Dubhaine Family/Ciarghuala/Roleplays/1018/September

From BattleMaster Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


1st September

Summer Day -- Dantooine

Donald Augustus Allan

"Ah, what a fine selection of fabrics you have brought, who knew that you had such great taste." Emyhr winked slightly followed by a rather cheeky grin. "So tell me, how fares things since the split? Unfortunately, apart from the efficient and organised work of Earl Staedtler I do not hear much from the south. I hope that the transition has been not to difficult. "

“My Lord, this is no mere bundle of fabrics and cloth, it is intended to disguise the gift! As you shall soon see”

He gestured to crimson cloth in the servant’s hands, it had a vaguely rectangular shape and clearly whatever it was, the servant didn’t enjoy carrying it.

“We’ve had a few troubles with peasants here and there but that is to be expected, they don’t know what’s best for them after all”

"Look who has decided to sharpen up for the evening! And, Emyhr, flawless as always. You two didn't coordinate the outfits at all? Blue and gold is in this summer, is all I've heard on it." The man of the hour had arrived: Earl Staedtler la Stylo, who looked only a little stiff.

Donald took the Earl’s hand and shook it, “My friend, it is good to see you!” said Donald as he pulled Staedtler forward and grip his shoulder in a boisterous manner before releasing him “Ah yes, blue and gold are very much in fashion and one must look his best for such occasions!”

Emyhr le Craint

“My Lord, this is no mere bundle of fabrics and cloth, it is intended to disguise the gift! As you shall soon see”

"How devilishly clever of you, a simple mistake but none the less I look forward to seeing the gift you have brought."

Emyhr brushed his hand through his hair and adjusted his doublet once again, in an attempt to hide the embarrassment.

"Look who has decided to sharpen up for the evening! And, Emyhr, flawless as always. You two didn't coordinate the outfits at all? Blue and gold is in this summer, is all I've heard on it."

"Earl Staedtler, I thank you for the invite to your wedding." After Donald had shook his hand, Emyhr gripped the Earls hand, not as rough as Donald but rather firm enough to not be outdone by Donald. "As Sir Donald says, it is not every day you get to attend such a prestigious wedding in such good company, dressing up a bit is but a small trifle in comparison."

Emyhr watched on as Donald unveiled such a marvelous looking bow, Emyhr couldn't help but look on in jealousy. Followed by a broach of such intricate design. Once the Earl had been given time to look over and thank Donald for the gifts, Emyhr presented the small chest that he had brought with him. Unlocking the silver lock with a simple click, Emyhr reached and opened the lid.

Inside, resting on velvet cushions were too shining pieces of jewelery. Emyhr took out a from his inside pocket a small square of the same velvet that the chest was inlaid with, picking out a cloak pin.

Presenting the Earl, now resting on his palm, was a golden lapel pin, the head of the pin was molded into the shape of golden eagle with his wings outstretched. along the ridge of the wings were small deep blue sapphires with seemed to glow with such intensity one could mistake it for candle light. Each feather on the wingspan had been painstakingly molded to stand out against the wing itself. Along the front was a string of polished onyx cut to fit perfectly along the neck of the figure, accompanied with a larger cut black quartz within the chest of the eagle.

"For you, Earl Steadtler, an Eagle lapel pin that has been carefully and painstakingly inlaid with blue sapphire, polished onyx and black quartz imported from faraway shores, The eagle remains outstretched both to reduce the weight but also to represent the many freedoms that you strive to uphold. And for the bride-to-be..."

Emyhr once again takes another square of velvet from his inside pocket and pulls out golden necklace, with simple chain style such that would cause as little irritation as possible. The main body of the necklace was molded with another eagle, this time with its wings in close perching on top of branch. This time, with such emphasis put on the front of the eagle, the blue sapphires that were present on the lapel pin had been placed carefully within the eyes of the eagle, a similar back quartz stone resides within the chest, however this one gave off a deep blue glow when light was placed on it.

"I present an eagle necklace, the chain has been made in such a way that should your bride wish to wear this for long periods of time, it would cause no irritation to the skin. The black quartz itself had been something I picked out myself when I had visited Askileon, the effect it creates when sunlight is shone onto it caught my eye, from what the merchant had told me the black quartz had formed around a piece of blue quartz creating this effect. I had arrange for a similar styling of jewelry for both the pieces however this is of special design."

Emyhr pressed against the side of the necklace, with a quiet click, the body of the eagle split in two, opening up to reveal a small cavity. Not big enough to hold anything of major size, however it would be able to hold small mementos such as rings or earrings.

"This body of the eagle opens up to reveal a safe cavity that may be used to hold small mementos, items which she wishes to keep on her person and keep them safe."

With this, Emyhr places the items back into the box and offers the box to the Earl.

“But more importantly, today is a day for giving gifts” he waved the servant forward who unfurled the cloth and presented the contents to Donald.

He reached down and produced a huge bow of red wood, banded with iron in places and at the end of each limb sat a small decorative lion also made of iron, the bow string seemingly running through their mouths. He rested it on his foot, confirming that it was as tall as Donald himself.

“Behold my Lord, this mighty bow is made several different types of wood to make it one of the most powerful weapons of its kind this side of Dwilight. And despite its immense size, would not be difficult for you to wield” with some small ceremony he presented it to Earl Staedtler, placing it in his hand “You could put the eye out of a beast from 300 yards, at least! On a calm day, 400”.

With the greatbow passed on he gestured once again to the servant who passed him a small crimson box, which Donald presented once again, revealing the contents to the Earl: inside lay a small broach, barely bigger than the palm of his hand and decorated with a symmetrical pattern of pearls orbiting a large sapphire and adorned with beads and threads of gold.

“And this fine thing is for your wife, or soon-to-be-wife, a golden broach made of pearls and sapphires. Why, merely wearing such a thing will attract the envy of any Lady of court I can assure you”.

3rd September

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake


It had been a tiring day. Holding just courts was always harder than coming up with creative solutions for either harsh or merciful judgements. Tyra had begun to call them "boring courts" but it seemed the populace did trust her more after those long hours. Maybe, just maybe, it was because she could undo a little the raucous impression she made when fighting monsters or condemning a culprit to live like an ox for a week.

The countess was also a little restless, her body aching for a good bout of physical training, and she knew it was bound to be a nightmare night. Alya was already asleep when she arrived, and Duncan retreated to his chambers. Not even a good chat tonight? Waldred would be awake, patrolling the Sandstone Gate, and would certainly make himself available, but she shouldn't really call for him again so soon. He was getting too... attached. Tyra sighed. It was tough getting company for the night when she wasn't leading soldiers... With the 30 men unit, she would never sleep alone, and still none would think themselves anything special. It worked well.

After a quick bath, Tyra walked into her room, with a frown. It was barren as usual, just the bed, two trunks, her fur bed on the floor, a washbasin on the side, table and a log for a chair (the last chair had been smashed). Only decorations were tapestries, portraying landscapes under daylight. They were Grodnoin landscapes and Tyra loved looking at them. They were also hard to rip during her nightly attacks.

She didn't want a nightmare tonight. With her mind made, the countess called on one of her maidservants, one she knew enjoyed her... company. The short woman in her mid twenties was usually more than happy to join her, and arrived quickly. They greeted with a single look, one that made them both tremble, a mutual smile, an extended hand, and proceeded to have a great time for the next two hours. Happily tired, the maidservant talked a little about her children, her husband - and how he appreciated the good mood his wife always returned in, from overnight duty - and both fell asleep on the furs.

4th September

Summer Day -- Poryatown

William Fitz Roberts

William’s arrival

William and his small entourage rode ahead on the road, having left his main caravan behind. Time had been wasted unloading the gifts for the groom and bride and William had decided that it would be best for him and his family to ride on and at least be fashionably late, rather than very late which would be the case if he had waited on the roads for the gifts to get moving again.

The Earl’s invitation had been quite limiting, so William had been unable to bring the usual large household that accompanied him. He had noticed, however, that any children under his care were invited and he had decided to have a bit of fun at the Dean’s expense. So, riding next to him was his wife Anne and immediately behind them were his daughters Giesla and Helga. But behind them were his niece and nephew, Lucrezia and Prospero and riding with them were his wards, Manfred and Drake. This completed the children who actually dwelt in his household. However, he was the head of the family and so all the children of the Fitz Roberts family were under his care. Few had had the opportunity to experience high society and so he had decided that it was high time that they were introduced to the world of the higher nobility. So he had brought with him all of his cousins of the Leopoldian-Theresan branch under the age of seventeen and one girl of the Theresan branch, the only one that had been available at short notice. He knew that Staedtler would not be pleased, but he also knew that the man would be too polite to refuse and watching the man’s frustration would be very amusing

At last they rode through the gates and William, sitting aside a large black mare in his full ceremonial armour removed his burgonet and looked down upon the astonished herald.

