Dubhaine Family/Ciarghuala/Roleplays/1019/January

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1st January

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Alessio de Medici

True to her word, the Empress Andrea sailed to Shinnen aboard the Medici ship, His Imperial Majesty's Chimaera. It was a beautiful vessel, with intricately carved patterns, golden fixtures and most notably of all, a large chimaera bust at the front of it. She stepped aboard with a small unit of imperial guards, perhaps a dozen. She walked surrounded by them until a much familiar sight appeared, her dear friend Irina and her husband, Staedtler. Andrea was pushing what was almost like a wheelbarrow, inside a month old baby girl and a baby boy, perhaps a year or two. Of course, they were not touching the wood, rather it had a very comfortable and coushiny look to it all.

"It is wonderful to see you both again," she said. "Look at this wonderful contraption, it is a converted wheelbarrow. I feel as if the best of servants know my own needs better than me. How have you been, both of you? Nervous?" a smile came to her face, and she scratched at her neck. She was wearing her hair braided around her head with a small diadem sat upon it. For her outfit, a blue velvet houppelande lined with fur, flared sleeves, a collar and it was belted beneath the bust.

3rd January

Autumn Evening -- Poryatown

Luarin Bowker

Luarin was still recovering from the wounds of the last battle when she received the message that Irina was in labor. She bathed and changed into a comfortable dress, not knowing how long it would take. Irina was a strong but stubborn woman. Anything could happen.

"Prepare the blue room for Irina," she ordered the servants. Take hot water, lots of clean cloths and candles, lots of candles. Irina will be hungry so prepare a basket with fruit, bread and leave plenty of fresh water. Perhaps a bottle of wine too. I´ll need some."

Finishing to get ready, Luarin went to meet the couple and soon found himself in front of Empress Andrea.

"Greetings, Empress. It is good to be able to count on your help," she said bowing her head at the same time.

Turning to Irina, Luarin open her arms to hold the girl.

"My darling. It's time yet?"

Staedtler la Stylo

The clouds were breaking above Shinnen, and sunshine poured on through the cracks. The Euschean waves caught the light in blinding flashes, forcing Staedtler to look away and into his hands.

He turned back to garden, stunned by the burnt spots of colour on his eyes, and tried to find his wife's silhouette upon the palace grasses. Dazed and disorientated, he focussed his sight upon a figure approaching along the path. Jewelry and gems were shining up and down their form, as if a fragment of the sun-shot waters wrestled itself loose and came to torment the dazzled king further. However, the figure was also guiding a wheelbarrow before them, so liklihood was that they were closer to a gardener. A particuarly well-dressed, fashionable gardener with an imperial gait.

"It is wonderful to see you both again," she said. "Look at this wonderful contraption, it is a converted wheelbarrow. I feel as if the best of servants know my own needs better than me. How have you been, both of you? Nervous?"

"Empress Andrea," Staedtler blustered, forcing his senses back to him. "Oh my goodness, no. We were beginning to feel worried that you'd arrive in time - perhaps a little shaken, for sure - but nervous?"

Staedtler twisted on his heels towards the palace lawn. There, he saw Irina on a lounger, laid out beneath a standing parasol. She was carelessly fanning herself with a serving tray, like a hummingbird effortlessly blurring its wings. At her side stood a red-faced serving girl, clutching in her arms the fruit the tray had spilled and the paper fan it had replaced.

Staedtler returned to Andrea with a fearful smile.

"I think, out of the two of us, my wife is coping rather well. I, however, feel like i'm falling apart from the inside-out." Staedtler stepped aside and beckoned Andrea forth. "But come, let's reintroduce you two."

From behind Irina, Staedtler spotted Luarin, visibly giddy with excitement as she approached. The soon-to-be great-grandmother spied Andrea and her wheelbarrow first.

"Greetings, Empress. It is good to be able to count on your help," she said bowing her head at the same time.

Turning to Irina, Luarin open her arms to hold the girl.

"My darling. It's time yet?"

Irina shook herself lucid and dropped the tray onto the serving girl's foot. She strained herself forward and warmly embraced Luarin, mouthing an apology to the girl over her relative's shoulder.

