- 1 5th March
- 2 14th March
- 3 15th March
- 4 20th March
- 5 21st March
- 6 22nd March
- 7 23rd March
- 8 24th March
- 9 27th March
- 10 28th March
- 11 29th March
Winter Day - Giask
Nivani really hates ships. The ship slid thru the water to a thump against the dock. She did not wait and was the second or third person off the boat.
She has arrived after the death of her sister. The family had already sent her to this continent to make the family name present. She was instructed to find her sister's body. She died somewhere to the north after running from her last realm. The letters she sent that made it home sounded as if she had lost her mind. She was already on her voyage,when the letter of her sister's death came to her. It did not change her secondary mission of establishing the family name in far away lands.
Winter Day - Outer Giask
The first thing you notice is the face tattooed like a skull.
The armor is black, and black hooded. A sword with etchings in some unknown tongue, deep enough to show them dark against the steel. A mace tucked in his belt.
The letters P-R-U-D-E-N-C-E marked across each knuckle round out the picture.
Winter Day - Outer Giask
The figure in black sat silently upon his ebony warhorse, watching the troops and militia form up at the walls through the skull-shaped helm.
His archers stood stony-faced in a line further behind, bows at the side, awaiting a command to advance.
The monsters rushed forward to attack the palisades. Thwock went the bows of the militia, clouding the sky momentarily, followed by shrieks of pain and rage.
As soon as it had started, it was over. The skull nodded approvingly, and with a signal the Bows retired to their barracks to prepare for the next arrival.
Winter Day - Askileon
The Wedding of Solomon Greybrook and Sibylle Kinsey – Golden Farrow
As the sun began to rise through the morning mist in the Golden Port, Solomon stood on his balcony looking at the scene with delight and apprehension - this day had been seasons in the making. Solomon had received a peculiar scout report that morning which he spent some time staring southbound, wondering the circumstances of such an event. He had addressed the report immediately before he departed but kept the thought in the back of his mind.
As part of the tradition, from what he had understood from the texts of the Tidemother, Solomon was accompanied by only his Royal Guard and brother Emyhr to the beach in Golden Farrow. There, Solomon stripped himself of his clothes and entered the cold waters of the Gold Sea in winter. Once entered, brother Emyhr conducted some rites of cleansing in preparation for this momentous occasion as he forcibly submerged Solomon. It is traditionally held by a Priest of the faith but as the Lady Tyra was incapacitated, it was fitting that Emyhr conducted the short procession instead. Willingly at first, the cold began to seep into his bones as his oxygen slowly began to run out but resisted the urge to resist. After many moments, Solomon was dragged out of the sea as Emyhr finished his recital as a fellow noble of the Tidemother, reminding the Navarch that like the Tidemother, we all have an ability to give life and take it away.
Once Solomon had recovered from the religious rite, the Navarch began his procession. The wedding would be the pinnacle of the pre-celebrations of the First Golden Farrow tournament as what appeared to be 36 nobles celebrating in the festival like atmosphere. Dressed in his Royal regalia with his Greybrook Sigel, Solomon’s procession began at the gates of Golden Farrow and would weave through the estates of the nobility where eventually they would arrive at the Royal Palace. The streets were lined with peasant onlookers as they celebrated the festival and paraded their ruler with flowers or other forms of well wishing. While most of the city was Sanguis Astroist, Tol Goldora was home to many faiths and in part had their own traditions in wedding ceremonies. While this parade was not of any religious significance, it was an opportunity for Tol Goldora to officially begin the new chapter at the end of Winter and coming into Spring.
Arriving at the Royal Palace, many nobles of the realms were in attendance as the Margravine bride Sibylle awaited at the altar. Due to their religious differences, which Solomon was not to enforce on his future wife, the ceremony was in majority a secular matter which took it’s ques from ancient noble tradition as well as this marriage’s importance not only to the realm but to the whole of Dwilight. The couple’s hands were joined by a gold piece of silk rope, emphasising that not only were the two nobles were to be wed but the families of both and their offspring to be joined forever more. With the exchange of rings and the end of the ceremony, the re-decorated Great Hall erupted into celebration as the two nobles became officially husband and wife.