‘Margrave William Fitz Roberts, Grand Master of the Ordo Volpes here for the wedding. You’ll of course want to announce me and my guests. This is the Lady Anne, my wife and our daughters Giesla and Helga. Those two are Manfred Fitz Roberts and Drake Bluelake. As for the rest those are Prospero, Lucrezia, Cesare, Vittoria, Theresa, Pompeo… sit still Pompeo, sorry where was I? Ah yes, Girolama, Lorenzo and Stefano. I am afraid none of the Theresan branch of my family were able to make it besides…Wait a minute there is one missing, where the hell is Octavia?’ Just then a wild haired girl of sixteen or seventeen rode through the gates, her clothes stained in mud and many a twig entangled in her dirty blonde hair. She rode up to William, panting

‘Sorry cousin, I was distracted by a deer I saw on the road. I almost rode it down, but my horse slipped in the mud and well’ she said raising her hands, indicating the mud stains ‘you can see the results’ she smiled mischievously and turned to the astonished herald. ‘Hold this for me, there’s a good chap’ she said, tossing him a large boar spear

‘I told you not to bring that’ William said through gritted teeth. William, a bit annoyed that his cousin had ruined his family’s entrance, nevertheless turned and went through the doors into the reception hall

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Alessio de Medici

Alessio and Andrea sat at their table on the sunny wedding day, watching their children labour and help set up the festivities. In his mother's arms, Michelangelo smiled contently. The pair had no such experience as this handling triplets. Before long, he drifted off.

"I cannot believe how blessed we are for you to be carrying again, my love," said Alessio, rubbing his wife's stomach just below where she held their child.

"I pray it is the last, as much as I love our little Medici runts. They're ten, soon we will have to find them budding spouses." replied she.

"And before long, the world will have even more Medici runts. Also, you should offer to stay here, or at least with Earl Staedtler and his wife. She is carrying and perhaps could use your expertise. Give our Michelangelo a playmate."

Luarin Bowker

"Run, run," said the Queen to the Captain. "We're already late for the wedding."

Luarin had decided to go alone to the party only with her unit as escort. In the bags, a gift to Irina, her beautiful Irina. In the chests, gifts for the bride and groom.

Arriving at the huge door she stopped, waiting to see if it her name would be announced. She would rather go in without great commotion. She stood there for a moment, looking around for her granddaughter but did not find her. She heard her captain tell the herald that she was the bride's grandmother.

The day was beautiful, sunny and Luarin lost herself in daydreams looking at the forest surrounding the university when he heard the announcement:

"The Queen of Sun Hall, grandmother of the bride."

Staedtler la Stylo

Staedtler ran his thumb along the bowstring from lion to lion. The greatbow was of such a cumbersome size that simply holding it was a test, yet it was undeniably elegant.

"If I didn't know you better, I'd be tempted to say that you were mocking me. I doubt I could even draw this thing if there were three of me pulling at the string! Gods above, what would you even notch it with? Spears?" Staedtler said, passing it from palm to palm like a giant's metronome stuck into the grass. Each lumbering swing threatened to knock branches from their trees and catch on the hanging ribbons. "Thank you, Donald, dearly so. It's beauty outshines it's archer. But, does this brute have a name, or do I get the pleasure of christening it? Something short enough to say between exasperated breaths as I simply try to carry it, perhaps?"

Staedtler passed his gift onto another servant, tipping it like a caber into the flat of his chest. He wiped his forehead with a handkerchief, let out a breath. The day was barely begun and already he had ran himself ragged through handshaking, chatter, and the heading of an impromptu weapon's smuggling business. His eyes crossed broach and eagle. Gold and pearl, passion and heart; the craftsmanship of both struck Staedtler somewhere deep and vulnerable in his chest. Short for words and air, Staedtler just stood and watched the art before him. Today was like all of his summers were passing at once, one after another. Each successive one was over-leaping the last, not through a climb in quality, but through sheer surprise alone. All of the generosity was crippling to behold, and Staedtler happily stood there disabled beneath the awe of it, hand over mouth, eyes wide as the gates of the afterlife.

"My friends," he stammered, the words broken as they came. They were not forethought or planned, his emotions pieced together from shrapnel of sentiment the moment they left his tongue. "Emyhr, Donald ... these are more than I could have ever asked for. More than I could have begged." He took both in a hug, one arm clutched around each. "You're both brothers to me. Come, let's celebrate like family!"

Staedtler lead Emyhr and Donald toward the side of the campus building and a pair of sturdy doors, flanked by servants.

"Gentlemen, let's open up the reception hall!" he shouted with a smile.

With a groaning of oak wood, all of the doors were unlatched and opened, revealing the University's labours to present a perfect day. Black and white tiling filled the floor from central staircase to doorways, polished to shine like a breezeless lake. Ribbons of purple, white, and cream draped from every wall and banister. A small menagerie of paired songbirds were on display by the front door, attended by an elderly woman in green, all warbling and chirruping in excitement as the hopped from perch to perch.

As Staedtler took made his way to the staircase, he grabbed the shoulder of a servant and spoke aside from his guests.

"Please do fetch Irina for me, will you, good man?" he whispered, patting him on the neck. "And if she refuses, tell her that i'm going to marry the next guest that walks through the front door instead. If she still laughs that off, tell her that her grandmother should be arriving soon. That should spur her."

Benedict Dupont

Benedict smiled with pride as Earl Staedtler gushed over his new collection. He decided not to mention the engraved ivory inkwell and quills, he'd let that surprise reveal itself later. Once Staedtler had handed the sword over, Benedict made a swift hand movement and his servants ensured the box was sealed and transported safely indoors.

"I am glad you appreciate it, my friend, we are nobles, and nobles require fine swords such as this to distinguish ourselves from the rest."

He reached out and clasped Staedtler's outstretched hand.

"It was a pleasure being greeted by you friend, I suppose I should head in and find myself a place. I shall speak to you again."

He gave Steadtler a single pat on the back as he bowed slightly and headed forwards, hoping that the casks of wine he had sent had already arrived.

Staedtler la Stylo

The greeter stepped forward from the door and William's family toward the main hall. He stood straight-backed, arms to his side, and inflated his chest with a dizzyingly terrified look on his face.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the Margrave of Poryatown, William Fitz Roberts, his wife, Lady Anne Fitz Roberts, his daughters Giesla and Helga of house Fitz Roberts, his niece Lucrezia of house Fitz Roberts, his nephew Prospero of house Fitz Roberts in the company by his wards-" His voice was crackling, starting to wheeze as he ran on empty. "-his cousins Cesare, Vittora, Theresa, Pompeo, Girolama, Lorenzo, Stefano, Octavia, and one rather verylargeboarspear." He gasped like a man breaking the surface.

The greeter pumped his lungs and keeled over to his knees, clutching his chest, red-faced and panting as the room broke into laughter and a dainty applause. One of the servants carrying a drinks tray passed the towel on her forearm to him, which he used to dab at his brow. He returned back to his feet and bowed to Margrave William and his family.

"I do hope ... you enjoy your day, my lord." He motioned the towel in his hand toward the mud-tracking wild girl at William's side. "Would the guest like to have her attire cleaned? We do have spare dresses in just your size, ma'am, if you are so willing, although you are more than welcome to remain as you are. Also, I will happily take care of your spear for you, if you wish. I shan't let it out of my sight. You have my word as a soldier of the realm."

Staedtler parted forth from the crowd, applauding against the side of his drink.

"William, I was wondering when your shadow would come and blot out the sun! How was the trek here?" he called out, handing the rest of his drink to the wheezing greeter as he approached for a handshake. "You can finish that if you want. It's well-deserved."

5th September

Summer Day -- Poryatu

Emyhr le Craint

"My friends," he stammered, the words broken as they came. They were not forethought or planned, his emotions pieced together from shrapnel of sentiment the moment they left his tongue. "Emyhr, Donald ... these are more than I could have ever asked for. More than I could have begged." He took both in a hug, one arm clutched around each. "You're both brothers to me. Come, let's celebrate like family!"

Emyhr reciprocated the embrace, smiling knowing that his gift was appreciated. Today was an important day for the man and Emyhr only wished to ensure that this day would continue to surprise and the please the man. Emyhr joined the Earl and continued into the main hall. Upon entering, Emyhr was overwhelmed by the sophistication both of the hall and the decorations that have been arranged by the couple. Continuing down hall, his eyes were darting across every feature as it continued to surprise him. Coming towards the central staircase, Emyhr was given a full view of the hall. Looking back, the black and white tiling employed merged splendidly with the walls and the temporary decorations. Within this room he could see a few more guests, one that stood out to him was Sir Alessio who had brought his wife and kids, seeing the happy family and the once again pregnant wife, Emyhr couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy once again. This was a happy jealousy of course, to be able to attain such familiar ideals was an aspiration of his but he knew that his work has kept him busy.