"Heh, not likely," Irina shrugged with laughter, patting her belly with both hands. "We're all ready to go whenever he's ready, really, but I think he's gone and got himself scared."

Staedtler sat next to Irina's feet on the lounger, resting a hand on her hip. He saw that her face was drenched in sweat, and she was holding her bump as if it could escape and fly free at any moment Aside from that, she was a flawless portrayal of motherhood, and held not a fear in the world. That was his job.

"Have you eaten anything yet, love?" Staedtler asked.

"No. Don't intend to."

"Well, fair enough. Not like we're trying to bulk you up for winter."

Irina playfully knuckled Staedtler's hand. "Rude. No, i've got my reasons."

"Mhm. Which are?"

"Strictly feminine issues, love. Trust me."

"Of course." Staedtler mocked, throwing back his chin in theatre. "And as the very epitomy of masculinity, I couldn't possibly conprehend feminine matters, even if I tried."

"You sir," Irina said, locking eyes with her husband. "Are making quite the fool of yourself. Keep it up - it's why I married you in the first place." She faced Andrea and threw her arms wide. "And Empress Andrea, how could I possibly ignore you? Come here, give me a hug! Oh, you look so beautiful." She leaned herself forward to embrace her friend and first lady of the empire.

Autumn Evening -- Poryatown

Alessio de Medici

The Empress raises her right arm and a nearby servant comes to take the wheelbarrow, as she steps away to embrace her friend. "Amica mia, it is wonderful to see you again - you are so big! It must have been since the wedding, just before the announcement? You must eat, I brought a basket for you!", at which another servant comes from behind the guards with a basket - in it, a panettone, a crostata, some doughnuts, a bouquet of purple peonies, and lastly, two bracelets - one for baby, one for mummy - they were both silver bracelets, engraved with musgravite gemstones (fewer in the smaller, of course, though still following the same design).

Stepping back from the hug, she gives a light bow to Staedtler and to Luarin. "Messere la Stylo, Madonna Bowker. I would not miss such an event as this, I can hardly wait." The small group of guards, which it was now clear there were a dozen exactly, formed what was akin to a wall around the group. There were now three servants in sight, one holding the refurbished wheelbarrow, one holding the basket of gifts and another who was dressed the same as the other pair, though held nothing. He did, however, have a wonderful and big moustache above his grin.

4th January

Summer Day -- Poryatu


Of Feasts and Chess, Part I – A Play written by Eoghan of Via.


The ‘Queen’ of West, a large, slovenly ‘woman’.
The King of Blades, a Knight in Red.
The Queen of Suns, a Beautiful Maiden.
The Knight of Anchors, a ragged but handsome Knight.
The King of Nightmares, a Dark and Evil-looking figure.
The King of Two, a colourful Knight with a Mask of Two-Faces.
The King of Prayers, a tired, long-bearded old man.
The King of Birds, a dishevelled, wry looking Knight.
The King of Stars, a brutish, dim-witted looking Knight.
The King of Silence, a vacant, absent looking older man.

[The Scene opens with a banquet hall, three grand tables, two on either side of the stage, and a table in the middle. As all of the characters take their places at the tables, The Narrator, in this case Eoghan, steps forward to speak to the audience, Lyre in hand.]

The Narrator:

Welcome, welcome, one and all,

To a tale still in the telling,

The Monster Hordes have long since gone,

And Man’s wealth and opportunities are still swelling,

At the Great Feast of Kings and Queens,

The King o’ Nightmares Sleeps aside,

And although his Monsters prowl no more,

Good Queen o’ West, she weeps inside,

For the Good Queen o’ West, she’s grown fat and greedy,

And glances to the plates o’ her peers with unreasonable eyes,

For when a King or Queen moves their piece,

An innocent is oft’ the one who dies.

[The Narrator steps back into the scene, taking his role as the Minstrel of the Court to play a simple, courtly tune.]

