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Offline Nobody

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For King and Country
« on: August 09, 2007, 10:03:20 AM »
PROLOGUE

One Week Earlier

"Do you think that he is off again on one of his trips? How long was his last one? Two months?"

Yohan hated meeting in this room. It grated on every nerve he had just to be standing in it. For all the luxuries that the rest of the palace could afford, that it practically demanded, this room seemed like a pit in the dirt that a filthy raccoon might inhabit.

The walls, made from placed stone, were neither appealing, nor  luxurious. Square furniture with pointed edges lined the place so neatly and precisely, that it seemed almost haphazard.

The illumination was abhorrent. Indeed, only a single hanging lamp lit the entire space, and dimly at that. Yohan strained his eyes to read even a simple letter.

But all of this paled in comparison to the heat. It felt like high noon on a hot summer day, but without breeze or relief of shade. Yohan's collar tugged at his neck once more, and he resisted the urge to pull at it.

"That is true enough, but His Majesty has always been very careful not to be taken off guard. Never has he gone more than a week without sending word here to the Palace. I think that something is wrong, and more importantly, I think that I may not be the only one to think so."

Darmon Tagara's words were slow and methodical. They moved like an old tree; slowly and surely, with consonants that were over-pronounced, and spaces in between that seemed to make each syllable more important than it was.

He watched the young man from his plush sitting chair, the only creature comfort he had afforded himself during his years of service. He sat in loose leather clothes, the raging fire burning brightly behind his iron forge, an item that he had taken great pains to move into his quarters. He did not wear any of his insignia's that denoted his rank or office: Guard Captain of the Royal City.

It was obvious that his second Lieutenant, Yohan Steel, was uncomfortable in this room. It was not designed for him. The Ceiling was too low, the lite was dim, the place was warm to say the least. It was just how Captain Tagara preferred it.

He had not been born with the humans. His home was deep underground, where the temperatures were always hot, where the forge always burned, and where he learned to fight for his life, and the lives of his clan. Clan was not the correct word. It was Te'Gar, and he could not think of the human word for it. Something like family, but without a blood bond, and perhaps much closer, and yet more distant. It was extremely close to the bond between soldiers in war.

But this room was more than that. It was a safehouse. Ten feet of stone separated this room from eavesdropping, that and two heavily constructed doors. The hanging lamp created an anti-magic field that protected against magical guile and witchcraft. The forge could incinerate any note, and parchement, any writing no matter how it was constructed.

Yohan knew none of this of course. He did not need to know. Nobody did.

"If the threat is real, then we must act quickly before the trail goes cold. I shall order the seekers at once to find him."
"Try listening to me next time I say something boy. His Majesty is very careful when his concern is his safety. His regular guard consists of only three men, but each of them could handle more than a score of well trained soldiers. He never travels without a guise, and he tells nobody where he goes except his personal guard."

"Wha-What are you saying. That we shouldn't try to save him? With all due respect sir, thats treason."

"Of course not." Darmon growled. He paused for a moment, relaxed his tone.  "Don't be foolish. Stop speaking and think for a minute. It means that if King Varnin the Third was indeed kidnapped, that it was arranged internally. That he was betrayed. And it must have been very high up. The seekers cannot be trusted. Nobody inside the city can."

"What can be done then?"

"Keep an eye out for anybody from the outside who expresses interest in saving his Highness. I want a list of half a dozen competant, motivated names by the time the week is out. Make sure that it is not all bluster either. Do some checking if you have to. Make sure that they are both competant, and that they have good reason to want the King safe. Do you understand?"

"Yes sir."
 
The boy hesitated.

"Yes?" came Darmon's response.

"Sir, why did you pick me, and not one of the more experienced officers?"

Darmon did not reply.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 10:09:06 AM by Nobody »
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Offline Murometz

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2007, 10:53:51 AM »
Karbrandt Vanfoss sat motionless, awaiting an audience with his new liege's representatives. He had heard during his journey to the Royal City, that Varnin the Third was an avid hawker and hunter, and that the king was actually looking forward to meeting the young, but capable, falconer of the Vanfoss Clan.