Emyhr was excited to see the forthcoming for he had not attended a wedding in such a long time, let alone the wedding of a close friend of his. Walking down the hall with Earl Staedtler and Sir Donald, he had become one with the peace of the wedding itself.

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

William Fitz Roberts

William smiled as he saw Staedtler approach.

‘The journey was terrible, you’ll understand why later’

As he was speaking, out of the corner of his eye William could see Octavia looking affronted at the words of the greeter

‘I’ve never worn a dress in my life and I don’t intend to start now, thank you very much. Are you suggesting that what I am wearing is unsuitable?’, she snatched her spear from his hands, ‘And I shall take that!’ Saying this, Octavia stalked off into the crowd, the other guests and servants giving her a wide berth

‘You must forgive me for my cousin’s behaviour, she has yet to learn the niceties of polite society’ William said apologetically to his host, ‘I had hoped that this event would help, but I can already tell that I am going to be proven wrong’

Staedtler la Stylo

Staedtler let the girl storm past him and away into the heart of the gathered attendees. She was brazen as a young stag, wild as thistle flower - and just as prickly. Just where she thought she was going was something that stuck in his head like a loose splinter. There were so many vulnerabilities in the campus layout he had planned for. They were the shadowed halls and rooms where only a saboteur or assassin would haunt. No place for a girl, no matter how hard she trued to shrugged off judgement. If she was found, curled up somewhere awkward with that spear in hand, things would get dire if she were even a tenth as proud as her patriarch.

"William, listen" Staedtler pleaded, stressing his whisper to its coarsest thread. "This is no playground for you, or your family." He turned to the parting peoples as they made way for the Octavia, putting a soft hand to the base of William's bouldersome shoulder. "I have made clear - unmistakably clear - that this ..." He wafted his hand about the open cavity of the ceiling above them, from pillar to pillar; velvet staircase to ribboned doorway. "... This is not your day. Nor your family's. Nor the family of your family. This is about me, as much as it may pain you. And, justly, I have made certain precautions. You were a knight of Earth's Hall; you attended the moot in Poryatown. So you understand how high-strung nerves become when paranoia starts leaking. These servants, from gate to kitchen, are soldiers. Soldiers that I have instructed to apprehend any uninvited interlopers. Soldiers I have given permission to kill if deemed necessary to protect their lord and lady."

He pointed over the crowd's turning heads to where Octavia was marching.

"This is not a hunting ground, and this is not a training match against laughing friends with wooden swords, and you know that." Staedtler peered behind to the family at the door. "Make sure they do, too. Because, if another Fitz Roberts threatens to carve up my wife, whether through actions that suggest it, or their words spat into her face, I will not hesitate to ask for their head. For now though, I think we'd both hope that i'm just being ridiculous, and that Octavia is simply finding somewhere open and quiet away from all of this. Please, do find her, for her sake."

Staedtler parted from William, taking a mint-leafed glass from a table.

"Enjoy your day, Fitz Roberts', and drink well!" he said over his shoulder, taking to the staircase in a jog.

Staedtler la Stylo

Staedtler padded down the upstairs hallway towards the Principal's office. The University was business as usual away from the reception; lonely, quiet, always smelling of dust and powder. He left the chatter and music below. It would manage itself, either that or it would burn itself out. It is why you keep all of your fuel in one place. Ahead of Staedtler at the end of the auburn hallway was the servant he sent for Irina. The shadows of his candlelit face exaggerated the lack of success he had achieved. Gloomy eyes, gaunt cheeks, and a spoiled frown.

"I presume you only told her the things I wasn't joking about?" Staedtler dusted his palms together and padded down his jacket.

"Aye, my lord," the servant said, standing aside form the doorway. "She is a little delayed, but in good enough spirits."

"Probably for the best you didn't share my little joke. Last person to arrive was William, of Poryatown no-less. Is she alone in there?"

"No. Eric and Felicia are with her."

"The cobblers?" Staedtler puzzled. He removed his gloves by the fingertips and guided the servant to reintroduce himself back into the party.

"That is all I know, my lord," the servant said, bowing an inch before going on his way. "I shall leave you to it."

Staedtler stood and watched behind him, waiting to be alone. He watched the soldier march down the carpet until all that could be seen was a silhouette turn off right and down the stairs.

Staedtler knocked against the door.

"It's me."

Behind the door was the clasping and shutting of boxes and latches, and the metallic rattle of tools and instruments being stuffed into place. Some hushed chatter was exchanged, before falling silent as bare feet patted over woodwork towards the door.

"Oh. Well, this is bad," Irina called through the door, chewing a mouthful of food. "We've hit a bit of a barricade in things, I'm afraid, and you are the last one I want to start getting worried about this right now. You've got things to be doing. Unless my grandmother's arrived, has she?"

"No. I presume it's safe to enter?"

The sound of hurried packing pauses. A moment passes before it resumes, with Irina clearing her throat.

"Yea. Come on in."

Staedtler pushed into the room, peeking through the door to avoid clattering a cobbler sideways in a rush. Irina was walking back to where the cobblers were, crouched upon the floor around a chair with their work laying around them in pieces, half organised, half not

Irina was in her wedding gown; purple and black, blooming like a feathery rose. She was eating fistfuls of raisins from a bowl, slumped back into her chair, throwing her feet up upon a stool in a huff.

"Felicia and Eric were just finished. They've done their best, bless them, but to no avail."

Staedtler nodded to the pair on the floor as he went to his desk for a chair of his own. The cobblers were an elderly couple from Shinnen. Fairly renowned, but hardly legendary. More dependable than most gods, but barely as earth-moving. All they did was fix dainty shoes, sometimes not even that, it seemed. He spied a torn-apart pair of slippers by Eric, who hurried to stuff the bits away into his coat pocket away from scrutiny.

"Done their best with what, exactly?" Staedtler sat astride his chair next to Irina.

"Wardrobe malfunction, I suppose. It's a theatre term. And judging by the performance you've put on, I feel its appropriate." Irina leaned over and planted a heavy kiss on Staedtler's cheek.

"More of a pantomime, really," Staedtler said, watching the maddened busywork of the departing cobblers. "So it's the shoes?"

Eric and Felicia stood with their half-a-dozen bags clutched under arm, in strung in hand. They bowed out of time with eachother to both Staedtler and Irina before leaving, gently closing the door as they left. Irina dropped the bowl to the floor and yawned like a dog; arm's stretched overhead, tongue curling between her teeth.

"Less-so the shoes, more-so my feet. They're just broken, it seems. Everything hurts, except walk barefoot of course." Irina wriggled her toes, sneering at them as they gleefully danced away in defiance upon the stool. "Ugly little things."

Staedtler glanced up and smiled.

"Yep," he said, smirking to himself. "So what are we going to do?"

"Panic?" Irina joked, licking her gums of raisin pieces. "Which is a shame. I was looking forward to this."

Irina ruffled the plume of her dress like a toddler casting her mess about. It bloated her movements, making it awkward to reach any lower than her knees without discomfort. She released a long and exasperated sigh, braying her lips and massaging her eye sockets with her palms.

"I'm not going downstairs barefoot," she croaked, rolling her head around to face Staedtler. "I'm sorry, but I'm not."

Staedtler stood up from his chair, hands on his hips.

"Good," he said, surveying the corners of the room. "But you will be going downstairs."

"Not anytime soon, I'd hope."

"Did he not tell you? The servant?" he said, crouching to peer beneath the desk and into the shadows of the bed frame. "I'd have sworn it would put the fear of gods in you. You know, help hurry you up a bit."

Staedtler rested upon the back on Irina's chair, who was now measuring the gloss and paint of her nail polish at arm's length.

"No. He only said about that you wanted me downstairs. Why?" Irina said, pulling her feet from the stool to face Staedtler, who was now approaching the window.

"Oh, he must have thought it a joke. I was dead serious though."

There was a call from down the corridor. The bellowing cry of a soldier's voice. It echoed down the hall, carried through the silent corridor, and faintly pushed through the closed door.

"The Queen of Sun Hall, grandmother of the bride!"

Irina grasped the rests of her seat in a cold, dry grip. She span about to Staedtler, who stood equally as frozen, struck dumb by the announcement. They looked to eachother, mouths ajar, expectantly, each desperate for direction as to how to act.

"What do we do!?" Staedtler shouted, scouring the room for something.