[The scene begins to bustle – The Queen of West sits alone (except for the King of Nightmares, who is asleep in his chair) at the stage-left table, which is over-burdened with food on which she gorges upon – between them are several empty chairs, un-worn and dusty crowns at their places. At the stage-right table – a modest table, sit the Four Kings of Prayers, Birds, Stars and Silence. At the middle table sits the Queen of Suns, an empty chair beside her, the King of Blades and the King of Two.]

[Queen of West chortles as she gorges upon the food messily.]

Queen of West: Hark, fellow Kings and Queens! Our battle with the King o’ Nightmares sees him fast asleep in his chair for longer yet! Forsooth, ‘tis your succour I owe our success and bounty. Long has the King o’ Nightmares coveted our delights.

[Queen of West raises her glass in a toast, and the other Kings and Queens bar the Kings of Silence and Nightmares raise their own glasses in response.]

All: To Victory o’er the Nightmare King!

[The Queen of Suns rises to stand.]

The Queen of Suns: My fellow Kings and Queens, verily ‘tis a joyous day indeed! We all have sacrificed much, despite our differences, to aid the Good Queen of West in her aspirations, and ‘tis a wondrous occasion to see thee in good health, when all is said and done.

[The Queen of Suns sits to another round of toasting, as the Queen of West begins to greedily tuck into her food once more.]

The Queen of West: Hark, so the youngest but kindest of us speaks – come, let us revel in our hard-earned spoils!

[All begin to Feast, and the Queen of West becomes engrossed in her spoils. The Narrator once more moves to the front of the stage to address both the audience and the Peers.]

The Narrator:

But listen, friends, my Lords and Ladies,

Another name approaches from the East,

A brave and opportunistic young man,

Who comes to join the feast!

B’ware though, friends, for this man,

Will for’er upset the apple cart, so to speak,

Fore’ when this man takes a seat at the table of Kings,

Watch the Queen of West wail, and shriek.

[The Narrator steps back into the Shadows. All except the Queen of West and the King of Nightmares turn to notice a new guest – the Knight of Anchors, who enters from stage right. The Queen of Suns rises to address him warily.]

Queen of Suns: Who goes there – be named, or be removed with haste!

Knight of Anchors: ‘Tis I, the Knight of Anchors – an honest, honourable man who comes seeking only opportunity an’ home in this brave, new world. Verily, is it true? Doest mine ears deceive my sensibilities? Has the King o’ Nightmares been put to rest by you brave souls I see before me?

Queen of Suns: Mine apologies, Ser Knight, for my hasty remarks, and nay, thine sensibilities do not lie – ‘tis true, the King o’ Nightmares has been bested. Come, come, take a seat at my side – all that is mine is yours, for there is plenty for more brave souls like thee.

[The Knight of Anchors takes his place beside the Queen of Suns, and begins to feast hungrily.]

Knight of Anchors: Verily, I am grateful for thine succour, Queen of Suns. To your Health. Though I query, why is thine table so meagre in compare to the Queen of West’s table? Doest she not wish to share the spoils?

Queen of Suns: Nonsense, Ser, nonsense – the Queen of West is like any of us here. Hark, such preposterous notion of Greed by her! Go, be seated at her table, take upon thee an empty crown, for we have lost many.

[End of Scene One!]

8th January

Winter Day -- Askileon

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

For the first time, Tyra had felt a bit of concern for a battle, specially when she realized she was going to fight it alone, and severely overpowered. She wondered what Goriad would say if he was there, but well, she was leading ranged forces now. At least she wasn't charging ahead with her infantry in wedge formation like before...

Alya and Edelyn remained with the scouts back at the camp, despite Alya's protests that she was old enough, and that she was healthier than Tyra right now. Tyra had given her such a threatening look, the teenager was immediately silenced. "You take care of Edelyn, if I get imprisoned, you take her to Shinnen. I'll be on horseback, so I'll be able to get out quickly if things look dire..." Thank Goriad for teaching her to ride. She wasn't very good yet, but enough to keep safe. "Don't worry, Alya, I protect my kid, you protect yours, alright? Edelyn, if they breach, obey Alya, she's in charge."

The eight year old nodded, then kissed Tyra's face and belly, and went back to the rendorian ward. Alya helped her adjust the chainmail, now a little tight around the waist, grabbed her mace and headed to the battlefield.