Queen Goureiex, his erstwhile patron, and a distant fourth or fifth cousin of Varnin, had bid the falconer to join the burgeoning court of her relative, and now, after three long months of travel, Karbrandt finally found himself in the palace's antechamber, patiently waiting for someone to show him his new quarters, and make the proper introductions.

As he sat he thought of Goureiex. Karbrandt had not wanted to leave, but the infernal politics of court, or more specifically his own romantic dalliance with his queen, had forced both their hands. Word spread, as words always do, and soon tongues were wagging about the Queen and her "amourous falconer". It was soon after, that a teary Goureiex came to him and explained that it would be best for all concerned (not best for me, Karbrandt reflected) for Karbrandt to leave the palace, a hive of wasps and spies, as well as the Queendom itself.

"Someday you can come back of course, my love, but not until the time is right. I am not banishing you, Karbrandt, do not arch your sable brows. In fact I have a wonderful idea. My distant cousin, Varnin, one of the twin kings of the Royal City, is obsessed with falconry, and his favorite falconer has recently passed away. He would love to have someone of your caliber and loyalty in his court. I will make all the arrangements, my love. And someday, fear not, I will send for you again"

Time to forget and start anew Karbrandt thought, as he absentmindedly stroked the neck of his favorite bird, a kestrel he named "Skoda", which silently sat vigil on Karbrandt's leather-strapped hawk-glove.

Lost in his thoughts, he barely heard a palace page approach him.

"What is the delay?" Karbrandt managed as the reedy youth shuffled his feet in the falconer's direction. "Will the king not see me?"

"There, well--you will just have to be patient. perhaps I can show you to your new quarters instead, and later when King Varnin wills it, you may have your audience with his majesty."

Karbrandt supressed a groan. He was assured the king wished to see him immediately upn his arrival. Now, three hours of sitting later, he was being told in no uncertain terms, that meeting King Varnin, was simply not in the cards today.

Wearily, Karbrandt rose and followed the addled page.

"And my birds?" he paused suddenly to ask the youth

"Your birds?" the page gave him an increduous look

"my birds, yes. I am a falconer" you dimwit he wanted to add but didnt.

"Ah, yes, I will see to your creatures" the page smiled dumbly and continued on to the western tower, where the Royal Hunters, the Royal Falconers, and the other favored retainers of King Vardin kept their chambers.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 03:47:23 PM by Murometz »
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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2007, 12:30:05 PM »
Something was afoot.

It had only been a week since the courier had arrived at the family farm.  He had been summoned to duty by his lord, as so many of his line had been over the years.

Why? thought Seldric.  He had heard nothing about a possible war with one of the neighboring kingdomes, and generally those sorts of things were preceded by other bad news.
No crops had failed recently - though not a generous year, it was not a dying year - and so not a killing year.

But yet he had been summoned, and to the royal capital no less.  And he had instructed to bring all of his equipment, for training purposes apparently.

Not mine, he thought.  War was not unknown to Seldric. He had been bloodied already in a few small campaigns, mostly dirty little fights with bandits and other marauders.  No, any training would be carried out by Seldric, and others would learn and be instructed in the arts of war - at least that was his current theory.

And so he was finishing his packing, and his youngest son, Rudil, was helping him finish putting on his armor.  As Rudil was his fourth surviving son, Seldric expected him to follow in his footsteps when the time came again.  Rudil's uncles and older sons would help manage the farm while Seldric was away, for however long that was.

Kissing his wife goodbye, picking up his pack and flail, he began the trek to the capital.
   
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Offline Dozus

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2007, 02:46:42 PM »
Menassah Eliphaz's figure was silhouetted in the morning sun of the Great City.  It had been a blessedly long time since he had seen the sprawling metropolis of the capital.  Beneath the folds of his tunic, Saintly Edge seemed to stir and groan.  It did not want to be here, in the ancient city that reeked so much of blunt civilization.

In truth, neither did Menassah.