"What do we do?" Irina shouted back, pushing off from her chair. "It's your wedding!"

"My wedding?" Staedtler asked as he raced to the door. "It's our wedding, thank you very much. And she's your grandmother!"

He flung the door wide onto the empty corridor. The entrance hall was bustling with applause for Queen Luarin. His ears had not deceived him today. His grandmother-in-law-to-be was here, and her daughter was stuck barefoot on her wedding day with noone else in sight to blame but him. Despite all of her past kindnesses and generosities, even this was something a reasonable woman would hold her spite over for decades. And if there was one thing he knew about Bowkers, is that there was always a couple of decades left in their tank, no matter their years. They just kept going, forever, and Staedtler did not feel like bearing a grudge that would outlive him, and certainly not on this day of all to come.

Irina looked to where Staedtler was looking; beneath the window. There, rested against the desk in a small basin of water, were her riding boots. A pair of knee-high, buckle-and-strap, thick tan-leather tooth-kickers, near cannon proof, fitted with jagged heel spurs and steel toe caps. Just perfect for a sunny day like this, out on the northern moors. A bad solution, but a possible one. That was all Irina needed. She stormed over to them, plucked them from the water, and went to Staedtler as he stood motionless, scratching his head raw in the doorway.

"Our grandmother. Thank you," she said, pushing the boots firmly into his chest before falling back onto her chair, one foot slammed upon the stool. "Now, buckle me up, cowboy."

6th September

Summer Day -- Poryatu

William Fitz Roberts

William smiled as Staedtler left, though his eyes betrayed a coldness that would have cowed a dragon, then ushered over Manfred. ‘Go and find Octavia, I believe she has just gone to the privy but still our good host in no few words just threatened to murder her’

Manfred looked up at William, keeping his shock hidden, giving a fake smile. ‘What should we do, cousin?’

William was pleased that Manfred knew to keep up appearances in this situation. ‘As I say, first thing’s first, go and get Octavia. If Franz finds out his little sister was hurt on my watch he might just return to Dwilight. Then make sure all of the family stay close tonight, no wandering off, no clandestine exploring of the halls.’ William then beckoned Cesare over, a boy of thirteen, ‘you are to feign illness and return to our bravi and give them this message’ William quickly repeated what Staedtler had told him, as well as a little more. The boy nodded and hurried back out the threshold through which they had entered. At last Anne had become curious and had also come over to him. After she had been told of what had occurred, she simply said ‘It seems our host is as good at being gracious as he is at not dressing like a prat. Shall I arrange an accident? It would be a shame if his wife’s horse had a loose saddle’ William drew his wife in, whispering in her ear. ‘Not tonight, my love, let’s not stoop to his level quite yet. It is a long way down and I get enough pain in my back as it is’

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Nicholas Archival

"His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Nicholas!" boomed the herald.

Nicholas strode forward, through the gates and into the university's grounds with firm strides. He was becoming inured to the reverence with which many regarded him upon his entry to events, but this day was not about him - no, it was about the man he considered a friend perhaps above any others and his bride-to-be.

At his side was a retainer, bearing a sizeable, finely-wrought chest upon a velvet cushion. Although it was closed, it could not quite hide the gleaming light which found escape through the slight opening. A wedding gift?

Adjusting his favoured, raven cloak, he continued onward, in search of the bride and groom - or perhaps any other acquaintances or friends who crossed his path. The Imperial Crown was lighter on his head this day; perhaps because the attention of the crowd's was largely somewhere else.

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

Tyra had been waiting for something like that to happen, for a big figure to show up, or at least someone she knew. The heralds ennerved her, and many still focused on her Bluelake name. She had hoped to go in with Sir Gislin or maybe Sir Goriad, but this was lucky too. Following the commotion caused by the Emperor, she and Alya walked into the Halls, mingling with the nobility. Alya scurried off to where she could see all the gift giving and perhaps catch a sight of some of those very distinct knights, while Tyra, on her blue and silver tunic, one Duncan had adorned for formal occasions, looked for a familiar face.

She ran into Drake. With a playful frown, the countess addressed him. "You are everywhere, huh, kid?!"

"Cousin- I mean - Lady Tyra!" he bowed deeply, then lifted his face and smiled his bright, open smile at her. She couldn't help but smiling back. "I have been trying to find my way to you... To be your squire. Lord William picked me up, though and..." he gave a quick glance to Helga's direction. "I'm enjoying being his ward."

Tyra gave the boy a long look. Could he grow with integrity despite being under William? He was her responsibility after all. She invited him to walk with her, they talked for a while; she asked some questions, he asked thrice as many. By the end of it, she felt safe about his moral compass, and could even say she kind of liked him... For a Bluelake.

Staedtler la Stylo

Staedtler raced down the velvet steps, eyes to his feet. He was clutching Irina's hand as she navigated her own way down, guiding her around the curve of the staircase as she thudded across the floorboards like a runaway horse. In the centre of the hall was Queen Luarin, the grand dame of Luria, waltzing the University grounds amidst pleasant celebration. All eyes were upon her, and rightly so. If today was anyone's to steal, no uproar would be aroused by the royal grandmother stealing back her kin and riding away into the sunset. Staedtler looked about the base of the stairs for a servant; someone with voice, gravitas. The crowd was swelling, pushing about itself in wells and breaks that hid any one form from view. With no other option, Staedtler yanked at the lapels of his jacket, pulled a cold breath up through his nostrils, and took a step forward from Irina.

"Lords and ladies, friends and fellows, Queen Luarin," Staedtler called out, loud as he could. "The bride, and my beautiful wife-to-be ... Lady Irina Bowker!"

The guests turned to the stairs for the bride's approach. Irina raised the edge of her dress and teetered her way to Staedtler's awaiting hand. The boots were cumbersome. It felt like walking on numb flesh. Every inch forward threatened to throw her sideways, or off into the crowd below. In Staedtler's care, though, together, they made way into the parting crowd. With feet upon the tiled floor, they both stood before the doting guests as they complimented each and every aspect of her attire. Her footwear was obscured, but the mud stains left behind were not. Thankfully, all eyes were on the couple, and the floor was opened up to Staedtler and Irina to walk, all the way to Queen Luarin.

Irina kissed Staedtler and broke for her Grandmother in a clumsy half-step run. She hugged around her shoulders and gently squeezed, just enough. It had been so long.

"I've missed you so much," she said gleefully, before pulling back. "Oh, but you look so brilliant! Absolutely divine! Are you trying to outshine me?" Irina laughed, again hugging her closest relative.

Staedtler itched his nose as he approached, attempting an earnest smile at Irina's side.

"My queen, I must agree with Irina. You are looking magnificent." He put his hand to Irina's waist. "Thank you for coming. I really do appreciate it."

7th September

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Luarin Bowker

Luarin was in the middle of the hall when something made her look toward the stairs. The groom was coming, hand in hand with her beautiful Irina. The floor behind them was covered with mud and Luarin could notice the boots on her small feet.

"Lords and ladies, friends and fellows, Queen Luarin," Staedtler called out, loud as he could. "The bride, and my beautiful wife-to-be ... Lady Irina Bowker!"

The Queen stood, waiting while Irina run to her. She waved discreetly to a servant, indicating the muddy dirt floor. The boy immediately understood and ran for the chest they brought in the entourage and she noticed that he took it toward a small room near the hall.

"I've missed you so much. Oh, but you look so brilliant! Absolutely divine! Are you trying to outshine me?"

Luarin whispered in Irina's ear: "I always miss you, my darling and no one shines more than you" and pulling back to look at the face of that beautiful girl-woman she spoke to the bride and groom, taking one hand of each:

"I want to congratulate you for this beautiful party and for your marriage. May the stars and the eagle of hope rest upon you, caring and protecting you. It is with joy that I see Irina and her young husband starting a new life and it makes me feel that my journey begins to come to an end. It's time for new minds, new hearts to take my place."

Pulling Irina in for another hug, she whispered, "Go open the chest in that small room There's a nice pair of satin shoes that I brought with me from distant lands, plus other gifts. With it you will be able to dance all night without getting tired."

Returning again to the newlyweds she continued:

"But now you must go to dance while I am going to take my place at the table because I'm starving. Later I will have a statement that might make you happy."

9th September

Summer Day -- Poryatu

Goriad Gabanus

As Tyra and her guest arrived in the room Goriad still laid under the bed, hidden to show her one of her most important lessons. To his surprise he heard two female voices in the dance of sheets which followed. He was uncertain what to think of it, although it was certainly not the first time he had heared of such things.

He stayed still and patientpy awaited his moment. It took a long while before the second women left and for a moment he had thought she would not. But a few hours after Tyra fell asleep the women left and so Goriad and Tyra were now alone.

