- 1 1st November
- 2 8th November
- 3 16th November
- 4 17th November
- 5 20th November
- 6 23rd November
- 7 25th November
Summer Evening -- Meuse
Banetal was not aware if the realms in the north already had heard about the "sad news".
Banetal wrote with his own hand: "My fellow judges, friends, I have sad news." He hesitated and took a sip red wine. How to phrase it?
"I have news that some might make cheer, but for me it is a sad experience. King Kay Peregrin felt in battle. At Your Service"
So he had signed the short letter and he looked around ... no raven here. "Gudrun! Giselher! Galm!" he called that couple of ravens, and their companion, in this case a mighty hawk, Galm.
As most of the time, the companion was first to arrive in his room, through the arrow slit. The Ravens had the habit to play "we did not hear you" and only came after a while. But in this case they landed in his room on the table just a minute after the hawk.
"At your service" one sad mocking him. He looked over, but could not judge if it was the female or male, because both were busy eating.
"Gudrun", he said, addressing the big female Raven, "Bring this letter to the north" ... he was to tired to write a letter for every realm.
"Next big city beyond the river", he added.
"That is Westmoore", Gudrun answered. Gudrun was one of the few ravens who not just could talk but also was really smart and talked with sense instead of just playing with words or giving stereotype answers.
Banetal was to tired to write a letter for every northern leader, or judge. He took another sip the goblet with red wine. "Gudrun, deliver the letter please!" Banetal looked at Galm: "Protect them! Avoid humans and their arrows!"
The bird of prey looked sternly at him and nodded. Not able to speak, they nevertheless where as smart as ravens and understood every work.
Galm shrieked: "Eeeeeeek!"
"Keep the men ready to move out, Andred. Get those repairs finished up."
"M'lady," her sergeant touched his forehead.
"We've been charged with strengthening the defenses of Akesh Temple."
"By the King, Himself," she added.
Summer Day -- Meuse
The Courtship of King Kay I
The foppish town crier marched to the town square that day, in his typical tights and doublet, a floppy feathered cap and shoes that curled at the end. He toted the one scroll in particular, in a bronze case from which he withdrew a parchment, and clearing his throat, proclaimed loudly,
"Lords and Ladies, their retainers please!
Let it be known thusly that King Kay, the Lion King of Perdan, seeks an enduring betrothal!
The King is comely, young and fit, and rumors of his recent demise are greatly exaggerated!
The union thus, of the young King and a Northern landed Lady, pursuant to hitherto unknown PEACE with the Realm of Perdan is assured!
Progeny thereafter, mayhap a young Price or Princess of the realm! Peace everlasting between the North and the South!
Interested parties of (of station Baroness or higher!) should enquire thusly with proof of lineage and recent portraiture care of Perdan City, Perdan!"
Satisfied, the crier hopped of his step, rolled up his scroll and carried on to the next town.
Summer Evening -- Greatbridge
The sun felt warm on her face as she lead her small patrol back across the glens of Montijo.
It was nice to venture out to rid the lands of beasts, but she looked forward to the rowdy taverns of the city.
Summer Evening -- Al Amarah
Message sent to all nobles of Shadowdale (9 recipients) - 9 hours, 58 minutes ago Lindow was on the terrace of his office, looking at the courtyard of the Grey Palace where his new strength was, The Hundred Custodians. They are formed by nobles of minor families of the kingdom, but being only one hundred the requirements to enter were very strict and demanding.
Once selected, they were armed with the best weapons and armor of the kingdom, their horses were big and robust, these horses wore a metal barding from which a caparisons with the Moonsum house emblem fell while the riders wore the Shadowdale emblem on the shield and banner.
Lindow returned to his office, he wanted to reform and strengthen his army and he had many ideas in mind. He sat down in his chair and began to write a new bulletin of the general. At the end of the day he finished and sent his camera assistant to promulgate him.
The new bulletin in addition to bringing obligations and recommendations also brings rewards. Several months and even years have passed since Shadowdale went to war, for that the loyalty and value of their nobles in past campaigns must be rewarded. That is his wish.
Summer Day -- evora
High above the deeping pool of Evora stood a lonely tower, approached by a single treacherous path winding through natural tunnels and up the sheer face of weathered basalt cliffs. None knew the year of its making nor the hands which hewed its polished stonework from the surrounding mountain and many tales were told of its pre-human past when the gods themselves bestrode the land and fought their bloody wars. For long ages it had lain derelict, protected by some unseen power from the harsh winds and storms which battered it, until seemingly by chance Brigdha had happened upon it when seeking a hermitage in the barren wilderness.
In secret she'd refurbished it, each furnishing and decoration crafted by her own hands, and the surrounding rocky escarpment brought to bloom by her care and nurture until what had once stood a doom-haunted ruin was become a place of healing and love. It was here that she established her home, the approaches guarded by the sharp eyes and deadly shafts of The Ghost Watch, and at the pinnacle of the tower her workroom where the full power of a Balancewalker could be tamed, tempered, focused.
