Dubhaine Family/Ciarghuala/Roleplays/1018/October

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2nd October

Autumn Evening -- Poryatu

Goriad Gabanus

She picked her tunic up from the ground, and as she got dressed, she gave him a wondering glance, no longer annoyed, but interested. "So why don't you look for a nice little dame who would be happy to be your lover, instead of trying to restrain someone... like me?"

As Tyra stepped back and picked up her tunic Goriad smilled and spread out his arms. "Behold, I have freed myself!"

He made a gesture to Tyra who was putting on her tunic. "Do get dressed, somehow it seems dressed you ask wiser questions than you do naked."

He sat himself down on the ground, crossing his legs. "Throughout all of this you have assumed I seek to find you in marriage, but you are the only one who even mentioned the word. You claim I seek to restrain you. Why? You can think of no other alternative?" he continued to speak "If you understand your advesaries, you hold power of the situation. Just as I held power despite you holding the knife." He now nodded to her.

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

He made a gesture to Tyra who was putting on her tunic. "Do get dressed, somehow it seems dressed you ask wiser questions than you do naked."

Tyra considered just walking out on him, but for the sake of the lesson and the four times he bested her, she shrugged, and went to get her pants on. "You are less insufferable when I'm dressed, too."

He sat himself down on the ground, crossing his legs. "Throughout all of this you have assumed I seek to find you in marriage, but you are the only one who even mentioned the word. You claim I seek to restrain you. Why? You can think of no other alternative?" he continued to speak "If you understand your advesaries, you hold power of the situation. Just as I held power despite you holding the knife." He now nodded to her.

She looked at him, investigative. "I didn't necessarily assume you seek marriage, but your condition that if I want you, I should have no one else without you, that's something married couples do. I appreciate the offer to have fun with someone else while we're together, but to forego it completely in your absence, that's... Who do you think I am?" She went ahead and knelt before him, fully dressed. "Also, why would you want to make this into a game of power? Isn't it tiring, to be playing games all the time? Even in bed? Have fun instead."

Goriad Gabanus

Goriad frowned for a second. "This has been a game of power and legacy since the first day I laid eyes upon you Tyra," he said with a sudden stern voice.

He then remained silent for several seconds "You could be among the greatest of all time, if one would teach you patiemce and understanding of the world. You had Aldrakar's respect at such a young age, and when I met you I knew why. You are an heir to two powerful houses, a woman as fierce as the sun, yet still raw and unchanneled."

He paused again to allow his words some time to sink in. "But you have been so occupied with yourself that you failed to wonder about why I would help you."

"I want to help you channel your fire, to teach you patience and understanding of the mind of others. Once you do, you can have fun unrestrained."

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

Tyra listened quietly, not without a hint of surprise. "You have your work cut out for you, hm? I think ever since I was born, people have been trying to teach me patience and restraint. It never stuck. You'll have a few months to try, I suppose, on our journey. The other half of that lesson... I'd like to learn."

She then gave him one of her unrestrained smiles, genuinely warm. "At least I got to hear the real Goriad, and I like him, even if he has a little penchant for grandeur... Now all he has to do is answer my damned question!"

3rd October

Autumn Evening -- Poryatu

Emyhr le Craint

The salty sea breeze brushed through Emyhr's rugged silver hair, shielding his eyes from the wind his only redemption by ducking behind the ledge of the boat. Emyhr stood on the main deck of the ship. His eyes encircled by dark black circles, blood shot and watery his sleepless nights proved ever tough for the young man. Once the breeze passed by, Emyhr stood up once again and looked over the bay towards the port of Askileon, he let out a deep sigh turning away looking towards his men settling down for the evening. At which point Solomon approached, the man looking better then Emyhr did, he leaned against the edge of the boat.

"So... We have finally taken the plunge into the unknown. My friend, I do not know what the world has in store for us on our travels. I hope that tonight will be the night I finally get some sleep."

Emyhr struggled on his feet, his lack of energy was becoming more and more apparent with every day that past. Solomon held out his arm as a brace for Emyhr, the two of them making their way toward a table that had been set up on the top deck. A couple of attendants began preparing the table for the evening meal, covering the warn table with a simple linen cloth, placed an assortment of cups and plates followed by jugs of wine. The two of them sat at opposite ends, the stewards poured wine into each of their cups and departed towards the stairs going below deck towards the kitchen.

"The future may be clouded in mystery but that is part of the charm of it. Wherever the winds shall take us, I am sure we will find a hint towards what we seek. For now, let us eat. With luck, the sea shall help you sleep tonight."

The two men enjoy the meal prepared by the ships crew, a simple meal not suited for a noble but they enjoyed it none the less. As the evening drew to a close, the men began to break into the kegs of ale brought along for the trip, many of them excited for the venture in the north. Emyhr and Solomon now a few drinks down joined a few of the men as they reveled in the prospects of the future, many of them showing off scars from battles and fights. Emyhr was feeling more prospective about the future seeing the men enthusiastic and hopeful. Emyhr grabs his drink and stood up promptly.

