- 1 5th April
- 2 10th April
- 3 13th April
- 4 15th April
- 5 16th April
- 6 17th April
- 7 18th April
- 8 18th April
- 9 19th April
- 10 24th April
- 11 30th April
Summer Day - Jyl
To honour the Queen and our warriors we raise the banners of Jyl and above the banner of Ar Agyr and the house Dubhaine!
Summer Evening - Baqua
Met with little resistance, the Goathorde combined with the might of their allies in Thalmarkin and Ar Agyr made quick work of the militia standing in Gotland's rightful pasture of Baqua.
Quartz ordered for a takeover to commence. He directed for celebrations to be thrown with flowing barrels of ale and wine in the center of the main village of Crullok's Boot and outside of the old paper mill that stood iconically in Baqua's horizon.
With the takeover under way, he took advantage of the moment of quiet to sit in a field near his camp. Quartz closed his eyes, let his mind go, and focused on He Who Is Smelly and Wise. He took in breath after breath, noticing the scent of the blooming grass and wildflowers of the summer, and the smell of dew from the night. A few minutes went by, and he smelled an all too familiar stench that could only mean one thing, the Great Goat was arriving. With each passing breath the beautiful reek of the The All Smelly One grew stronger and stronger, until all Quartz could smell was the Great Goat himself.
At first he saw two hooves, thick and sturdy with the power to end any man with one firm kick. Then he saw His beastly legs, resembling that of a formidable tree's trunk covered in short but thick and fine brown fur. Next came into view a torso with such muscular development and width it left one in awe wondering what it is He could not wield. His arms were long and thick, in his right arm he effortlessly carried a gigantic maul that must have weighed no less than half a man, designed to shatter bones with a single blow. At last the Great Goat's face came into view, and who could forget such a splendid sight? His massive snout, his razor sharp teeth, and especially his beautiful and large horns that curled back and far.
"Great Goat", Quartz said, "it has been too long since I have last seen you. We pray for your mercy and strength as we fight Angmar and their puppets that occupy your lands".
The Great Goat huffed in dissapointment and began to speak. "You spoke to the shell of a ruler for far too long before doing what you knew must be done. When you fight for Haji you will come to know if you have my mercy or not. Carry on with your duty to Me and the Goathorde, I trust you will see this through as required."
Quartz understood where he had gone wrong and what The Great Goat demanded. "Thank you your Pungentess. To show you my dedication I will refuse to bathe until Haji is once again ours. I will reek in your honor, and all that face me in battle will know my smell."
The Great Goat nodded in approval, and with that vanished from Quartz's vision, as if he were never there to begin with. Quartz opened his eyes and smiled, but there was still much work to be done.
Summer Evening - Baqua
The night was dark, and somewhere in the distance an inhuman shriek rent the chilly air.
An old man picked his way through the ancient ruined shell of a noble manor in Gor Ault.
Had Heimar been the kind of man for musing, he might have mused at the irony of his situation. Alone in a lost and monster-infested land, surrounded by all the dread of dark and creaking boards and spiders and Creator knows what else scurrying off into the gloom, he feared none of it half so much as he feared the very thing he sought.
But Heimar was not a man for musing. He was an old soldier, burned out from too many battles and too much raaha smoke to cover the pain of lost friends. So he did not muse. He pushed aside his fears, his very thoughts, consigned them to the dark place behind the well-built walls of his soul, and continued on his mission.
The thing he sought - and it was a thing, for what other word can describe that which cannot be called human, and yet is not spirit, nor elf, nor beast, and yet moves as though it had will, and sense, and kills and kills again? - was somewhere within these crumbling walls, somewhere in the shrieking plains of Gor Ault where man was predator or prey or long gone.
Heimar had been sent by a master he'd once loved to find this thing to which he had somehow become bound, this killing machine that had turned his life into a nightmare unending, this yoke he thought he'd escaped twice, only to be dragged back under its crushing weight. That weight had smothered all love in his heart, until all that was left was duty unshirkable and the yearning for the release of death.
For now, Heimar believed, death was his only escape.