The proceedings would continue throughout the day were all nobles in Golden Farrow were invited to celebrate the joyous occasion as well as the grand feast that would be held throughout the day in the Palace grounds.
Winter Evening - Giask
Kiran had almost a sense of dread, he had been set to face his own liege in a training match and she was ever so known as an incredibly capable combatant with a very capable brain. Kiran knew he would have to plan well to gain victory against her in such a match and he would have to hope that he would be able to out whit her.
Though it would be a great opportunity most certainly.
After sending the tournament update, Wassgandr packed his belongings to sail toward Shinnen. There he would face Good Bruce who will no doubt lose to him.
Bruce was a capable troop leader but when it came down to swords, Wassgandr was sure Bruce was no match for him. After all, it is Bruce we are talking about!
Winter Evening - Giask
Word spreads of an adventurer, Giulio, eager to seek work.
Ciarghuala stood at the prow of her Dragon barge, booted foot resting lightly on the gunwales and hand clutched in the rigging, hair whipping about her face as gale winds battered the sails, careless of the spray from the ice-cold waves breaking against the iron-shod ram beneath her as the deadly reaver hull sleekly slipped from the wild Euschean Sea into the many-wharfed haven of Giask.
The Queen wished her companion shared her love for wild weather but Em preferred her yachts jaunty and her seas glassy blue, bathed in golden Summer sun, a point she'd made perfectly clear by confining herself to the warmth of their cabin for the heavy crossing, buried in the soothing embrace of a thick eiderdown and comforted by a seemingly endless stream of fortified tea. Presumably she'd emerge once they were safely docked, impeccably made up without a hair out of place and dressed far more in keeping with the graceful etiquette of the former capital than the ocean-faring Suzerain.
Heavy seas in the Euschean were common even in mid-Summer, the tight channels which marked its extents sending treacherous currents swirling through its uncharted depths, and the great havens of Giask and Askileon were buttressed against even the fiercest tempests. The outer harbour heaved with fishing boats and commercial transports bound for Port Nebel and the rich cities of the Inner Sea, a few of the more intrepid Captains even now preparing to risk the evening tide in pursuit of profit though most preferred to ride at anchor and wait out the storm.
Further back, protected by the cyclopean sweep of the great harbour walls was the inner marina, a natural basin reached through two great locks which held the tides at bay, and it was here The Sea Wyrm dock alongside the royal wharf. When all was made safe Ciarghuala heard the unmistakeable sound of heels click-clacking on the wooden deck.
"Well darling, are we putting ashore or not?"
Ciarghuala turned and for a moment felt her breath catch, heart pounding once again like a lovelorn teenager as she took in her companion. Wars had surely been fought to win but a single smile from those perfect lips? Not that prowess in arms impressed Lady Emily in the slightest as the Queen discovered early in their relationship.
"I... uhm... yes! Shall we?" Ciarghuala extended her arm.
"You really need to work on that Ciara," Emily kissed her on the cheek as wrapped her own arm around the Queen's, "A Suzerain should never be lost for words."
"Usually I'm not," she returned the kiss.
"For a rough-tempered sailor you're a dreadful romantic. Now, let's go get this silly tournament out the way so we can enjoy some time to ourselves."
Spring Day - Giask
Kiran Mir-Ashtan, Earl of Nid Tek meets his challenger Ciarghuala Dubhaine, Suzerain Queen, Grand Panetier of Luria Nova, Royal of Luria Nova, Duchess of Earth's Hall, Margravine of Poryatu for the agreed training match.
Ciarghuala has decided to use the 'defensive' strategy while Kiran has chosen the 'trick moves' strategy, giving Kiran the advantage.
After a series of blows, Kiran wins the training match.
The Tournament in the Training Arena - Preperation
Kiran had been nervous over the fact that he had to phase Ciarghuala and while he knew it was partially down to her renown and significantly down to her ability combined with the fact he had never needed to face her in combat before this made Kiran incredibly methodical in his planning. He was confident that he had built his skills with his weapons across both in the field actions and through the academy, If he had to joust he wasn't so confident given that he had only once had to lead cavalry and that didn't end so well during the defence of Tol Goldora for himself and Leadership would not matter in this coming fight as he wasn't commanding troops.