"Well then men, the time for adventure is now. Lets us remain hopeful to what lies in wait for us. To the future..." Emyhr raised his cup in cheer. "TO THE FUTURE.." The men cheered in chorus.

15th October

Winter Day -- Poryatu

Kaguya Fujiwara

The copse was not large, only a meager cluster of trees that broke the mostly endless plains of Ciarin Tut. But the undergrowth was enough to conceal Kaguya, Alfreid, and a couple other retainers. Fifty metres due south was a dry riverbed in which hid another handful of warriors. South again, a disused irrigation ditch with another group of men, and so on.

The last battle had gone ill, and the Fujiwara scion had commanded that her forces disperse. A difficult decision to make; Retreat was not a pill easily swallowed by Yamatai pride, but there was no sense in wasting the lives of good men. Three had thrown themselves to the wolves so that the rest could escape. Their yoroi would have to be retrieved and returned to their households after this was over, in keeping with the Yamatai tradition of preserving armour as family heirlooms.

In the meantime Kaguya watched and waited, counting meticulously the beasts as they roamed the fields seeking to sate their appetites on stray cattle or foolish smallfolk who had not had the sense to beeline home and bolt their doors behind them. Her face was slick with grime and sweat, and bitter with barely concealed frustration at her present impotency.

Still, the Countess of Ciarin Tut was not one to waste time in fruitless idling. Men had been dispatched - surreptitiously of course in ones and twos - now to scout the enemy, or to warn outlying hamlets of the approaching threat. It would not kill the beasts, but perhaps these efforts might mitigate the damage done to her holdings and people, or perhaps produce information that was of use to the rest of the army.

"Another scout has returned, milady."

"Indeed." A curt nod. No smile. "Captain, he shall be provided a sturdy branch, through which he must sketch the disposition of the enemy thus encountered."

Kaguya glanced briefly at the sunset as Alfreid hurried away. Slowly but surely, light was fading, and with it would come a sleepless and terrifying night. Her thoughts went briefly to Veronica; hopefully the Dame's surviving troops had managed to stash her and themselves away someplace safe. The Countess had no idea where they had gone, and the thought of a wounded Lurian noble - stranded within her lands without resources nor help - chafed on her sensibilities as a Lady of the Empire.

She grit her teeth and turned her attention back to counting the vile things, hoping that friendly banners would soon appear.

17th October

Winter Day -- Poryatu

Veronica Gardarr

Ciarin Tut

Veronica laughed as the handsome man led her across the ballroom, his dashing smile and his fast steps across the dance floor made her heart race. Occasionally she would notice a blurred face as she spun and twirled as they danced faster and faster.

Faster and faster they danced, until she became as light as air, faster and faster they danced until they lifted up in the air. Magic … Veronica beamed, the man smiled and they danced. The walls and the roof of the Ballroom folded away and they danced, higher and higher into the Night sky.

The Night sky beckoned and the stars shone bright, still they danced higher and higher lifting over white puffy clouds. The man pulled her closer and as they embraced their dance slowed down. She was content in his warm embrace.

Something changed and it felt wrong, he was holding her tighter, and she was struggling to breathe.

“You’re hurting me … let go …” She pushed at him until she could lift her head. His smile had turned into a sneer, his eyes cold and his touch even colder. His mouth opened wider and wider and rows of teeth yellow and stained bore down upon her. His hands turned to claws and they pressed into her as his grip tightened.

Veronica tried to scream, but his embrace left her dizzy and out of breath, she mustered all the strength she could and freed her arms. She went for its face and dug her nails deep, pulling with all the might she could muster she left deep gashes, a foul pungent odor assaulted her senses as yellow pus flowed down the creatures face.

The pus burned her hands, but it was worth it. Its grip loosened on her, she struggled and squirmed until she could slip from its embrace. She started falling backward; it felt like an eternity as she tipped away from it. Its cold eyes held her and its blood crusted claws reached for her. But it was too slow, she was free and so she plummeted down and down towards the fluffy clouds below.

Cold air assaulted her as she fell; fear enveloped her as she fell and so the clouds welcomed her not with a soft embrace but a cold lingering pain.

Veronica’s eyes fluttered open to the screams of men. She remembered now, she fell of her horse. She strained as she pushed herself into a sitting position, the cold winter snow seeping into her bruised body.

She reached up and touched the back of her head and flinched at the bolt of pain. She looked at her hand and noted the red crimson on her glove, slowly turning her head she noticed the blood stained snow where her head had rested. Frowning she lifted herself into a standing position. The world felt like it was spinning around her, she almost lost conciseness but pushed on pass the dying men around her.

She remembered …

It was early morning when they rushed the makeshift fortifications. She had ordered the line to be held but they were too many, her men loosed arrow after arrow, but the horde just kept coming the left flank fell first then the right.

Then they scattered.

