the country, abolishing all ranks aside from her own, and spends her days fighting the horrific monsters that infest her country. In foreign policy, her beleaguered chancellor has told the monarchs of Magnolia that Laskia has no intention of spreading her revolution to their countries, so long as they stay out of Pontria...

    Though spoken of as a candidate for Empress of Taliese, Laskia has, to this point, said nothing. Naturally, her destruction of the nobility has not endeared her to the Taliesean lords, but there is some curiosity among many, who hope to glimpse the Dragonslayer in person....so long as it's not at swordpoint and does not end in them becoming a human conduit...

    Spoiler :
    Dragonslayer
    Dreaded
    Master Slayer
    Hardy
    Wise
    Attractive
    Diligent
    Just
    Proactive
    Moral
    Temperamental
    Distant
    Shy
    Cruel
    Wroth
    Obsessive
    Diabolical
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019 at 11:21 AM
  18. Seon

    Seon Not An Evil Liar

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,571
    Location:
    Not Lying through my teeth
    "On nights like these, we release moths from a bell jar to die in the candle."

    .................................................................................................................
    These are the whispers of a traveler from a distant land, who cursed themselves with their own gods.

    The Centipede Testament
    Aliiiiiiice
    The Centipede crawled out of the desert sands and into the roots of trees.

    She found a new home, but now it cannot return home.

    Now, she crawls everywhere else.

    She crawls through key holes.

    Through channels.

    Through Histories.

    Through birth and sight and hearing.

    This is what she has to say:


    After light cast upon wide eyes

    After the forest grew silent,

    After the screams in the mountains,

    The tears and the grief of thousands

    Light ascended to the throne of broken moths

    .....................................................................

    In a forest where the moon couldn't go,

    The boughs of the trees wove together

    Like lovers or bandages.


    The moon might change herself to an ant

    Or to a bird.

    Or to her Sister.

    But the Forest would not yield to her caresses

    Nor tolerate her penetrations.


    One day, Jacques came with scissors

    And he severed the branches until the Moon and the blood

    Dappled the rotting leaves on the forest floor.

    ..............................................................................

    In the north, there was a great protector of the world.

    Then one day, she fell silent.

    These scissors were used to take from her.

    First her nails.

    Then, her hair.

    Then her fingers.

    And then what remained.

    ...............................................................................................

    What the caterpillar calls the end, the moth calls it life.

    The vine crowned moth-king arose

    From a dark place

    Within the cold heart of thunder--that which was dead.


    It claims lordship of all that is light and alive.

    For it has come from a dark place

    And it shall not return to it once more.
    where it will never be seen

    It seeks among the trees

    With its dappled wings.

    It will burn the world for the warmth that it seeks.
     
    Nuka-sama likes this.

Share This Page