However, Kiran had one trump card and that was his experience and training as an Infiltrator. Most of his time had been spent working that trade and taking notches of hair as proof of the victims that he had been sent to ambush and to expect Kiran to believe in honour in combat would be a naive thing. To survive you had to do anything that was in your power to win, deception or to down right overwhelm his opponent.
His armour was not the usual for a noble and Kiran had no intentions to change to his armour. It was forged from the past, the carapaces, the bones and scales of beasts and the dead it was dull and matte in colour but in Kiran's eyes helped generate an image of terror. For if someone saw something they feared then it may cause them to make mistakes or leave openings, choosing for this fray to strap additional plating and armouring over his right arm for this fray Kiran would use his main arm as his shield but kept his hand open for use grappling, his usually off-hand would wield his primary weapon though it would not be his only weapon after all to leave yourself without reserves for different garbed opponents would be a naive decision in Kiran's eyes.
The final hours before the match were a nervous time as Kiran attempted to simulate in his head as many different scenario's as possible but in truth only this coming match would matter. If it was a real fight there would be no second chances and Kiran would treat the match as such.
Spring Day - Giask
The start of Spring would normally see the Queen sequestered in the Grand Pantry from dawn until late into the night, scribbling busily with her quill as she compiled accounts from across the Halls into a coherent account of hardship and privation, calculating the rationing schedules necessary to carry her people through to harvest time. Some years that was the toughest job any noble could face with many hard decisions to be made. But this year thanks to the hard work of Imperial Marshal Wassgandr and the knights of Luria the granaries were heaving with food and Ciarghuala could even afford extra assistance to those regions in especial need.
The freedom to participate in the Tournament of Blades - an exposition of sword skill without the usual strictures of the tourney ground - was a fine distraction, though Ciarghuala's interest was less in lifting the victor's laurels (something she felt would be poor form for the Suzerain) and more the opportunity to show she was a good sport. It was therefore with a certain levity of spirit she turned out that morning in the light arming doublet she routinely wore for training with Shieldbane slapping at her thigh.
Kiran was by far the most disciplined of the Queen's proteges, a capable commander in his own right and a deadly blade who'd never failed her in the many campaigns they'd prosecuted together. Ciarghuala had once hoped to guide dear young Bellatrix along the same path before she'd lost that troubled soul to the treacherous power politics of her predecessors. Curse Aldrakar and Alessio and all the other damn fools who were so eager to squander Lurian blood for their own aggrandisement!
Wassgandr prepared himself for the coming match against Bruce.
It has been a while since he involved himself in a personal combat.
Since Bruce was never known for his swordsmanship, Wassgandr wasn't too worried.
He was more worried about the evenness of the Shinnen academy ground. He was never good at fighting on an uneven surface.
Once he defeats Bruce, he will face the winner of Ciarghuala and Kiran match. He wasn't sure who was the better swordsman out of the two but old Ciarghuala would not be able to beat young Kiran if the match goes for too long.
Whoever comes out on top, the next match would be quite difficult for sure.
The fight had been fast and furious, the Queen maintaining an unaccustomed defensive guard against Kiran's dancing blade. The Lord of Nid Tek had grown into a fierce duelist, no doubt about it, and she was glad to know his blade was in her service. She wondered which had profited him most, long hours in the gym with the dealers in steel? Or those desperate encounters where defeat meant certain death? Either way he more than deserved the victory for whilst Ciarghuala was no mean swordswoman her skill was of an entirely different kind, honed in the cockpit of massed melee where the chaos could be used to her advantage.
"You sneaky sod," Ciarghuala's face broke into a broad grin as she conceded the point, a thin trickle of blood traced along the tendon of her sword arm, "I'm damn tempted to name you Queen's Champion for that." Had the cut been but a hair's breadth deeper she'd be fighting off-handed for weeks to come.
"Well...I am not surprised at all."
That was Wassgandr's reaction when he heard of the name of the victor in the match between Ciarghuala and Kiran.
As Wassgandr was writing down an announcement letter for all the participants, his squire commented his coming match.
"Hopefully you won't lose to a youngster yourself, Sir."