But it was deemed necessary by the Highest Circle.  If the king was indeed missing, his captor must be sought.  If the kingdom falls, the protectorates fall, and that which the Hadoroshanthi keep in check is loosed.  Thus, into the Great City he trekked on.

Menassah's eyes peered out from beneath the pointed cap, part of the modest disguise as the traveler Marlowe.  The city streets were busy with traders, peasants, a few bored guards.  For a kingdom on the verge of collapse, there seemed no outright concern shown by the populace.  The city stunk, just as Menassah had remembered it - stunk like city folk and rot, not crisp and clear like the desert.  It was not an overly pleasant place to be.

The annoyed spirit of Saintly Edge agreed, apparently uncomfortable in its cheap wooden sheath.  It, too, was necessary for the disguise; if there were abyssal forces at work, they would recognize the quietly famous kama.  Menassah - Marlowe, now, he thought, tugging at the uncomfortable cloth of the traveler's disguise - rubbed the back of his neck, brushing past his pointed ears.  He looked up to the small street sign as they approached an intersection.  Yes, this was the place.  Housemaster Charinth had arranged for an agent of the royal house to seek out the monk at this place on the appointed day.

Marlowe lowered his pack to the ground, the kama still safely tucked into his clothing.  His reddish beard appeared almost golden in the morning sun.  Placing his hat top down on the street like a beggar, Marlowe began to breathe deeply.  In an instant, he flipped through the air and began the acrobatic routine.  It was mere child's play, keeping up the traveler's facade until the agent arrived.  Somewhere between amusement and disdain, Saintly Edge seemed to chuckle.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 08:07:39 AM by Dozus »

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2007, 03:04:44 PM »
Tormod's mouth felt dry, his temples throbbed, in front of him he say the strangest pageant played out in miniature. A grasshopper, a long and green thing of wings and legs seemed to gambol about along a twig. He is foolish, and knows not where his feet may fall, Tormod thought as the insect swung about climbing a narrow twig, it was far to small to hold the creature long. Once it reached the top, the twig swaying precariously, the grasshopped was snared in the long front limbs of a church bug, the mantis as some folk called it. One of it's strong legs was punched through, and the half-elf could see where the bards of the hunting insect pierced the body of the captured one. The mantis flared it's wings, the membranes beneath the green outer wings was a bright red. The color of war... Tormod mumbled to himself. He shook himself, feeling the trance like state slip away. The Goddess seldom send her messages in writing, or had them delivered in person by one of her Zahur warrior angels. Instead she liked to be cryptic, Tormod sighed. Behind him, he could hear Freeman Gallofrie minding the horses, brushing out Merrimac, his warhorse, and the two riding horses, Goldwing and Birdsong.

Grasshoppers were drawn to wheat, and the mantis would follow. He sighed as he kicked out the remnants of the night's fire. "Freeman, we will be changing our heading, to the Royal City," he said, belting on his sword. The Page nodded, almost done with the horses. The youth had been with him about a month now, contracted for 3 pieces of silver a day. Thankfully, the youth had allowed him to pay him a month at a time in gold rather than lug about a barrel of silver pieces just for his pay. Perhaps along the way, the Goddess would bring him another sign, something a bit more direct that a vague misgiving watching one bug eat another.


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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2007, 04:31:12 PM »
Word got out.  It always did.

Naturally, it hadn't been common knowledge, or even outright spoken of, that the king was missing.  But there were rumors, and Lord Kaide Valefos knew from experience rumor was sometimes more troublesome than truth.

The talk going around worried Duke Solda Valefos, Kaide's father.  It worried Kaide, too.  The dukedom of Troyka was independant, and the Valefos family wanted it to stay that way.  But the king had been out of site for some months now, and the political stability they had enjoyed so far was starting to crumble.  That was why Lord Kaide had been sent to the capital, to get a feel for how the political landscape was.  Heaven forbid his father or his elder brother try to do the same; it would be the equivalent of a bull in a room of mirrors.