They lost, but she wasn't captured. She went back to camp covered in blood, steedless, smiling victoriously. Life was good.

12th January

Winter Evening -- White Coast

William Fitz Roberts

William returns to war

It had been a long time since William had donned his armour. He had had his armourer polish it and properly prepare it a few days ago and now it was ready for his use. From his vantage point in his villa, he looked down upon the port beneath the cliffs of Poryatown, bustling with trade. His renovations were still continuing, but no longer needed as close supervision as they had required previously. The walls had been completed a few weeks ago, white marble to match the great fortress he had erected in the middle of the city and made one of his vassals the custodian of.

Smiling in satisfaction of the last year’s work, he picked up his old poleaxe, giving a few test swings. He still had his old strength, but he would need to put in some practice to return to his previous level of skill. He turned and walked out of the gates to the courtyard, where his new force were waiting. They were the perfect retinue, the result of his years of research. Large artillery pieces defended by pikemen, heavily armed and trained to the highest degree. He was happy. He would see how long that would last.

29th January

Spring Evening -- Weinschenk

Alessio de Medici

Alessio, in his return from the daimon lands, had stumbled across an all too familiar face - or rather, faces. Dianora de Medici, his older sister - and her retinue of children, of course. She was ailing, but with the support of the travelling caravan and loving offspring, it was as good as could be.

"Dianora, is that you?" Alessio asked, riding alone on his steed through Paisland. The journey was long and also terribly lonely.

"Alessio! Mio fratello. Or should I say, your Imperial Majesty, Emperor of Luria?" she let out a hacking cough, looking to her children as clambered down from the carriage, hobbling over to Alessio. The two were remarkable similar, with the same dark hair and blue eyes. "How long has it been, ten years now? You must meet all my children. Maffeo, my oldest, he is twenty. Then there is Novella, Lisabetta, Antonio, Doriano, Giuliana and Fabiano. Have you heard of our dear Vittoria? She has had children - we have just finished selling our wares, we are travelling for Beluaterra."

"Mother, you cannot speak for us all," said one boy. Presumably it was young Doriano, given the order of the names and the children. He was a young adolescent, though he was headstrong and confident. "We have talked of this before, I do not want to go. Giuliana does not want to go, Antonio does not want to go. Neither does Matteo, but he is willing to sacrifice that. Can you truly make all of us?"

After letting out another hacking cough, Dianora spoke once more. "Who raised you? Who paid for your education? Where are you even going to go? You work for your uncle, you become an assassination target - that is what you want?"

The children, first Doriano, then Giuliana and Matteo swiftly nodded after, though Matteo only slightly nodded. He was bound to his duty.

Alessio raises his hand, before further outrage could ensue. "I will take them as my wards, and the rest of you shall gain safe passage to Beluaterra from Paisly. I could use some more friendly faces around the court."

30th January

Spring Morning -- Shomrak

Lelith Poe

My dear Shomrak your countess returns!

Oh what have they done to you?! Once so beautiful and now so broken.

You have seen so much hatred and blood spilt already but not long left my children....mother is home and she is ready to play.

Helm Altenahr

"Blood for the Blood Raven! Skulls for the Raven Throne!"

Lelith Poe

The Ravens answer to House Poe only!

We alone are the chosen of the Corvidae.

Regstav Pryde

Arise, arise, Men of the North!

Dire deeds await, for darkness rises in the East.

Brothers shall fight and fell each other,

and sisters' sons shall kinship stain.

Hard is it on earth, with baying horns;

Axe-time, sword-time, shields are splintered.

Wind-time, wolf-time, ere the world falls.

Nor ever shall men each other spare.

Sevastian Schwarzherzig

My fellow subjects of the Empire, and esteemed allies,

It was once said that is is easier to find men who will volunteer to die than it is to find men who will endure pain with patience. Our enemy has an abundance of the former, and in a few short hours we will perform our solemn duty and oblige them. Not because we want to. Not because our leaders want us to. We do so because we must. We do so because we are the latter type of men and women.

We have endured the pains of aggression. Many of you were present for the victory in Demyansk, and many of you have already endured the pain brought be these aggressors here on Sol's own soil.