About half an hour after the women had left Goriad rolled from under the bed and sat himself on the floor at the footend of her bed. It took several more hours for Tyra for to wake up and when she did Goriad stood up.

As he stood there in front of the bed he held his arms cross, holding a dagger in his right hand. He did not say a word, merely standing there waiting for Tyra to notice his presence.

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

Grodno, days before the wedding

As usual when she brought someone to sleep with her for part of the night, Tyra hadn't had the nightmare. When the first rays of sunlight entered her window, the countess started to stir, finally waking up with a yawn and a stretch. Halfway through, she opened her eyes to see a person standing at her feet! In a quick move, Tyra rolled from the furs, grasping for the dagger she kept under the bed, and finding nothing. She thus took a handfighting stance, and saw her dagger on the person's hand.

That's when she looked at him, and relaxed, giving the intruder a smile.

"Good morning, Sir Goriad! It's been a while... You picked an interesting place to meet me at." she squinted at him and winked "Perhaps you meant to join me for a morning sparring?" Tyra pointed at the bed with her head, quite comfortable in her own skin. "Who let you in, anyway?"

Sucked Into the Ground

For many years, the beam of light had glowed under the three bloodstars within Darfix. Now the ground rumbled under the circle of eight portal stones that had been set by Janessa long long ago. A moment later, the ring of stones and the column of light are swallowed from beneath. Expanding outward from Darfix in a wave, small groups of monsters and undead soon find the ground opening up beneath their feet, plunging them into Dwilight's depths, and then closing around them. Small groups of monsters and undead crossing the seas find themselves drowned by the seas and pulled beneath the seabed.

10th September

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Staedtler la Stylo

"But now you must go to dance while I am going to take my place at the table because I'm starving. Later I will have a statement that might make you happy."

Staedtler motioned for a moment's patience to Luarin, and turned on his heels to the gathered crowd.

"Our most beloved friends," called Staedtler, striding towards the curtained doors of the western wing, "let us open up the festivities with the sating of royal appetites! Come, let us dine!"

The lace curtains were drawn back to reveal the ceremony hall and its dozens of decorated tables, lining the floor perpendicular to the central, lilac carpetted aisle. It was well lit by ceiling-high windows facing the midday sun, the heat blooming across the polished floorboards from Staedtler's feet at the doorway, all the way down to the dais toward the front. More bouquets, more ribbons, more staffers ready to attend and serve, standing not even an inch away from where they were tasked; absolute clockwork. The romance of it all had Staedtler dazed, rattling his senses something violent. After a tear-straining moment, he stood aside and guided the first few of the guests to saunter on in to the feast-to-be.

Irina clutched the arm of her grandmother, once again with her family despite the momentum of things, even if just for a moment of things. She leaned onto the edges of her boots, tweaking her ankles and rolling her joints. It was a rough pain. The coarse leather gripped her skin like grinding teeth, and all of the pressure of her body was being pressed onto the knuckles of her toes. Somewhere else in the campus, there was another pair to replace these, made of satin no less. Still, Irina stuck close to the comfort of Luarin. She rested against her shoulder and closed her eyes.

Staedtler made his way through the draining pool of people, flooding away to the east, and broke for his family.

"My queen, grandmother," said Staedtler, bowing his head. "We will begin the ceremony soon; hopefully once people are well-fed and a little more warmed-up with wine and whatnot. Feel free above all else to take whatever seat you wish, although I have one as close to the front reserved in your name especially." He thumbed his brow and began to incessantly poke the toe of his shoe into the floor, breathing a little heavier. "Now, Irina, dear."

Irina opened her eyes.

"I'm ready whenever you are ready. From here-on out, the day is yours." He kissed her lips, smiled a slight, and turned back to the hall.

Before he could even take a step, Irina grabbed his wrist and yanked him back around. She reached over his shoulders, standing on his toes, and squeezed him close.

"Oh, you idiot. You absolute fool of mine." Irina said, tightening her grip.

She gripped Staedtler's hair, ruining the regiment of its neatness, and buried her face deep into his neck and collar. Staedtler just held her there, his chin resting on her head, rubbing her shoulder, shushing her. She sniffed, pulling away and back to her feet, itching the corner of her eye.

"I'll be with you as soon as I can, don't worry. I love you," she said, sniveling and chuckling through tear-shed. "And, grandma," she turned back to Luarin. "Thank you for everything. I'll put them on right away. You have my word." She held her grandmother's hand for as long as she could as she slowly walked for the stairs, never turning away, before they lost touch. She raced up the steps, clattering like a loose mule, tracking mud and rumbling the entire campus. She stopped, and leaned over the banister just before the stairs curved out of sight of the foyer.

"And since you've given us such a gift - a much needed surprise, might I say - I think it only fair we return the favour! We both have quite the news for you today, but only when the time is right. Ain't that right, husband?" She cried from above, cupping her mouth as she strode. She pointed from her own eyes to Staedtler's with a knowing look; a comically stern glare, followed by a girlish snort, before disappearing onto the upper corridor with a thunder of footfall.

"Shall we?" Staedtler guided his grandmother to the ceremony hall with a smile as wide and pure as the Euschean.

11th September

Summer Day -- Poryatu

Emyhr le Craint

What remained of Emyhr's unit quickly rushed into a nearby farm building, each carrying a man on their arms who have suffered a major wound. Placing them down on whatever surface they could, bundles of straw and workbenches, with healers rushing around trying to meet the needs of the injured. After a short time, the door clattered open once again, this time came Emyhr with Marshal Solomon on his arm. The Marshal having been struck down with a wound was suffering, fluttering in and out of conciousness. Word had been called ahead and a camp bed had been set up for the marshal to rest on, more healers came through once again. Emyhr turned to look at the group, many suffering from wounds, his captain lying on a bed nearby having lost his arm to the jaw of a monster.

"Those who are able to stand, I request that you come with me. We must protect this building with our lives to ensure the others will recover."

Emyhr took up a shield and sword leaning against the wall of the barn, he was joined by the few men that had carried the wounded in, 15 in total. Emyhr led them outside of the door, asking that the door be barred shut from the inside to ensure that should the worst case happen, the people inside would be safe.

Standing outside, looking over the terrifying sight that remained on the battlefield. Bodies strewn all around, limbs missing and scattered. Many of the dead remained unrecognizable due to the ferocity of the horde. Acorss the horizon the countless numbers of monsters turned their heads towards the men that had just came out of the barn. For a moment, there was silence. Then, without hesitation, a bloodcurdling scream erupted from one of the monsters. The ground began to shake as the beasts turned and began to charge.

"Good luck to you all, may whatever being you believe in protect you. I hope to see you on the other side."

For the next hour, the clash of metal against flesh and bone was all that could be heard. The screams of the dying breaking the monotony of the battle. With ferocity the men of the vanguard remained strong, holding their own. After a while the first man went down, followed by another as the numbers began to overwhelm them. Seeing this Emyhr struck down the swarming goblins in front of him before letting out a long scream, clashing his sword against his shield.

"Lead them to the woods, we must use the coverage to our advantage. Split up so that the group will fragment, we must take them away from here."

Without a moments hesitation, the few that remained in the unit bolted in different directions. Some looping around the nearby lake, others taking a straight line towards the woods. Emyhr, turned before making his final sprint to ensure that the monsters had been dispersed. Seeing that none remained in front and the few that had been wounded were now being taken into the barn itself, he smiled to himself before once again clattering his sword and shield and sprinting for the Forrest entrance.

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Emyhr le Craint

Mariana stepped out from her tent, covering her eyes as the moon shone brightly this night. Her arm wrapped up in a bandage, she limped across the ground where camp had been set up. Most of her men were not up and active, a few prepping a fire, others setting up more tents for the night as more men recover from their injuries. The mood had recovered, seeing their commander recovering from her wounds and more importantly conscious. A pair returned just as Mariana stepped out from her tent, hung over their shoulders was a selection of hunted animals ready for the evening meal. Their smug attitudes got them a lot of attention from the men preparing the fire.

Mariana looked down at herself, she had most of her armour removed apart from her greaves and sabatons. Her mail undershirt remained mostly intact with only minor breakages, however her breastplate had been torn off and lost on the battlefield. Looking around she could see the scraps of armour that had been destroyed in the battle, it seemed the men had hired a local blacksmith to work on, as best as he could, the partially damaged sets. It pleased Mariana to see that the men had taken the initiative in her absence.

Stepping towards the campfire, the sat on a tree that had been felled to be used as a bench. Looking over her arm, she could still feel the pain where a claw had torn through most of the upper layers of muscle and skin. She looked around for a drink to soothe her pain, to which she could not find one. She looked towards the men that were setting up the fire.