She looked around her, her horse lay in the snow not too far off, hunching figures crowded over it tearing at it. They where to engrossed in their meal to notice her, she struggled through the early winter snow trying to make for the nearby forest. She was going to make it, closer she got, even closer still, yes the trees welcomed her.

Joy turned to a burning pain as she fell to the ground; she had been struck, crunching footfalls in the snow told her all she needed to know, scrambling on all fours she tried to get away. Pain shot from the back of her head as her once golden hair now rust colored with matted blood was pulled tight.

She fell backwards and lost vision for a second, as she lay in the snow, the beast slowly bent down towards her, is foul hot breath upon her. It lifted its club ready to strike the killing blow, Veronica covered her face with her arms and knew that this was it, she screamed.

The blow never came, the beast stood over her, and it had three arrows sticking out of his chest. It was staring at them in amazement before it fell backwards and bled out. Veronica felt herself being lifted.

“We have her, move out you sons of dogs, full retreat. We head deeper into the woods. Where is that bastard healer, get him NOW!”

Veronica blacked out.

19th October

Winter Day -- Poryatu

Sevastian Schwarzherzig

"Legatus, it is time." Sevastian's Tribune dutifully announced. Sevastian exited the villa he had commandeered as his headquarters and made his way to what would serve as the duelling ring. He shrugged off his cloak and breastplate, which were dutifully taken by a servant. Queen Luarin arrived just then, and he offered a smart salute with his sword.

"Your Majesty, you caused me insult by disobeying a command that was lawfully mine to give, and left me to face the monster hordes alone. It was in this very field I was wounded as a result of your turning from battle. I do not wish to harbor a grudge, but my honor demands satisfaction for this affront. Let us bleed away bad blood upon this very grass, so that we may again walk in friendship." Sevastian intoned, and stepped into the hastily marked ring.

His opponent did the same, and Sevastian's second counted down, and gave the signal to begin. Luarin took up a defensive posture, and Sevastian carefully closed the gap, feinting a thrust and following it with a high slash. His technique showed considerable experience and skill, and it was clear he had the advantage... If only just.

The two traded blows at an increasingly furious pace, Sevastian's feints and maneuvering failing to draw Luarin from her defensive posture. Sweat beaded on Sevastian's brow, and he knew he couldn't keep this pace up for forever. He began to force himself to breath heavier, and held back on his blows to give the impression he was tiring, and then with a dramatic flourish... He was exposed. Luarin thrust home, hoping to finish the match, but Sevastian had been waiting for this. He stepped into the thrust, catching the blade in his thigh. He cried out in pain, and Luarin's eyes went wide as she tried to pull the blade free... But she was too late. Sevastian thrust his blade home, and she crumpled to the ground, bleeding... But still alive.

The Queen's second called for a halt and healers rushed onto the field. Sevastian had the sword removed and his leg bandaged. He began to limp off the field when a strabgky dressed man appeared from seemingly nowhere.

"Legatus Sevastian Schwarzherzig?"

"I am." Sevastian replied, his piercing eyes sizing up the man before him.

"Sign here." The man intoned, holding out a quill and a piece of parchment.

"Luarin Bowker had a price of 2,000 gold on her head to whosoever kills or incapacitates her. The prize is yours."

Sevastian looked surprised but happily signed the reciept.

"2000 bonds in your name, which can be redeemed at any Ferratan bank. Take care." The man tipped his hat, and was gone again. Sevastian's Tribune shot Sevastian a puzzled look.

"Legatus, who was that?"

Sevastian shook his head.

"Bounty Comisssion Official. Strange bunch."

21st October

Winter Morning -- Poryatu

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

She had been at sea for what seemed like weeks, now. Alya was restless but she managed to take the time to become a fish, spending every single moment she could, in the water. Tyra often asked her, jokingly, to show behind her ears so she could verify the absence of gills. When they practiced swordfight, the warrior often distracted her by mentioning her fingers were becoming webbed, or fins that were growing on her back. Alya laughed at first, but after a seaborne monster group passed by their ship one day, humanoid looking, but full of fish-like features, she got a little impressed.

Now, the teenager was taking her nap (since she couldn't be swimming under the strong midday sun), and the Countess was entertaining herself with one player Skat, taking her time to actually wonder about Goriad.

Word came he was in jail - well, that's why they were waiting for his return, even though she could see the towers of the Springdale palace right ahead. Their first stop. Maybe she should land without him...

He had been very open after they had both been dressed that day a long time ago. He told her, he wanted her only for himself, because he wanted an heir, not a wife. To say she had been surprised would be an understatement... yet he had told her a little about his children, and how they had grown up with his brother and became... quirky. Their mother had been a fire witch and hadn't been around much. Tyra felt like there was more to that story but hadn't pressed... She had only asked him "why me?" and Goriad had repeated himself.