He found it collapsed in a dusty corner, like a doll tossed aside by a storming child. The yellowy eyes stared blankly off at empty darkness. The cruel mouth twisted in a meaningless grimace, exposing sharpened teeth behind the cracked and ragged lips. The clawlike hands twitched intermittently, spasmodically, on the ends of arms askew, splayed out at angles unnatural to the human form.
Heimar drew in a slow breath, shoved his hands into his pockets as he looked down at it. Was there life within? If so, it showed no sign of seeing him or sensing his presence. He thought - but perhaps it was the wind through the cracks in the rotting walls, but he thought - he could hear shallow rasping breaths.
He hoped against hope that he was too late, that he would fail in this "last" duty and go back to his peaceful life as a beggar in the streets of Agyr. But he knew better. As he drew forth the stone chip the nameless Khalkar brother had thrust into his hand by surprise as he sat smoking on the docks, he could feel the power within it surging forth as it never had.
It had led him here, and now he must complete the mission.
The thing stirred even before he pressed the stone to its convulsing palm, a great creaking shudder up from the base of the spine to the base of the skull. Heimar drew back and fought the urge to vomit.
"Can't be helped," he muttered to himself after a moment. "Made an Oath..."
Forcefully, he pressed the stone into the outstretched palm. A wheezing gasp racked the supine form, the spine arching toward the ceiling. Heimar backed away as it siezed and shuddered, rasping groans grinding forth from between the desiccated lips.
At last the limbs shot out at crazed angles, the yellowed eyes opened fully, the mouth opened, and a rasping scream worse than that of a tortured animal burst forth from between the sharpened teeth. Then it collapsed, and was silent.
Heimar hoped again, briefly. But the thing stirred, slowly this time, the claws seeking purchase on the warped floorboards, turning itself, forcing itself to its hands knees.
The head rose slowly, lanky hair parting to reveal the strange, barklike skin of a face halfway between human and monster. The yellow eyes glinted. It bared its sharpened teeth in a savage, bestial grin.
"Captain... Heimar," it rasped.
Heimar drew breath, fighting the wave of nausea that threatened to overwhelm him.
"Lord Kilhorn," he said, clearing his throat. "You have been assigned a task."
If a tool of murder can be said to smile, the thing known as Kilhorn Dodger smiled.
Summer Day - Baqua
Heimar looked at the letter with horror.
A nomination for Lord Kilhorn? Did the young noble whose name Heimar did not know understand what he was asking for?
Heimar burned the letter before Lord Kilhorn could see it.
Terian rode silently next to Araman and had been silent for much longer than is usual, suspiciously long one might say.
"Oh for heaven's sake, spit it out Terian! Your silence is deafening." Araman yelled frustratingly.
"Well my lord, would it not be prudent, if you don't mind me saying, to share your expertise of military warfare given the circumstances?". Terian asked genuinely.
Araman laughed. "My good man, such are your aspirations that only a few days upon arrival you suggest I throw my hat into the ring to lead the armies of the realm!"
Not riding to Araman's joking tone, "your knowledge is amongst the finest, as is your lineage, my lord", he replied earnestly.
"Be that as it may, I need time to acquaint myself with the current position of the forces, realm and just as important, the nobility. I doubt there are many here, or anywhere for that matter, who would see kindly to a newcomer making such a bold statement. I appreciate your sentiment, Terian, but let us take one step at a time." Araman replied.
The unit continued on in silence en route to Fronepu.
Heimar looked at the private letter with even more horror. Blood and sweat? Then this noble he had never heard of had family ties to... and he probably knew Lord Kilhorn from...
The last thing Heimar needed was for Kilhorn to start "commanding" armies. That was much more than he had been assigned to handle. He had heard enough of the screams of innocents...
So he burned the second letter too.
Summer Evening - Gethsemene
Araman and Terian watched as the strange noble who he knew only as Kilhorn rode off into the distance.
"Not very friendly, is he?" Terian asked rhetorically.
"What were you expecting?" Araman replied flatly.