"Cedric, grab me a drink. Something strong mind you, none of that swill you find in a peasants tavern.."

Before she could finish, a man came behind her holding out a mug.

"Ah Waldor, it seems you read my mind. I am glad to see you have recovered from your injury."

The cup she was offered was filled with a colourless liquid, which gave off a strong stench of alcohol, like the kind that would be used to disinfect wounds. Without a moments hesitation she downed the drink, the men that were neardby were stunned into silence, many of them had tried this but none had survived more than one cup. Mariana reached the bottle of the mug, letting out a sigh of relief she sunk into the comfort of the bench.

"It seems you never cease to surprise me, bringing my favourite drink, you must have hunted around for quite some time to find that."

The captain laughed, his thick black goatee bouncing up and down with his heavy laughter.

"Only the best, its the reason I signed up with you. Never met another who could handle this drink, to find someone who enjoys it as much as me is more than enough reason to carry a bottle round with me at all times."

Mariana followed this comment with a laugh, wiping the sweat from her brow as the hot summer evening was coming to a close. The fire was not lit, while only a small flame, the men were pleased and ready to begin roasting the meat that had been caught.

"You better bring the rest of that bottle, now is the time to enjoy this while we are given a bit of peace. Additionally, since you seem to know me so well, I imagine you wouldnt try to withhold this drink from me."

The captain smirked, he produced the bottle from behind his back. The blackened glazed glass gave off a mystery to the drink, a simple label with little to no decoration with bold lettering 'Black Death'. Before two long the pair of them was pouring out their second mugs, the smell of the roasting meat accompanied the drink. Men now gathered around the fire, their mouths watering as they awaited their food.

Goriad Gabanus

"Who let you in, anyway?" Tyra ended her question. Goriad then shook his head, "Had I been anyone else, you would be dead right now. Your throat slit whilst asleep and alone. Had you been anyone else, you would be dead right now. None of your guards or staff know I'm here, nor would they notice me leaving."

He paused a moment as he moved to the side of her bed and sat down, the dagger still in his hands. "Spar? What use is there of sparring when you are dead without noticing I'm even here? What good would sparring do you? Not even the greatest swordsman would find any use of his sword when caught unawhere." He now smiled for a moment "Perhaps if you had not spent all your energy before falling asleep."

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

Tyra frowned deeply as he spoke. A slit throat in her sleep was truly a dull way to die. At the back of her mind she had questions about it being part of Tor's chaos, but it seemed to her Karibash wouldn't embrace such a death, would fight it to the last.

As he sat down, the countess started redoing the lateral braids on her hair, something she did when she had to think. Goriad continued. "Spar? What use is there of sparring when you are dead without noticing I'm even here? What good would sparring do you? Not even the greatest swordsman would find any use of his sword when caught unawhere." He now smiled for a moment "Perhaps if you had not spent all your energy before falling asleep."

First, she chuckled "I had meant another kind of sparring... Wait." Suddenly she realized just how long he had been there. A quick glance at the dagger, another at the room, and Tyra stormed through the door, wearing just her undershirt but caring not a bit. In two minutes, two servants arrived back with her, and proceeded to dismount the bed and take it away. After they were done, she arranged the furs over the hay mattress and turned back to her guest.

"I never had any particular use for beds anyway... Duncan will be mad. But I'll tell him what you told me." Tyra looked around the room "Next time you'll have to hide in one of the trunks... Though you'd be more than welcome not to hide at all." She winked at him, again. Was he oblivious or just a celibate? If he thought a little action before bed made her too tired...? Well, she wasn't going to tell him about her nightmares.

12th September

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Leonid Castillo

A greyed hair man, followed by a small retinue of soldiers, entered the tavern and look at the full establishment.

Beer for everyone, courtesy of the great Luria Nova, said Leonid.

The crowd didn't look very impressed; in fact, they looked to him as if he was supposed to have arrived earlier.

14th September

Summer Day -- Nid Tek

Emyhr le Craint

As the afternoon sun was beginning to set over the hills of Nid Tek, the camp fires began to be lit. Tents being set up for the coming night and the sound of revelries as men returned to the peace of the evening. Emyhr stood around a table that had been hastily set up within the largest of the tents at the camp. He was flocked by members of his new unit, men whom he had not met before, each and every one of them positioning themselves to rub up against their new commander. Their intentions purely to just get their names known rather than seeking the glory of fighting for their realm. This was frustrating Emyhr but there was little he could do, he needed these men or else he would become useless himself.

Flicking through report after report and maps detailing the land that had been lost, Emyhrs face began to sour with the atmosphere. Before long, a scout arrived, one that had been sent out earlier that day.

"My lord, I.... I have returned."

Emyhr turned, the scout was obviously anxious about something, stuttering as he spoke and being unable to stand still.

"Well.. How fares my home? What of my family? You have returned by yourself...." With this, Emyhr stopped. Clenching his fist against the edge of the table, his face turned to rage.

"What happened? Where are my family? SPEAK NOW." Emyhr roared with a tone that had been unheard from him before, this set the men with freight, many of them backing away slightly from the table, seeing that the edge was beginning to splinter.

"I... Im... Im sorry my lor..."

Before he could finish his sentence, Emyrh flipped the table sending all the documents and maps flying around the room. The candles scattered all across the tent floor with the men rushing around to stamp out the flames before the tent caught alight. The men now standing far back, watching on in horror as the refined man before them was now red with rage. Holding within his hands, a chunk of the table that was now lying in pieces on the floor. Without a moments hesitation, Emyhr let out a terrifying screech.


The men rushed out the tent, the scout now paralysed with fear was grabbed by one of the guards who dragged his stiff body out of the tent. Once they had left, Emyhr stood there alone. His head hunched over covering his face which was now deep within sadness. A single tear drop fell down his cheek onto the papers below him. He grabbed a nearby chair that had not been knocked over by the table and sat within the centre of the tent, darkness now enveloped within. Silence remained, not even the sounds from outside could break the now still air. Emyhr sat hunched over, motionless.

"Why must this happen? Why does such pain exist in this world... why... WHY..." His voice cut off, wiping away the tears that now streamed down his face. "I have done my duty, I fight without hesitation to protect those who cant do so themselves and this is how I am repaid."

He stood up from his chair, stood for a moment before kicking the chair across the floor sending it into the pile of boxes containing his belongings. Of note, a particular box wrapped in a fine cloth adorned with a ribbon bow. Emyhr took this box and ripped it open, from within he took out a necklace which he then clutched in his hands against his chest, the only sound to break the silent air was the sound of whimpering.

For a moment their was no movement, not even the wind wished to disrupt Emyhr, out of fear of what could happen. Time stood still, there was nothing that could take Emyhr out of this trance. After a while, Emyhr raised his head, tears streaming down his cheeks, his eyes red with sadness. Emyhr called to a scout and without a moments hesitation the same scout that had given the bad news returned. He looked worryingly upon his lord who was now visibly shaken and emotionally drained.

"Send word to Sir Solomon Greybrook, if he has the time I wish to meet with him. He is the only one who can help me now."

Solomon Greybrook

Grey Clouds above us.

Returning to Nid Tek was never going to be easy. Solomon remembered how when he was younger than he was now, he struggled and clung to life in Grodno. It took some time to shake off the injury he held that day - perhaps there was greater a mental injury than any physical one. The teeth which dripped in blood, the good soldiers of Greybrook Guard torn in half and the long wait to see if he would survive the night. That night caused the first occurrence vivid nightmares that plagued him for weeks on end. He knew that fighting in Nid Tek was the right order to provide the Hand. Without the attack, the hordes of unmentionable foul beasts and unnatural skeleton masses would of spread even further. As he traveled to Nid Tek with a new retinue, the vivid memory replayed in his mind...

The foul smell that lingered on the battlefield, the deaths of the comrades of arms of the Exalted Arbalests, the injuries of good nobles.

It was Grodno all over again.

In the thick of the fighting, the Exalted Arbalests got caught by a paricular large monster whom charged through the front infantry and pounced on the first line of Arbalests. Perfectly able to deal with such a threat, the Arbalests were able to deal with the monster with only a few light injuries. However, focusing on the monster in front of them, others crept forward.

The next 10 seconds changed the course of Solomon's battle. Arbalests were torn apart, men flying into the air and screaming in pain. Seeing Captain Semund caught in a tough situation near a slight hill, Solomon drew his sword and charged into the fight. The two monsters that cornered the Captain growled with a bitter sound that can never be forgotten. With a swing of his sword, Solomon caught one of the beasts of guard and injured the beast enough for the Captain to slay it. However, the other pounced on Solomon and before he knew it, he lying on the mud and only saw the teeth of the beast stained in his blood before darkness fell upon him.