"Strong body, good lineage and fierce." She muttered, and one of the sailors nearby looked at her. She darted a silencing look his way, which the crew had soon learned to respect, and set another card on the creaking floor before her. Why hadn't she said "No" right away?! She always took precautions so she wouldn't have to join the battlefield with a huge belly... But he had been sincere and she had promised to consider it. And still hadn't decided. Every day his arrival was delayed, it was a bit of a relief for her, not to have to give him an answer.

It was also another night she got to enjoy one of her scouts or someone from the crew... Though none of them had any exceptional skills. The younger one was being quite easy to train, though.

Marjorie de Chevalier

She had heard it again.

Despite everything, she had heard it again.

Despite the court hearings, the beatings, the lashings, the hangings and the many other evils that she had used, she had heard it again. 'Pagan'.

When Marjorie was entrusted the county of Dantooine, she had imagined it would be an easy task. Too easy, perhaps. Overseeing the food production of Luria and keeping the farmers happy, fed and clothed. Keeping them in line. This had proven not to be the case.

Ever since Marjorie's arrival in Dantooine, the farmers have been wary of her. Though the matter had never been taken to her directly, the cretinous whispers of the great unwashed masses found their way into the Chateau in even intervals. The peasants were unhappy with Marjorie. and particularly her lack of faith. Pagan was the word that they had chosen for her. A pagan ruler, it seemed, was unfit to rule this pious farmland.

Marjorie had attempted to reconcile her differences with the peasantry in many ways. First, kindly. She had held meetings in the local town halls, had the town criers chant praise of her most capable administration, and paid local leaders to attempt to sway the peasants' fury elsewhere. Nothing had worked. Then, the pagan Countess had called for many, lengthy days at court, where she had patiently but firmly established how serious she considers this situation to those responsible to the local towns and estates. Nodding and agreeing, the Countess Marjorie thought that finally the people of Dantooine would relent; that they would accept their new ruler, whose patience and virtue should now be undeniable, despite their religious differences. But no.

Finally, the Countess could no longer stand the whispers. Pagan, unholy, not of the Celestial Scales; unworthy of Dantooine. She took to the only means left for her. Violence. She made examples of all those that had defied her, dragging husbands into the streets. First for beatings, then for lashings, and then for hangings. Even a few widows would follow their men into the grave, if they dared to speak of their lizard god even after witnessing the departure of their beloved.

The whispers, finally, stopped. Some farmers, filled with rage and vengeance, tried to protest her rule still, but it was nothing in comparison. The Countess was happy that at long last she could think again, at peace in the Chateau, without having to hear the constant scurrying of treacherous rats. Still, this experience had changed the Countess. She could no longer stand the lizard cult, as she now referred to the Celestial Scales. Whenever she passed the small temple hosting this foul religion, only one thought occupied her mind.

Burn it.

Only then would she know, for certain, that she will never hear the whispers again.

Ansil Luitolf

As the men of the Silver Hammer entered into Garuk Udor, Ansil looked around and saw the sights. He saw the multi-level villages built into the seaside cliffs, and more importantly their claim to fame, the Bride of Ciarin that spanned the strait. Impressive building skills. he thought to himself, though a bit crude compared to the rest of Luria living in cliffside walls.

"Marshal, the take over of this region has begun, but not everyone has arrived yet." the faithful Captin Erhart told him from behind.

"More 'freedom celebrations' I'm betting," Ansil sighed in disgust.

"More than likely m'lord" Erhart stated.

"Fine send the men out to assist I suppose. Let's get this over with and get back to the east where the SIlver Hammers belong. We have lands there to attend to." Ansil said as he gave him a distasteful glare. Erhart knew Ansil hated to be called that m'lord as he was not a landed lord. "Also, send a scout out into the land to acquire a souvenir, and have him report to me personally when he has one. I promised Edelyn something from the west."

"Right away m', I mean, Sir Ansil." Erhart quickly corrected himself and sped off to deliver the orders to the men.

October 21st

Winter Evening -- Poryatu

Ansil Luitolf

Ansil sat in the tent that was set up for him in the makeshift camp looking over scouting reports. He knew there was little to worry about, only a small contingent of monsters that could be easily taken out on the way back if need be, but he had no interesting celebrating the 'freedom' of these Udorians. In his mind, the might of Luria should be brought down upon these peasants for daring to rebel, especially so soon after their last 'liberation'. If he had his way, half of them would be put to the sword, and that was being nice about it, but he knew most of Luria would never go for it.

Before long, the scout reported.

"Marshal Ansil, I have scoured the immediate area for the souvenirs you asked for, but there wasn't much to be had. The locals still don't really trust us so I could only speak to the local huntsmen." He said as he places a backpack on the table Ansil was sitting at.

"That's disappointing. Let's see what's in here." Ansil replied disdainfully while starting to pull out the items one by one.