Things were not going well.  Nothing had spilled over yet, but Kaide had the distinct feeling it was only a matter of time.  But a civil war would do no one any good.  It didn't matter which side the Duke chose, Troyka would be the loser.  Even if Duke Solda chose right, they'd lose their independence.  The Duke didn't want that, and Kaide would do everything in his power to stop it. 

He sighed in frustration.  Intent was all well and good, but he wasn't sure how to approach the problem.  He was a diplomat, but technically a foreigner, and he was no fighter.  And his magic wasn't exactly the stuff of heroic ballads.  He looked at the latest letter from his father.  He trusted Kaide's judgement in the matter, but couldn't afford to send him any aid.  And it would be better if whatever he was going to do was done quietly, anyway.

There was a second letter.  He groaned when he read it.  Dear Cousin Kaide...  Gods only knew what sort of trouble Arico was into now.  The letter was vague.  Knowing Cousin Arico, it was a girl or money.  Or money to give a girl.  "As if I didn't have enough to worry about..."  Oh, and look, Arico was in the capital as well.  Lovely.
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2007, 02:04:48 AM »
The elegant common room of the White Paladin Inn had been repainted since Arico had last seen it:  Its carven motifs of angels and acanthus leaves had been restored to their former elegance, and new chairs, plushly padded and gleaming with heraldic motifs, had been placed around the highly polished tables.  The inn was the finest in the capital, if not the world; there was no question in Arico’s mind why his Uncle Solda preferred the place.

The master of the house greeted Arico with a faintly strained smile.  A jovial man (Whose name invariably eluded Arico; it began with an “F”, if he recalled correctly), the landlord always seemed as if he was privy to some highly amusing secret that he refused to share with anyone else.  “Good afternoon, sir,” the man beamed.  “How may I assist you?” 

Arico resisted the desire to order something to eat.  The pitiful remnant of his annual stipend rattled loosely in his purse, and he dared not erode it further.  Catching a glimpse of a lovely servant girl pouring some wine, he almost changed his mind, but his willpower overcame the temptation in a rare triumph.  “I’m here to see Kaide, Lord Valefos, in the Troyka Suite.  He’s expecting me,” he said confidently, hoping that he wasn’t completely mistaken.

A wide staircase led up to the suite, with Arico growing more nervous with every step.  What if his cousin was in one of his "moods" and refused to see him?   He’d spent almost all of his money making sure that his gelding, Harrier, was properly stabled and treated for its injuries.  The huscarls of Baron Miroll were poor archers, but they had almost brought the poor creature down as Arico fled the despicable baron's lands.  Only a truly odious man would order his troops to shoot a beautiful creature like Harrier, Arico reflected.

Briefly glancing down the stairs, Arico noticed the servant girl's eyes glance up at him, a mysterious smile on her lips.  Perhaps this wasn’t such a bad idea after all, he reflected, as he tapped politely at the door.

It seemed an eternity before the door opened to reveal his cousin Kaide, his embroidered robes rumpled and stained with ink.  Arico was struck by the impression that his cousin had eaten something that disagreed with him. “Oh, gods.  It’s you,” Kaide croaked irritably.

“Cousin Kaide!  How wonderful to see you again!” Arico exclaimed, determined not to be discouraged by his cousin’s distemper.

Kaide stuck his head out the door, peering dramatically past Arico, as if he couldn’t spot something.  “Gods.  All right, Arico:  Where are they?”

Arico was taken aback by his cousin’s cryptic utterance. “Where are what?” he asked.

“The trail of furious husbands, fiancées and brothers you usually leave in your wake,” answered the scholar.  “It isn’t hard to tell where you’ve been:  Just look for the lynch mob of furious relatives and you’ll know.  Come in, Arico:  You were going to, anyway.  So… what have you done this time?”

"Don't be such a wet blanket!” Arico protested, as he shrugged his cloak off, dropping it onto the floor.  “It's not like I only come to see you when I'm in trouble!"

"Yes, you do," Kaide muttered, picking up the dusty garment and depositing it on the hook a few feet away.