In and out of the darkness, Solomon saw figures of grey. For a moment, he thought Sir Emyhr carried him to safety. For another moment, he saw fire engulf his vision and began to burn his limbs alight as he saw his estate broken in the background...

Solomon woke up every-time gasping for breath and checking for burns. No matter how many times he checked his skin, only the bite from the monster remained. Luckily, only the Captain saw the his plight. He was the one that knew the condition of which he sleeps. Again, another painful memory which Solomon began to cast back to...

Entering Askileon Purlieus, Solomon knew something was wrong. Entering the townsland, some of the scouts and soldiers from the Hand of Luria were stationed at the gate. Eager to return to duty, Solomon approached the band and exclaimed:

"Hand of Luria! Present arms!"

The 3 soldiers and the 2 scouts immediately stood to salute. However, there was not the strict discipline or even contempt that the soldiers usually held toward the Marshal. Instead, there was something else.


One of his soldiers desperately ran along side him and his Captain in a attempt to converse with Semund. Ignoring them, Solomon began investigating the soldiers in front of him.

"Soldier! How goes the effort? Has Nid Tek been secured?"

The soldier hesitated for a second before answering.

"Marshal Greybrook. Respectfully Sir, are you testing my resolve? It is well known knowledge that the rural regions of Earth Hall are devastated. Both Nid Tek and Dantoo..."

"That is enough soldier!" Captain Semund interfered with the conversation before the soldier could speak.

Solomon's heart almost stopped. It felt like a knife had pierced his heart and all of the sand from the Desert of Silhouettes was in his throat.

His nightmares real and the burning sensation began once again on his limbs.

With the fire ignited inside of him and growing into a bonfire, Solomon charged into the man infront of him and grabbed him by the throat making him squeal upon impact.

"SOLDIER! WHAT HAPPENED TO DANTOOINE!" Solomon bellowed as the man struggled to bring air into his l.

Grasping for breath, the soldier knew that this could be his last moments alive if he did not speak. With what he can, he stuttered out:

"Dantooine... (gasp) is... (gasp) lost..."

Throwing the man onto the floor, he stared daggers into his captain as he turned out of the city...

It later appeared that his Uncle had died with the defense of Dantooine, his body lost to the battlefield outside of Sea Cliff Keep. The closest family member to him, lost in a heartbeat. While the estate held strong, it was damaged greatly and now weathered with it's virgin battle.

There was no issue for Solomon to continue his duties as Marshal - it was easy for the man to remain focused while on duty. Working allowed him to partially ignore the trauma that he had gone through the last week. Seeking to work whenever he could, Solomon continued his duties. However, the nightmare had remained - whether that was reality of his situation or in his dreams was another conversation. Upon hearing the plight of Sir Emyhr, he rode to Nid Tek to find the man whom was in a very similar situation to himself. Receiving his letter, Solomon separated from his unit and rode ahead on the road to Nid Tek.

A short trip later and he had arrived at the Vice-Marshal's camp. His soldiers, completely foreign and new to him, came to his horse and helped him down with almost a nervous fear. Pushing the soldiers assistance away, Solomon paced towards the camp as he opened the tent to find Sir Emyhr - whom appeared a shadow of his former self.

Almost in a whisper, physically unable to muster or create the words to do so otherwise, Solomon only spoke a single word to his Vice-Marshal:


Luarin Bowker

"And since you've given us such a gift - a much needed surprise, might I say - I think it only fair we return the favour! We both have quite the news for you today, but only when the time is right. Ain't that right, husband?"

Luarin stood for a moment watching Irina running away before turning to dinner place. She was absurdly hungry, despite her age. Lords and Ladies where walking around, talking and discussing. It was good to have something to celebrate after all losses and it was good to see some nobles of Luria Nova inside the University. They did not talk much after secession and this could be a good time to talk about their future.

But she did not see King cador.

Emyhr le Craint

Dark Days Ahead

Almost in a whisper, physically unable to muster or create the words to do so otherwise, Solomon only spoke a single word to his Vice-Marshal:


Emyhr looked up for a moment through teary eyes to see that Solomon had arrived, as he tried to speak no words would leave his mouth. Still clutching the necklace, he opened his palm to look upon it. The once beautiful deep blue gemstone that adorned the main body now only looks hazy. A crack that he had not noticed before could be seen with clarity, the necklace now only serving as a reminder to how things once were. Emyhr un-clipped the back and placed the necklace around his neck. He wiped away the tears from his eyes.

"My friend... these are dark days we face. After all the hard work we put into defending our homes, to see it all ruined in an instant..." Emyhr grabbed a bottle from the pile of boxes, one that was not smashed from when he kicked the chair. Uncorked it and took a deep swig. All his desire to be courteous was thrown away much like the reports that now grace the floor.

"I don't know what to do anymore. This world is too cruel, no matter what we do it always ends up worse."

Emyhr slumps to the ground, taking another deep swig from the bottle.

"What do we do now? I feel my desire to continue to go on leaving me. My mind state cannot continue like this, I don't know if I can hold out."

Emyhr turns and looks up at Solomon.

"How do we move on from this?"

Goriad Gabanus

Her chuckle surprised him, its tone playful where he had expected a serious reply or even an angry rebuttel. But before he could good and well reply she had stormed out of the room. When she returned two others had joined her and removed the bed. Goriad stood up to allow them and patiently assessed the situation.

"Next time you'll have to hide in one of the trunks... Though you'd be more than welcome not to hide at all." Tyra said as she finished and her servants had left again.

She was beautiful he had to admit and for the first time since decades, thoughts of certain nature arose in his mind. For more than half his life now he had not touched or even thought of women in this way. It made him smile in a genuine way, which he had not done for a long time either.

He walked towards Tyra, moving in hair's length distance and as he grabbed the back of her head he whispered in her ear: "I am not good at sharing milady. This Duncan of yours would not survive the day. Are you certain?" He placed a kiss on her cheek.

17th September

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Sharn 'The One Armed'

Sharn entered the Tavern, looked around before approaching the bartender. Her cloak of fine weave adorned the insignia of the Dwilight Marketplace. This was a business trip; The Merchant Mistress of the Dwilight Marketplace arrived to complete a transaction of a recent auction. Neither of her appointments were present at any table to her dismay.

Perhaps an inconvenience tax should be applied? she pondered for a moment...

Rather content with sitting in a darkened corner sipping her ale, she thought maybe to stick around for a day or two until and await word of her customers' whereabouts; even if just simply for a bit of rest and quiet at least, it will be pleasant.

18th September

Summer Evening -- Poryatu

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake


Tyra crumpled the letter from Nicholas's men. What she wanted was to hop on a boat and go see him herself. She couldn't believe the Emperor she had just played Skat with a few moons ago was so ill, perhaps for good. Her foreboding words about it making no practical difference to him when she left on her journey, were turning out true. The mission he gave her... Gone. The anchoring...

That's a lesson she kept forgetting, didn't she? Her people never lasted. They always left her. Why even avoid the nightmares which reminded her of that reality?

The warrior took her sword's scabbard, and carefully undid the knoting that kept a part of it closed. On the inside, there was a softer skin, with a series of names roughly burned onto the leather. Many were old and worn, but among the newer ones were Seanna, Zyv, Isabella, on another group, Bethany, Aldrakar, Matthew. She quietly took a very thin blade and heated it on the fire. Hesitating for a moment, she burned "Nicky" among those of the second group. Not dead. He wasn't dead.

As Tyra closed the scabbard again, she decided tonight was a nightmare night. But she'd be drunk as a skunk when she finally went to sleep. Hopefully Alya wouldn't ask too many questions the next day...

20th September

Summer Day -- Dantooine


Alabaster wet her lips as she queued nervously for the ceremony. She clutched Fontainas hand, perhaps a little too tightly.

"I personally request the honour of your presence at the marriage of Earl Staedtler la Stylo and Irina Bowker. The ceremony and reception shall be held within the Shinnen Purlieus campus of the University of Dwilight on the 20th day of Spring.", read the invitation she had received from the Master and Principal of the University, Lord Staedtler himself.

She gulped; although she was a Dean of the School herself, it was the lesser (the least?), being that of Field Studies. Her record and experience had stood for themselves, when it were just the Dean and herself. When she was not studying in the field, she maintained a small and quaint office - around the back of the campus and nearest the stables.

Alabaster adjusted her bolero jacket, worn over a pretty dress. The adventuress had spent a considerable amount of her dwindling purse on attire suitable for such a prestigious event. Hair and makeup and jewelry at considerable cost! She felt hot and under scrutiny despite her personal invitation.

Summer Evening -- Dantooine


Mord picks up the scroll with a sigil of two-headed gryphon. He turns it upside-down, then after a brief while he turns it upside-down again. He looks at the scroll very intently, squinting his eyes.