"A bar of soap." He stated while looking at the scout

"A lump of wax," Ansil said glaring at the scout

"A broken sword." He continued Flagrantly

The next item felt peculiar. As he pulled it out, he could not believe what he held. It was an emaciated hand! An emaciated hand. "A hand?! This... This is a human hand!" Ansil exclaimed seethingly at the scout. "What the hell is the matter with you?! You want me to give my daughter a severed hand?! Why would someone even keep this?!"

"Marshal, I didn't think to look!" the scout shouted as Ansil took the hand and threw it at his head smacking him and bouncing to the floor.

Ansil started to check the pockets and finally found something that might be of use. An amulet and a small dagger.

"Tell me, how much did you pay for most of this junk," Ansil asked

"Just a few gold Marshal, I swear." replied the scout

Ansil threw 10 gold at the scout and simply stated "Now get out of my sight and take this junk with you. I'll be keeping the amulet and dagger."

October 22nd

Winter Day -- Poryatu

Roleplay from Alessio de Medici Message sent to everyone in The Great Halls of Luria (46 recipients) - 15 hours, 32 minutes ago Sat in his office, Alessio was hard at working planning for the next Medici investment and the renovations that should hopefully come next. Advances in architecture: Buildings with square-shaped symmetry. Cornices upon the façades of many buildings with centrally placed doors and balconies. Columns and pilasters, even decorative if not needed to uphold structure. Arches, barrel vaults, flat or coffered ceilings. Doors with square lintels, perhaps set within arches or surmounted by segmental or triangular pediments - and windows much the same. Outer walls to be constructed of brick, rendered or perhaps faced with rock and finished with ashlar masonry. The decoration and details tying the architecture together must have courses, moulds, all carved with precision, truly to make wherever construction could happen into a grand sight to be seen. For now, he would seek to implement these changes in some parts of Luria, no doubt its cities but perhaps the estates of some of the nobles all around. Soon, perhaps, he would reach out to foreign lords with his plans, spreading true Lurian art across Dwilight - and perhaps some day the world.

His plotting was soon interrupted by a knocking upon the door, followed by his heir, his son Luca, stepping into the room. He had not yet been bold enough to step into the office until today - and the pieces of art, models of architecture, maps and countless scrolls in the room did baffle him.

"Father, I am here to study under you. If I am to succeed you, I will need to be better than you," he asserted, leaving the room in silence for but a moment more.

"My boy, you are right. Sit with me and watch - say nothing for this week and the next we discuss your thoughts. Begin training in the courtyard with Raskolnikov, for he will be your greatest ally in my absence."

October 23rd

Winter Day -- Poryatu

William Fitz Roberts

Meanwhile in Poryatown

Anne stormed into the room where William was working, surrounded by carpenters and masons. She could hear them talking about that damned aqueduct again

‘Husband, what are you doing?!!!’ She snarled, pushing two of the craftsmen to the side with such force one almost fell in the fire

William did not look up, just kept turned another page and made a note. ‘Just tending to my city, my love’ He pointed to an area on the piece of paper he was looking at ‘that well is still not fixed? That square has been without water for too long, someone see to it’

‘William!!!’ Anne bellowed, making the whole room fall silent and William at last look up

‘Yes, dearest?’

‘There are people in the courtyard waiting to hear your petitions and letters you have not answered’

‘Whom from?’

‘Alessio Medici for one’

‘Answer them yourself, I have no time for that family’

With a sigh, William got up and walked out to the balcony where there were some two dozen people waiting for him to hear them. He sat down in his chair and pointed at the first man


‘M’lord, this man slept with my daughter, I demand that he be castrated or sold into slavery for rape’, the man said dragging forward a youth of some sixteen years

‘Where is the daughter?’ William asked in a monotone

The man looked flabbergasted. ‘What?’

‘I want to hear what she has to say, bring her here or I will hear no more petitions’

A short while later a young woman of some fifteen summers was brought forward. She looked nervous, but William gestured for her to speak

‘Please, m’lord, it weren’t no rape, we are married. I am pregnant, you see and so we thought it best to get hitched’

‘I never gave you permission to get married, you are still my property and this boy has defiled you!!!’ The father roared

‘Mother gave us permission’ the daughter said, rounding on her father in defiance

The man was about to speak again, but William raised his hand

‘I find no issue here. Parental permission was sought and given. I presume that your father has refused to provide a dowry?’

The girl looked up, her relief clear on her face. ‘No m’lord, the tight old bastard refuses every time we ask. We fear we might starve m’lord, Hans is the eighth son of a farrier, his family have no money to give’

‘I am sure we can sort this out’ William said, smiling. ‘Johannes, where is the list of my smallholdings outside of the city, and the lists of my herds?’

William’s secretary passed him two pieces of paper, which William glanced over before making his decision.

‘There, those will do’ he looked down again at the family, ‘I grant the two of you the smallholding known as Cherrywood just north of the city, as well as twenty sheep and three cows from my herds. I trust that will sustain you?’