And thus it was that on this particular day Brigdha could sit in her chamber and admire the work she had conceived, a table bestrewn with white diamonds and in each a crimson flame like unto the Saltire which now flew from the tower's summit. Nor were these but pretty baubles, jewels made to adorn crown and sceptre and coronet, for as the eye was drawn to their depths so a wonder: for there could the Lady herself be seen, and with her the memory of a time now passed when that very same saltire had flown above the streets of Oligarch and clear as if whispered direct in the ear an invitation:
Today in Evora a banner has been raised and a guild house established. The Crimson Saltire is an organisation dedicated to the welfare of the common folk in times of distress, whether as victims of war or of natural disaster.
This undertaking has been some years in the making, having first been conceived during the Great Siege of Oligarch to mitigate the distress the people of that city suffered when the regime of Garas Gabanus was overthrown.
The Crimson Saltire takes no sides in the wars of Men and Elves nor favour any one religion. Membership is open to all who hold to our core belief that the preservation of life is a worthy end in and of itself.
I invite all interested parties to contact me courtesy of my estate in Evora.
How these gems would subsequently make it to the chambers of so many great lords was as mysterious as their manufacture, but at a certain moment it was the case that each was held and the marvel of their making revealed.
Summer Day -- Akesh Temple
It was a large room, beautifully decorated, a long carpet linking the door with the end of the room wherein the Shadow King Lindow was sitting, the man dressed in a breastplate, blue clothes with golden ornaments, a black coat with bear hair embroidery and on the head a beautifully adorned crown. To the right of the room were sitting all the nobles of the most important families of the kingdom: Baroness Brigdha from the house of Dubhaine, Margravine Kiera from the house of Cavendish, Earl Christofer III from the house of Kane, Margravine Flavia from the house of Arindal and Sir Samuel from the house of Orrpham. While on the left were noblemen of smaller families.
Lindow looked at the back of the room. - Open de doors! - Lindow ordered his servants.
Suddenly the crier announced the entry of a woman, all eyes were fixed on her. She moved closer to where Lindow was, until two guards stopped her at a close distance.
- Welcome to Shadowdale, Dame Ingrid. I hope you find what you are looking for here, but before that, tell me ... what is a noble looking for with a record like you in our realm?
Ingrid entered the high chamber, her flame-red hair unbound.
"Great Lord," she began, "I come to Shadowdale seeking sanctuary after repeated attempts on my life by agents of Perleone. They claim to be honourable, but I saw the rot from within and attempted to change things for the better. I failed."
"If you accept my service, I will set my considerable administrative talents to the betterment of the realm. I am also not afraid to join the army on campaign. What say you, Lord of the Shadowdale?"
"It's unusual for a woman of your age to have attracted quite that much unfavourable attention Dame Ingrid," the Tormentor leaned forward in her chair, legs crossed and arms lazily resting across her knee, "and as such we're understandably curious."
Summer Day -- Meuse
There were many murmurs in the room, among the nobles of smaller families, all kinds of words could be listenen, while the nobles of the great houses maintained their composure.
Lindow looked at that woman while she manteined some words with Lady Brigdha. She looked safe on the outside, but the lack of trust was still was in the King´s mind. When they finished to talk, the Shadow King spoken.
- Dame Ingrid, although Shadowdale welcomes all the nobles who want to dwell in their territories, it is necessary that these nobles demonstrate their commitment to the kingdom. -
Lindow made a silence and continued.
- Dame Ingrid, why did you do a rebellion if you had not enough support? What did I expect to get? there were nobles who supported you? -
Ingrid dauntlessly met the King eye to eye.
A slight imperious tone crept into her voice as she responded.
"Clearly, King, I started the revolt because I believed I could lead it to success. There were (and are) many other nobles who felt that change was needed. However, when the time came they proved themselves to be cowards and would not join me."
Her gaze then shifted to the south window of the hall.
"Lions, the Perleoneans call themselves! There is not a lion in the whole sorry lot of them. None stood up against the Emperor, and he himself refused my challenge."
"For I did challenge the Emperor Stanmore: me, a courtier of no great skill at arms challenged one of the mightiest warriors of the world and he - showing his true craven nature - refused. What say you to that?"
"Wisdom comes with age," only Brigdha's eyes revealed her amusement at the young noblewoman's self-conscious display, "for those who live long enough."
Summer Evening -- Meuse
"If we didn't have so many worthless priests in high places, there might be some gold to field and army," scoffed Kiera, in a way that no one could reply to her.
Kiera looked at the reports. "Nothing but desolation," she sighed. The scout nodded. "Nae even food enuff fer the troops, m'lady. Ye'll need to pack in yer own."
"Where is the army?"
"Of, still collecting themselfs back in Domus."
She snorted. Days behind, and silent. As always.
"Please build the forces to 5000cs", the king had asked her. "Here's a 400 gold to do so with"
A measly 400 gold from his bulging coffers. Silence on orders. Two silent money-grubbing nobles, two silent money-grubbing priests and a couple silent tag-a-longs who could barely keep up with the islands laughingstock of an army.
Not the place for her.