As your commander, I ask but one thing of you. Continue to endure. You have all seen our foe baying for blood, and make no mistake, they will come for it, and many of them are skilled warriors in their own right. I ask you to stand firm in the face of that bloodlust. I ask that when your shield arm grows weary, that you choose to endure. Throw away thoughts of glory and triumph, for many of those we are about to put in the ground are our own brothers and sisters in faith, and though they have fallen prey to misguided leadership, we should take no pride in their deaths.

We are here to perform our duty, nothing more. A generation ago, our forefathers marched North with the same task, and for many years the North remembered the lesson they were given. Now it has fallen to us once again to demonstrate that the civilized peoples of the Empire will not tolerate wanton aggression. It is a shame the price of justice is usually so steep. However, we, as always, patiently endure.

Ferratans, Novans, Fellish, and Solarans, with the setting of the sun, we will stand together as one, and even in the face of the horrible abomination that is war, I am proud to stand beside you all. Enduring pain is easy in such fine company.


Weeks of trekking were at an end- Elia had finally arrived at her destination - Via. She smiled widely as she watched the long wagon trail of immigrants make camp at the outskirts of the city - drawn as she had been by the promise of adventure on this new western frontier and seeking a new life in Tol Goldora.

Many long hours of travelling had afforded her ample time to exercise her lyrical talents, entertaining the companions that accompanied her.

♫ This land is your land, this land is my land... ♫

♫ From Golden Farrow to Via's Hallow ... ♫

♫ From the Derris forests, to the Cold Sea Waters... ♫

♫ This land was made for you and me... ♫

♫ I roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps... ♫

♫ I saw above me the three stars promise ♫

♫ And saw below me Dwilight's golden valley... ♫

♫ This land was made for you and me... ♫

♫ Was a big high wall there that tried to stop me... ♫

♫ A painted sign said, Private Property - Defenders of Humanity... ♫

♫ But on the back side it didn't say nothing... ♫

♫ This land was made for you and me... ♫

Spring Evening -- Shomrak

Helm Altenahr

Whaddaya think Artorius? are they good for another round or will they run? I think its 50/50.

Have you noticed that our army banner is the best? Black and red, classic! Swordfell's is not bad either, pretty good even if they are a pack of lousy infiltrators, but Luria Nova's banner looks like a man crucified on a leprous dunghill! and as for Sol's, it's shocking! Looks like something the dog regurgitated. Makes my eyes hurt.

Oh well.. round two.. get up you slackers !!!

"Blood for the Blood Raven! Skulls for the Raven Throne!"

31st January

Spring Day -- Shomrak

Helm Altenahr

Blood Raven,

Each noble may collect one enemy skull to honor our fallen enemies!

Take only the skull of the bravest warriors! We need no coward skulls on the Raven Throne! Only the Bravest deserve to be Remembered!

Hail to the Enemies!

Lelith Poe

If any of my sisters skulls form any part of your throne i swear i will peel your skin from your bones when we next meet.

You are a false Raven and the Corvidae always remember.

The Countess

Ciarghuala Dubhaine

Yellow tongues of flame crackled as they danced above the hastily assembled pyres, the powerful stench of naphtha mixing with the clean aroma of liquor of Luria as the intense heat consumed the flesh of Ciarghuala's fallen bannermen. No songs accompanied the solemn immolation, no tales of past glories, no boastful promises of vengeance. These were the heirs of fallen Fontan and Niselur, sons and daughters of the defenders of Golden Farrow, veterans of the harrowing of Luria. Men and women burdened by sorrows unnumbered and fleeting joys won at great cost. Death was a price unloved but willingly paid that others might live in peace.

And to the men and women who now honoured their fallen comrades what words could suffice to express their sorrow? Should their tears flow like the fountains of the deep? Should their shields ring like the crashing of thunder?

"We shall all join you soon enough," Ciarghuala bowed her head and led the company in prayer, "May whatever God or Gods value sacrifice over glory and peace over war bless you with that life fully revealed for which our failing mortal hearts can only hope."

And with that the company slipped silently into the wilderness.