The young couple looked at each other in glee. That was more land than anyone in either of their families had ever owned put together

‘As for you’, William turned to the father, ‘I fine you thirteen pieces of silver for failing to provide for your daughter, as required by my laws, and sentence you to five lashes for deliberately bringing false testimony before my person. Next’

A man bearing the Imperial insignia stepped forward, straight-backed and self-important.

‘Margrave William Fitz Roberts, the King requests that you return to military duties at your earliest convenience. If you are willing to do so, he is prepared to offer you the following positions of command…’

‘No’ William said, waving him away

The herald looked affronted. ‘But I had not finished’

‘I said no’

The man was forced to one side as the next petitioners stepped forward, presenting a boundary dispute.

And so the day went and the citizens of Poryatown praised the generosity of their lord.

Winter Evening -- Poryatu

Sevastian Schwarzherzig

"Lega-" Sevastian's Tribune began, before he cut her off.

"I know." Sevastian growled, buckling his sword to his belt. Pushed into a second duel less than a week later, Sevastian was in no mood, particularly given the circumstances surrounding this duel. Either him or Praetor Benedict wouldn't be walking away from this one, and all because the Praetor decided to lie. Sevastian stepped out of the lord's manor into a storm of activity, the takeover was running well, but it still kept everyone's hands full. Sevastian marched to the dueling ring, and after a short wait, Praetor Benedict and his second arrived.

Sevastian simply drew his blade and stepped into the ring, glaring at Benedict as if he could erase the man from existence with his gaze. Benedict stepped into the ring and the seconds wasted no time counting down. The two men threw themselves at each other, both opting to eschew technique for raw, unchecked aggression. Both men swung their blades with both hands, and when they met Sevastian could feel the ring of the blades reverberate down his arms. The two traded back and forth, and then locked blades. Sevastian stared daggers at his opponent, his hatred almost palpable. The two seemed evenly matched, when Sevastian pushed forward, and stomped on Benedict's foot, causing him to recoil in pain. Sevastian had his opening, and swept his blade in a downward arc, severing Benedict's hands at the wrists.

The Praetor opened his mouth and cried out, Sevastian lashed out, and drove his blade home. The blade entered Benedict's open mouth, and emerged out the back of his head, instantly silencing his cries of pain. Sevastian twisted the blade and drew it back out. Pulling out a handkerchief, Sevastian cleaned the blood from his blade before sheathing it, and silently marched out of the ring, as attendants scurried to and fro to deal with Luria Ferrata's first dead noble. Sevastian stopped at the edge of the ring, turned, and muttered a short prayer for the departed, and left.


Benedict Dupont, Praetor of Luria Ferrata, Earl of Mattan Dews meets his challenger Sevastian Schwarzherzig, Legatus of Luria Ferrata for the agreed duel till death. Both participants are using the 'overrun' strategy, so that neither has an advantage.

The duel goes as planned, then badly for Benedict. He suffers several slight wounds, then a final, fatal blow. The healers hurry, but they are too late.

William Fitz Roberts

William hears about Benedict

William and Johannes were checking over the treasury when Helga ran in, ducking in past the guards that attempted to stop her before crashing into William

‘Woah, woah, woah, slow down there little one’ William said, stifling a laugh as she went sprawling. She was already very tall for her age, but she was still dwarfed by her father. ‘What’s the matter? Drake getting on your nerves again?’

At Drake’s name, Helga’s face went bright red, but she clambered back to her feet with the help of her father’s outstretched hand. ‘No, no, Drake is fine. Well I say fine, he’s training with Giesla in the courtyard so I suspect he will be anything but fine come dinner. Mother sent me with an urgent letter’

‘A letter? Is this about external affairs? If so, she can deal with it…’

‘She said that this one you had to read and she said if you refused to say that I was to give you this look’ Helga did her best impression of her mother’s ‘do what you are told now’ face and was disturbingly good at it.

‘Okay, okay, by the scales please don’t do that face again, I’ll read the letter’ he said, taking it from his daughter

‘I’ve been practicing. Prospero has even stopped trying to tease us because of it. I tried using it on Henriette, that was a mistake’ Helga gave a little shudder and was about to continue her ramblings when she saw her father’s face, a mix of shock and some other emotion she could not quite read.

‘Father, what is wrong?’

‘Oh nothing, nothing. Just an old rival put to rest by another problem. I don’t know whether to celebrate or mourn, to be quite honest with you’

At this, Johannes piped up. ‘My lord, a noble has died, you must at least show some respect even if you don’t feel it’

‘Yeah, yeah I know. Erm, send a dozen black roses to his family and one of the smaller elephants for good measure’

‘Yes, m’lord’

‘Oh, and it just so happens that I was going to declare a festival this afternoon. Now, isn’t that a coincidence?’

‘Certainly is, m’lord, certainly is’ Johannes said, leaving to make the arrangements

‘Come on, Hel, I wish to make a tour of the walls today. Going to consider what repairs might need doing’

‘Sounds fun. Can’t be asked to train today, Gee hurt my hand yesterday, couldn’t lift an axe even if I wanted to’

‘Come on then’ William said, picking her up, ‘You know, one day you’ll be too big for me to carry you’

‘If you were a normal size, I already would be. Can I have dancing lessons yet?’