"Pretty letters..." - he thinks - "pretty sigil... pretty letters... pretty drawings..." - he ponders - "... if only I could read."

Jaeger Guile

Having been occupied with his lady-friend for no more than a few, and perhaps several more, hours; Jaeger opens the flap to his camp tent in Dantooine to find no less than fifth missives regarding the actions of the recentlh elected new King of Luria Nova and the fallout that has happened after his assault and titular stripping of one of Nova’s most loyal subjects.

With an exasperated shake of his head that sets his stark white hair atumble, Jaeger throws a dagger into the chest of the man carrying the stack of letters and whistles for an aide to clear the corpse.

“I’ll be damned, Luria isn’t dead after all. Some recall our ways it would seem... scribe! Bring me a quill, I must contact my brother.” he says in an undertone to his mute personal servant.

Aylwin Gottfried

Aylwin signed a few documents while sipping some wine and listening to his favorite harp girls who were sitting and playing gentle music absolutely naked, just the way he liked.

Aylwin smiled, it was time to implement these changes for a while, if only these peasant fools had some patience.

22nd September

Autumn Day -- Dantooine

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

Tyra breathed in his scent, leaning forward against him for a moment, closing the gap. They were the same height, he was older, skilled... This had the potential to be so much fun. She smiled. "We are alone. Duncan knows better than to walk in on us. I can be all yours today."

Goriad let Tyra lean in and say her piece. She remained direct in her approach, something Goriad had not expected and had not seen or felt in a long long time. For decades he had not been with a women as he had secluded his life and body ever since his wife passed away during the great migration. He had stayed away from all earthly vices for the majority of his life now, yet the breath of the young women in his neck stirred something in him.

He grabbed her waist with his left hand as he pulled Tyra's body against him. He then pulled his right index finger from her temperal to her cheek, lingering it underneath her chin as he pulled it up slightly. "I said I do not share," he whispered while staring straight into her eyes "if you want me, you shall never have another without me," he placed a kiss upon her lips at the end of these words, slow but strong.

Despite his nonsense, she kissed back, and let herself get lost in it for a moment. What a good way to start a day. It could have been even better, though. Tyra stepped back, shaking her head with an amused grin on her face. "And here I thought I was inviting you to have fun, not to marry me. Well." The countess went to one of the chests, got her tunic and started getting dressed, with a slight air of disappointment. "So, would milord like to teach me how to protect myself from the likes of you, before the next person decides to hide in my room all night?"

Luarin Bowker

At the marriage

Luarin look at the empty dinner table, full of food and empty of people.

Where is everyone? This is a marriage with free food and no one is hungry?

26th September

Autumn Day -- Poryatu


Unwilling fisherman read the letter aloud to Mord, as he finished Mord's eyebrows rushed to meet the hairline and his eyes opened wide.

"Nobles spit?!" - he thought out loud in shocked surprise.

Goriad Gabanus

Goriad showed a sly grin on his face as Tyra stepped backwards "Who said anything about mariage milady? Those words are your design."

He stepped forward towards her as she grabbed her tunic. "Your best protection is knowledge. Why does someone enter your room, what does he want and how will he achieve it?"

As she tried to get dressed she was interrupted by Goriad who moved even closer until he stood against her. His hand moved passed her left arm "Strong" he said as he moved his hand from her breasts to stomach "beautiful". He ended his movement by bringing his finger to her lips, to which she responded to with a small bite "and fierce," he now began to whisper "what could a man possibly want from you?

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

Her pale blue eyes pierced him. She was torn between taking his clothes off, and biting his finger off. She lowered his hand to go around her back, gluing her body to his, reaching inside his shirt with her right hand, slowly tracing the scars on his torso as she pushed him against a wall. "One would hardly need to put a dagger to my throat for that..." As she unpinned her braids with her left hand, Tyra leaned in to kiss his neck.

Instead, Goriad felt the touch of hard steel, and a sharp pain, immediately followed by her soft lips. The blade was still against Goriad's neck when she faced him with mischief. "A small punishment for implying that this is all a man can possibly want from me." Tyra smiled, her lips red from the small cut she had given him. "But it isn't true for you, you want more, you want me on a leash. The question is, why?"

They were similarly built, but Tyra knew he could easily free himself, seeing he had bested her three or four times in training matches. She wanted to see how he'd do it, and learn.


Autumn -- Poryatu

Goriad Gabanus

As she cut him Goriad showed but a micro expression of pain, but turned it into a grin rapidly. It was not the first time he was cut, but the situation he found himself in now was rather unique to him. Even after the kiss she still held the knife to his neck, sharp as can be. He slowly pushed his neck further towards the knife "Such a small cut with such a sharp knife, my arteries are there, a good cut and I will never stand up again. Come on, you can do it!"

Tyra smirked, her hand with the sharp blade giving in to his pressure. "That's very tempting, but you haven't answered my question and all I wanted was to see how you get away from it. You woke me up with quite the lecture on how to defend myself, so..." she moved the tip of the blade to rest on his throbbing artery, allowing it to nick the skin and draw that littlest bit of blood. "Suppose I did have the intent to kill you...?"

"Then you should," he replied as his right hand moved to her left inner thigh "You should never make threats you are unwilling to execute," he said with a smile. "You my dear are in my hands, so why would I be the one that needs to escape?"

He smiled again as he moved his head towards her right ear "You assume to much without knowing and your ignorance keeps you prison," he whisphered "you assume to much and think too little." His right hand slowly moving still.

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

The countess gave him an annoyed look. Suddenly the man before her sounded like every other smug noble who wanted to boss her around, be it in bed or court. "Listen, my dear, it seems you think too much and see too little of what's in front of you." Tyra brushed his hand away, cleaned the blade on her undershirt and put it back on her braids, the white agate rose being the only visible part of it, stepping back.

"Enough. I won't put on a leash just to bed you. I could do it for a day, maybe for a week if..." she gave him a meaningful look over "...if it's worth my while. Otherwise, we can just keep to the tutoring part of this friendship, which has been quite interesting so far. And I understand. With necks and knives, you do, or do not. There is no try."

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?"

Emyhr le Craint

Looking over the harbour, Emyhr stood and pondered. His grizzled face no longer gave off the respectable aura it once did, it now showed only grief. His facial hair had been left untamed, it now grew out into an irregular fashion. Now he wore black, not as to meet the trends but to portray the grief that he has felt. The period of mourning had not come to an end. He let out a deep sigh, slinking deeper into the harbour wall, his legs only barely holding himself up.

"I wonder what I should do? Where I should go? Who I should be? This world does not give me hope any more, not like it once did."

The sounds of men and woman leaving the taverns from the dock below filled the air, the cheer and laughter only added to his grief. Emyhr could not imagine what they had experienced, he thought to himself. The comfort to live behind walls must have left them ignorant to the world around them. Emyhr took a step back from the wall, bracing himself as he stood up ensuring that he had the right footing. Once again, looking out over the bay, the calm of the ocean seemed peaceful but only stood as a progenitor to the choas that the sea can bring.

Emyhr headed towards the stairs, making his way to the harbour side manor to which he was residing in. Taking his first steps down, he lost his footing. Slipping down the damp cobble steps, he was caught just before the end by his captain, he looked upon the weakened man that stood before him.

"Sir, You mustn't wander off this late at night. Not in your current state. Come, let us return to the manor."

Emyhr didn't put up a fight and followed the captain, feeling uneasy about the whole ordeal however. It did not take long, the captain brought a cup of wine and some fresh candles to Emyhr's room, setting them out around the room and lighting them. He bowed to Emyhr and left the room almost as quickly as he had arrived. Emyhr who now sat on the edge of his bed, let out another deep sigh. The sound of the waves had become less frequent and harder to hear over the noise of the harbour. He stood up and made his way to the desk in his room, a small pile of papers and a fresh pot of ink sat ready. He grabbed his cup and took a deep swig before sitting down and proceeding to write endless letters, throwing out copies that he did not like.

This went on for hours, the sounds of the harbour came to an end but Emyhr still sat there, new piles of paper had arrived and the scraps that now littered the floor was slowly being cleared up by the occasional servant who mustered up enough courage to enter his room. The bags around his eyes from his sleepless nights only grew darker and darker with ever hour that passed. Finally he lent into the back of his chair, his emotionless face hanging there in the still air. His breathing both slow and harsh, he slumped up from his chair. In a slow movement he made his way to his bed, falling into the smooth and well kept blankets, making no effort to change nor prepare himself for the night. The only thing that broke the lifeless atmosphere was the sound of the occasional weeping and heavy breathing of a weakened and frail man.