"Considering we are the sole reason neither his nor Sir Grano's men were injured in this battle, a thank you at least." Terian replied, not attempting to hide the anger in his voice.
Araman turned to his men, none had died in the battle, such as the skill of his handpicked, but 13 were injured. His healers were experienced and he was sure all would recover within the coming days, ready for the next battle. He always made sure to travel with one healer per 15 men as his family had always advised.
"This is a strange land and one plagued by undead and monsters, as well we have seen. That brings with it a certain type of character... if the man cannot see that our tactics saved him and his men injury then it makes little difference. We're here to fight, Terian, not make friends", said Araman.
"Even so, some gratitude wouldn't have gone amiss. His men wouldn't have fared nearly half as well against the creatures we faced head on and archers are much less equipped in melee combat", Araman replied bitterly.
"Perhaps not, but now we know who we're dealing with. The land here are plagued by these creatures and the nobility, this one included, have not been able to stop it. He would do well to take note of our tactics, but if he chooses not to, it is his head on the line." Araman replied.
"So we stay the course?" Terian asked.
"Our tactics do not change on a whim, least of all from one of equal rank. When this realm sees a General emerge and we fight in greater numbers we can adjust our strategy to fit the scenario. But until then we do as we always have and that is succeed." Araman replied matter of factly.
"What of Sir Grano?" Terian asked, gesturing to he and his archers camp in the distance.
"If he wishes to make himself known, he will. Set up camp and give the healers chance to work." Araman ordered.
"Yes, sir." replied Terian as he rode off toward the makeshift camp.
Summer Day - Gethsemene
Word reaches you of a skirmish in Daisha. According to the rumors, a Gotland company was attacked by local militia from Caelint, screaming bloody murder about the theft of Baqua as Gotland rode by on a routine patrol of the border. Apparently there were troops from Thalmarkin near by who immediately rode to the aid of their allies.
The militia, being outnumbered, fled back into Daisha and their foes gave pursuit in the heat of battle.
Summer Day Sniika
In Jidington, work on the temple had began. Eva watched as the small shack was being expanded into a small temple. Not far away a voice of a small boy could be heard, "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" Eva turned to see the boy standing on the street corner peddling newspapers. Intrigued she walked over and bought a copy for a single gold coin. Quickly scanning the paper her jaw dropped slightly, "a love affair?" she thought aloud. She shook her head, disregarded the rumor as unilaterally false, and went back about her day.
Summer Evening - Sniika
Heimar was horrified... Kilhorn under the control of... the real Kilhorn?
The body parts were arranged in the shape of a chessboard, with crude outlines of the pieces ready to play...
Had it... learned?
What had it learned?
The hermit in the tattered cloak recognized some familiar faces that were a rather uncommon sight in these parts of the continent, but then again he was a stranger too and so he didnt give it another thought and continued his journey...
Summer Day - Sniika
A Priest in tattered cloak was seen preaching to the common folk:
The wolf also shall dwell with the goat together.
And the bird and the bear shall feed their young ones together.
The sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice'den.
Throwing some incense into the fire the Hermit continued in a singing tone:
The task was to string a mighty bow and shoot a target in the sky, which was the moon, while looking at its reflection in oil below, a feat only few could perform. After all the princes fail, many being unable to lift the bow, four brothers each took their turn and the youngest one won. They return home and inform their meditating mother that the youngest brother has won a competition and to look at what they have brought back. Without looking, the mother asks them to share whatever has been won amongst themselves. Thus, the Princess ends up being the wife of all four brothers.
Summer Evening - Jyl
Orders from Kilhorn Dodger
All rally refit recruit in Fronepu
Keep an eye out for victims
[an undead eye rolls out of the last fold in the parchment]
Keep an eye out
The eye cannot move or even blink, lidless as it is, and yet it seems to stare directly at you.
Summer Evening - Qrelg
Heimar squinted at that one.
"Male" was probably a more accurate term, but nothing was certain with Kilhorn anymore...
He took a pull on his raaha joint as he ambled his horse up a bit closer to Kilhorn's.
At least they would be fighting undead on the morrow and not humans.