William laughed at that. ‘I think it is time, yes. I’ll make the arrangements.’

October 26th

Winter Evening -- Poryatu

Staedtler la Stylo

A Long Time Coming

The wedding ended in calm. Applause echoed about the newly weds as they walked the aisle, the nerves running Staedtler's skin soothing to a benevolent hum. Irina had tightened her grip around his hand. The wedding band was pressing against his knuckle; pure, cold metal. There was a playful serenity within her eyes, and her husband did mirror it. Peace, no matter how long it had been awaited, had arrived upon The Purlieus, and it was welcomed in song and laughter. It would surely not last the season, perhaps not even the day, but there was hope that it could. Stranger, more alien things had endured time's passing, and perhaps, just this once, something good would survive the Lurian winter.

The two sat beneath the ribbons and trees as the guests went off into the night. Carriage wheels and horseshoes ground over gravel and stone whilst fellows bid their farewells with handshakes. This fleeting moment of coincidence would be the last to be shared between them for some. Harsh times were ahead. They always were. Brother would fight brother, fathers against sons, and the halls of Luria would groan beneath the weight of the world leaning upon its aged timbers. A sickened Luria was coming. One where crowns would shed their kings like petals falling from flower heads, wilting in the cold. A future these laughing nobles, sharing the world side by side, could not possibly prepare for. Yet, in this moment of silence, laying beneath the clouded stars of an overcast night sky, Steadtler looked to Irina and smiled.

October 29th

Winter Day -- Poryatu

Ansil Luitolf

It had been a long march from the lands of Garuk Udor, but finally, the Ansil and his soldiers had made it to his home in the Outlands of Outer Giask. It had been days of marching, sleeping, marching more, and they had covered a long distance at a fast pace while sending out the scouts to ensure nothing was wrong. As soon as they arrived at the manor, Ansil called his Captain forth

"Captain Erhart. Take the men back to Giask, and gain more recruits. Our next stop is Mellafera, and I wish to be of more use there. Stop by here on your way back for me to rejoin you. I have matters to attend to before we step off." Ansil said as he started toward the manor from where he oversaw his estate.

"Of course Marshal, we shall be there and back quick as a racing horse." The captain replied before he ran off and gathered the men to relay the orders.

As Ansil entered his estate he quickly called for the tutor and caretaker of his daughter Edelyn, a woman from a minor noble family called Korinna, as well as his personal scrivener, Evander.

"Korinna, how fairs little Edelyn in her studies," Ansil asked as he looked over at the short, blue eyes woman with dirty blonde hair.

"Sir, she comes along well and seems to have a particular knack for the sciences. She also has a particular interest in the monsters of the world." Korinna replies.

"This is good because I have plans for her. She needs to get out of here. It is time for her to take tutelage under another noble. I hear that the Countess of Gordno has returned to Ferrata, but plans to head out again. This would be a perfect opportunity for Edelyn if the countess were to take her along. If the countess agrees, then I will be sending Edelyn along. Korinna, you have my leave to go as well to help care for Edelyn if the countess wishes." Ansil stated as he thought aloud. "Evander, this is why you are here as well. You will draft a letter for me to Lady Tyra. Korinna, you send for Edelyn and get her ready to greet me, but do not speak of this to her just yet. I want everything agreed upon first." He continued.

"In the meantime, Evander, you and I have a letter to write."

October 30th

Winter Day -- Poryatu

Luarin Bowker

Luarin returned to Shinnen after another long battle against the monsters that plagued Luria Ferrata. She was tired. Age was beginning to weigh and though she could still wield her sword, the recent defeat against Sevastian was a sign that it was time to pass the crown on to someone with more energy.

Taking a pen, she wrote a short letter and had it delivered to King Cador.

"Call Staedtler and Irina," she ordered the page waiting at the door.

She wanted to have a big party to announce Staedtler as the new King of Sun Hall but the revolts and the invasions would not allow.

Going to the main hall, she took the two crowns in her hands. A large studded with red stones and a small one, with blue stones forming a bird next to a golden eagle. The Bowker's coat of arms and the golden eagle that had always protected the family would now be on the head of her sweet Irina. Sitting on her throne, she waited for the couple.

Winter Evening -- Poryatu

Staedtler la Stylo

Staedtler was kicking snow from his boots, watching the sun set through down through the throat of the silent, palace hall. A pair of soldiers, shoulders wrapped in furs, guided the doors shut against the wind-whipped snow as it dusted the flagstones in white. Staedtler winced as the aged hinges croaked and groaned in defiance. Each visit he made, he had jokingly made the same observation; the battered, old things needed replacing with something cleaner, something new. Not today though. He just watched the sunlight fade outside, as the doors slowly came to close with an echo that shook the floor. Irina threw her cloak off of her shoulders, and beat the frost from it with the back of her hand, like a maid would to a dusty old rug. She handed it to one of the door guards and took Staedtler by the small of his back as he rose from the floor.