Arico’s words were muffled by a sweet roll he had liberated from the chamber’s sideboard.  "You just think that because I was in trouble the last couple of times I visited.  The time before that, I was fine."

"But you got into trouble within five hours of arriving!" blurted his cousin.

Arico wore a look of pained innocence.  "That was hardly my fault!  How was I to know the girl was married?  We'd barely met!  Besides, all we did was play cards.  The thing with the ribbons was just a... penalty."

Gathering his expensive tomes before Arico could spill something on them, Kaide recalled the awkward incident.  "I'm never playing cards with you again," he decided.

“You act as if you've never done ANYTHING wrong.  I know very well that you didn't have permission to peruse those grimoires from the Bishop's secret cache of banned texts," Arico smugly commented.

"Well, no, of course not.  But at least I was discreet about it."

"Discreet?  I heard about it, so you can't have been that discreet.  You need to learn to lie with a straight face.  When the Bishop asked about his library, you should have just sat there, not acted like you had to rush to the privy!" pushed Arico, sensing his cousin’s moral vulnerability.

Kaide seized his opportunity to change the subject. "You, of all people, should know how pushy Gwendolyn is.  I was trying to get away from her; the library was just an unfortunate coincidence."

His minimal sense of chivalry aroused, Arico rose to the robust girl’s defense. “You shouldn't put Gwenny down like that.  She's a sweet girl, as long as she gets her way."

"Arico, she was practically flinging herself at me!  While her father was in the room!"

"…besides, Gwenny is VERY imaginative," Arico sighed, remembering an earlier encounter.

 "I don't want to know," stammered Kaide, as he belatedly remembered some vague comments his cousin had made during his last visit.

“You’re being quite prudish, cousin!  For Gwen, that was quite sedate!"

"Is it any wonder I took the first available excuse to leave the room, then?" riposted the sorcerer. 

"Gwen would have been good for you.  She'd show you how to dress better, for one thing," Arico pointed out to his unfashionable cousin.

"What's wrong with the way I dress?  Just because I don't like loud colors and flashy jewels like some people I could name..."

The discussion dragged on well into the evening, with Arico gradually becoming aware that his cousin knew more of the rumors about the king than he had heard while traveling.  Kaide often forgot just how many years Arico had spent fostered at the court of King Varnin, and never understood how much the monarch’s kindness had meant to a scared and lonely boy sent far from home. 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 03:33:05 PM by Wulfhere »
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Offline valadaar

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2007, 08:52:55 AM »
The journey had been enlightening. 

Listening in at the various taverns and waystations, he had heard dozens of rumors. Most were obviously exaggerations or fabrications, but there was
one theme which carried through.  The king was missing.

As he travelled closer to the capital, he could feel a distinct aura of unrest in the air.  He passed various military units bivouaced by the roadsides.  He even managed to meet up with a mercenary unit he had briefly served with several years past.

"Captain Keldred!" called Seldric as he walked up to the scarecrow-like officer. 

The officer quickly turned to see who addressed him, "Who's the.. Seldric!"

"The one and only!" Seldric said with a smile.  He had fought side by side with this officer and they had forged a strong friendship through the remainder of the campaign.

"How fare thee, my old friend?" asked Captain Keldred. 

"Well, at least until my lord bade me to come to the capital. What make you of the rumors?"

"The rumors are why I'm here.  Our unit has also been ordered to the capital, though our commander has not said in whose employment."

"I see," Seldric did not like the sounds of this.  His lord was very tight with coin, and would bleed his own lands dry before he would resort to mercenaries.
It could be possible that Keldred and Seldric would face each other across the field of battle.  Not a thought he relished.

Seldric sat with Keldred for some time afterwards, trading stories and sharing a drink or two.  Finally he took his leave, and continued his journey to the capital.  It would be no more then a day, so long as rain did not make a mire of the roads.
   