"I have never seen Bruce swing a sword before. Unless he has been training in secrecy, I am not ready to lose to him just yet!"
The combat had fallen in his favour, he was rather surprise at the footing the Queen had chosen. After all, she knew his trade and Kiran would not be so rude to ask what led her taking her particular style for their fight.
Kiran had learned to rely on anything and everything in battle and choosing when and where to use the different leading styles of combat was a key tool but it was also a betting game. If you made the leading mistake then you would be set at significant disadvantage. He had honed his craft in many places, his upbringing wasn't like the vast majority of the blue bloods of Dwilight and he was fortunate to be in Luria with its more reasonable stance on meritocracy, he was nothing more than a mercenary but had raised now to be an Earl, he had even began to feel the slowly creeping effects of age and years had pressed more upon him from the injuries sustained from his focus on the infantry line during the initial years of his service to Luria.
He had raised himself to the Mixed Infantry, he remained a bulwark but remained flexible moving between differing retinue's during the Battles against Westgard. The test of battle only augmented the skills that he had gained through intense study at any opportunity that he could get and he was fortunate enough to have enough coin to invest significantly on his studies. Though maybe he had forgotten one thing, he had once pursued sustaining his "family" name by adopting an individual into his name but the option had been rejected and the suggestion of marriage was made but all those years ago that was not of interest to the now Earl. Kiran hadn't exactly considered all of his future, his personal survival yes but his families survival no.
The match between himself and Ciarghuala was not what Kiran would call clean, he intentional used trickery, movements of his body, kicking up dust from the ground and numerous "dishonourable" tactics. Through the numerous eye slits of his helmet, he would be able to be able to look upon his liege's face. She commented on his style and that was to be expected, he would not grant a response to that comment after all it was only a point he had gained. Her second statement however was much more significant.
He had placed a nick near her sword-arms tendon, maybe it was his skill or Ciarghuala's or both that meant the cut didn't end up causing long-term injury to the Queen.
The mention of a Queen's Champion, Kiran was not an ambitious man, he didn't really wish for the title of Earl but it was a necessity of the times and maybe that was why he had gained favour with some of the more powerful nobles. He didn't keep his mouth shut when he had an opinion but he didn't see the need to play politics, his loyalty was to the stability of his income, his ability to challenge and enjoy himself and maybe just maybe the foolishness of the bonds that he made with other, which might have explained why he favoured drinking and being with his men rather than in the rear or in esteemed quarters.
Kiran would not be rude to not comment on the benevolence of even the mere suggestion of such a title, his voice monotone and emotionless almost certainly practised. "Mere Suggestion is a great honour to any of your Vassals, Lady Luck might just be with me at least for now"
The still had points to go and the comment regarding luck could be both to the match and the opportunities that Ciarghuala had afforded to Kiran after all she had made him her Adjutant during the defence of Tol Goldora.
Fortunately momentum was now his and even the lightest trickle of blood meant your opponent would only grow weaker and weaker at a faster rate and while Kiran put aside emotion in battle, he most certainly would enjoy the memory of it later.
Spring Day - Giask
Bruce Wilde, Imperial Magistrate of Luria Nova, Duke of Moon Hall, Margrave of Askileon Purlieus meets his challenger Wassgandr Felsenbach, Imperial Marshal of Luria Nova, Margrave of Askileon, Marshal of the Novan Wrath for the agreed training match.
Wassgandr has decided to use the 'overrun' strategy while Bruce has chosen the 'aggressive' strategy, giving Wassgandr the advantage.
After a series of blows, Wassgandr wins the training match.
Spring Evening - Giask
"Oh do stop fussing," Ciarghuala made to cover her wrist with the cuff of her blouse but Emily slapped her hand away with a look that broached no disagreement.
"You'll wear a dressing my Queen and damn well keep that scratch clean, tetanus is no laughing matter," she swabbed the wound with a foul-smelling clear liquid which tingled as it turned the ribbon of dried blood pale before applying white ointment from a small metal tube bearing a legend in unintelligible alien letters.