"You look confused," she said, adjusting the cloth of her collar. "I know you aren't, but you sure do look it. Might want to rethink your whole expression. First impressions, and all that."

"Yeah ... I'm just worried, that's all. Dreadfully, dreadfully worried. Shall we?"

Tapping down the hall was a servant, hurrying forth with a horsehair broom under her arm, hoisting up the cloth of her dress. She skidded to a stop before the couple, and pressed her heels together. She took a sharp, dignified breath, and curtsied, nose as red as her cheeks.

Irina looked impressed to the girl, yet there was a quiver a smirk beneath.

"See? But the first of many loyal servants to come."

"Oh please," Staedtler sighed with a smile, starting his walk forward. He took Irina's hand and and shook his head.

"No, really. Better get used to it all; the negotiations, the subterfuge, the grovelling - oh, stars above, the grovelling! It's the worst. By far." Irina's shoulders slumped and she feigned crippling, emotional agony and exhaustion with every step, dragging her feet across the floor.

Staedtler could not help but laugh with her. The way she mimed her stature sagging under the burden of the duties to come reminded him of his family and far-gone siblings. In fact, he was still baring the warmth of a smile as he entered the throne room, ready to meet his awaiting queen and her words.

Luarin Bowker

The couple entered the throne room and Luarin smiled, glad to see them holding hands.

"Irina, my dear," she said, hugging the girl as she held out a hand to Staedtler.

The young man greeted her with obvious nervousness, shifting his weight from one leg to the other as he waited for the next words.

"Staedtler and Irina, I will not make you wait any longer, I have a few words to tell you."

Taking one hand from each in his own, she continued, "Since you arrived in Luria, Steadtler, I have been following your actions, your commitment and dedication to the realm and when I knew that Irina would be your wife, my admiration only increased. Not many people would impress this lovely girl."

With a smile for her granddaughter, she continued, "Irina was supposed to be my heir, but she told me she does not want that responsibility. Age weighs on my shoulders for some time now and I believe that together you both can make Sun Hall a better and stronger kingdom. "

Releasing their hands, she turned around and took the family's crown in her hands, placing it on Irina's head, which knelt at her feet.

"Use this crown as a sign of your royal blood. Take care of her and let the golden eagle advise you in times of trouble. "

Irina seemed to have some difficulty holding the crown over her head but was quiet as her grandmother addressed Staedtler, now with the royal crown in her hands:

"I have received this crown from King Cador when I was crowned Queen of Sun Hall, now it is yours. Reign with wisdom and respect and nothing would destroy your strength."

Staedtler knelt down and bowed his head to receive the crown.

"I did not want to do a great ceremony, but you can gather the nobles of the kingdom and make a more joyful coronation if you so wish." I will keep my house in Shinnen. This old lady needs me as much as I do need her, and I will remain here till my death. On that day, you can make your home here."

Changing the tone of her voice, Luarin stood up, no longer as a grandmother but as the queen she was, and said in a low voice:

"Staedtler la Stylo, with this crown I proclaim you King of Sun Hall."

Gathering the hands of the two young couple again she ended, "Be happy."

October 31st

Winter Day -- Poryatu

Luarin Bowker

"Congratulations King Staedtler la Stylo"

With this words, Luarin open her arms to hug the couple.

"Now go get me some great grandkids."

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

It was evening when Tyra and Alya arrived to Marshal Ansil's manor in Outer Giask. The countess was wearing her usual garb of late: the silver trimmed blue travel tunic representing her house, the blue cloak full of pockets, finished with silver fox fur for winter. Alya took the opportunity to wear a dress, gray and black. The teen had grown a bit in the last trip, gotten tanned in the northern sea, picking up a few words in new languages, but the monster prison had brought back to her face some of the defiance and fierceness that Luria had managed to soften during the months, balls and weddings she had been there. Tyra allowed her to introduce themselves to the herald.

"Hello, I am Dame Alya R- I mean, ward of Countess Tyra Andrasta, and we are both here at the invitation of Marshal Ansil... She is the Countess." She blushed a little at the blunders, but Tyra winked and the herald simply thanked her and went inside.

"They're used to it. Don't worry. I'll want your opinion about his daughter, though. She might be coming with us... If we think she fits."

Alya opened her eyes wide and smiled. "Nice! How old is she?"

"I don't know. Probably not under 10? Age matters less than her ability to stay quiet when necessary" at this the teen blushed harder. It had been her fault the monsters heard them and captured them. "...or her steadiness before danger, or how well she can hold a dagger. She doesn't need to be as good as you. But a little skill would be good."

Winter Evening -- Poryatu


Ariana came upon a posted warning of funky-smelling undead rising from the grave in Shinnen and gathering in hordes.

"They should burn those corpses instead of bury them"