The cream was strangely soothing but she wondered what this tetanus was that Em was so concerned about. Ciarghuala had survived her fair share of battle wounds, each scar a reminder of a victory or defeat, and even one or two which by all rights should have killed her outright. Many nobles boasted of fighting in the ranks but only a few had the courage to swear the hero's oath, and even fewer served decades after doing so. Having lived such a life why should she be concerned by a mere scratch?
"It's foolish to think Kiran would use a poisoned blade."
"I love you dearly Ciara but sometimes the ignorance of this world is just so infuriating," she brushed her lips against the Queen's before sitting back in her chair, "I know Kiran well enough to trust him with your life, but I don't trust him to keep his damn blades sterile. Which is to say - and I know this runs counter to all that nonsense about miasma your physicians set such store in - that a dirty wound can quickly become a poisoned wound."
"A little dirt poisonous?" Ciarghuala could barely contain her humour, "Oh Em, I don't think I've ever had a wound that wasn't dirty."
"Yes, and how many nights have I sat there nursing you through a fever because the idiot who stitched you up couldn't even be bothered to wash their hands first? I dread to think how many Lurian soldiers die for the lack of a bar of soap!"
"Ah, well, there you have me..."
Emily finished fastening the gauze with thin strips of a sticky tape.
"There, that will let the wound breathe whilst the skin knits. I'll change the dressing in the morning and with luck in a day or two you won't even have a scar."
"I think Kiran will be a tad disappointed by that. He really has become a most accomplished swordsman."
"I do hope your eyes aren't straying m'lady," Em straddled the Queen's lap, "Or I may have to learn to wield a sword myself..."
Spring Day -- Giask
Margaretha of Arescod
Ehrwig Miller raised one eyebrow when she asked him to spar. He chewed his moustache ends, which where, because of his age, getting whiter near the base. It was a thing he nearly as much as times as he didn't curse when it was time to curse. She suspected that there was a story behind it, but she daren't ask. The social guidelines were ever growing thinner between her captain and her, and she wasn't allowing it to come any further. She felt him looking at her up and down, even though she was clad in plate.
"I am asking for you to have a friendly sparring match with me. Will you accept this or not?" She said, quite disdained. "Aye, aye, sure thing lady." Was the answer, suddenly hands raised to mean that he didn't mean anything nasty. "Drilling in front of these master's o'the sword wasn'ae enough for ye, lady?" The short man asked instead.
She chose to ignore his comment and get ready for the contest ahead. Many of her men, all veterans, had of course come to look at this. She loved them, but right now, they were part of the enemy. What had her father said, that working out there in the field brought out the worst in men? She cursed. They were. Their hardness knew no bounds. But they had also been the men whom she had been on the past two campaigns with. They were also the men that had waited for her when she was taken prisoner after a battle. She loved them for that.
Besides, asking her Captain for training in swordsmanship was senseless. She would learn hardly anything new. Maybe a new ugly way to beat someone after they were already down, but that's it. It was training for the few lessons she had taken besides her normal training. She wasn't a leading light that would change the world how they thaught swordsmanship. She was someone who had difficulties with the more advanced techniques. It escaped her what she had thought when she accepted the invitation to the tourney. Her first match was coming up, and she was stationed where there wasn't anyone capable of actually helping her. Gods above help her, because in comparison to having a handle on her men, this asked her to be fit and ready.
She was neither.
Spring Evening -- Giask
Raymond Oswin, Knight of Askileon meets his challenger Margaretha of Arescod, Viscountess of Santoo for the agreed training match.
Both participants are using the 'neutral' strategy, so that neither has an advantage.
After a series of blows, Raymond wins the training match.
Spring Day -- Giask
Silent as death, the figure in black with the skull helm rode his horse at the head of three long lines of bowmen. They marched at a slow but determined pace out the South Gate of Outer Giask, into the chilly morning.
It was time to make their name known.
Spring Day -- Giask
Ciarghuala Dubhaine, Suzerain Queen, Grand Panetier of Luria Nova, Royal of Luria Nova, Duchess of Earth's Hall, Margravine of Poryatu meets her challenger Margaretha of Arescod, Viscountess of Santoofor the agreed training match.
Margaretha has decided to use the 'defensive' strategy while Ciarghuala has chosen the 'overrun' strategy, giving Margaretha the advantage.
After a series of blows, Ciarghuala wins the training match.