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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2007, 12:16:50 PM »
The warhorse snorted and pawed at the road with a hoof. Freeman paid the animal no mind, but that was only because he hadn't learned that the horse's hearing was better than his own. Tormod stood, setting aside the piece of rabbit that he had been eating. He walked to Merrimac and stroked the neck of the bay warhorse. "What do you hear, boy?" he asked. The horse's ears twitched to the south, along the road. Sure enough there was a lone traveler coming. He had passed a slower moving mercenary company earlier, the goddess didn't need symbols and visions to show what everyone in these parts already knew, war was brewing and the lines were being drawn even as the soldiers were still moving to their starting places.

'Hail traveler, have you any news?' Tormod asked the man as he drew near.

((Hi Seldric))


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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2007, 01:14:27 PM »
Seldric approached the small camp, the three horses reminding Seldric of his own horse, left behind to help with the farmwork.  He was no calvaryman, and poor Shelba would have been terrible in a fight, unless the opponents were giant carrots.

"Hail and well met!  I bear little news that the road has not already spoken - troops of soldiers and the like converge on the capital.  Oh, and the pies this year in Othwick are excellent.  Have you news?"

Sensing little hostility from these strangers, Seldric sat down by the campfire.  Pulling a small bottle from his pouch, he took a swig and then offered it to the speaker. "The name's Seldric, and yours?"





   
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Offline Dozus

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2007, 10:09:43 PM »
Marlowe grunted as he ran up the wall, flipping at the peak and landing easily on his feet.  It was fortunate, he thought, that he did not live in the city: most of the capital's denizens had passed him without a glance, used to far more extravagant street performers in the market district.  Only a few wayward tourists paid him any attention, tossing foreign and useless currency into his cap.  The bored and dejected Saintly Edge sat silently in its sheath.

Midway through another backflip, the half-elf heard a voice.  "Do you hail from the Southern Ghats, sir?"  Marlowe landed and turned to see a youthful man in a soldier's tunic and blue cloak, a rapier belted to his hip.  If the agent was trying to be discreet, his garments didn't show it.

Marlowe stepped forward.  "Yes, my homestead is on the Green River," he replied in the code words he was given by the Housemaster.

"It flows quickly in the spring," the agent finished.  He shifted his eyes about as though watching for someone.  "We should move quickly," he said with an odd cheerfulness.  "You're expected at the palace."  Marlowe picked up his cap, tossing the useless change onto the street, donning it and grabbing his pack.  The two began to travel through the dusty streets in the district, one of the poorer sections of the sprawling capital.  "I doubt anyone's trailing us, but we'll take the scenic route just in case," the agent said casually.  "Name's Cadero, by the way.  And you're..."

"Marlowe," he said gruffly.  This Cadero was clearly either inexperienced or inept; either way, Marlowe wanted little to do with him.

"Marlowe," Cadero nodded.  "So what exactly do you do anyway?  They never told me down in Royal Security."

"Then perhaps you were not supposed to know," the half-elf said plainly.  He detected a hint of schadenfreude from Saintly Edge.

Cadero frowned.  "Uh... Yeah, I guess not," he muttered.  "C'mon, we'll go this way."

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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2007, 12:21:59 AM »
"So what is it this time?  We both know you didn't invite yourself over for the pleasure of my company."  Kaide sat down at his desk.  He'd resigned himself to the fact that he'd be babysitting his cousin again.  It was really his own fault; of his immediate family (and most of Arico's), he was the only one who would put up with the man for long.  And at least it was *possible* to have an intelligent conversation with Arico, unlike Kaide's brother. 

:Cats always better than dogs.  Littermate is stupid dog, he just tomcat.:  Seo, Kaide's tortoiseshell cat, rubbed against Arico's legs and purred, then settled herself firmly in Kaide's lap.  As he stroked his familiar, Kaide smiled a little.  "So, is it just a magical power you have, that makes females forgive your silliness?  Even Seo likes you." 

His face turned serious.  "I'm afraid I'm a little short for time, so if it's trouble over a girl, you might want to lay low elsewhere.  I've got something to do for Father."  He considered for a moment.  Arico sometimes said more than he should, but usually was careful about sensitive information.  And he knew that his cousin was fonder of King Varnin than most of their relatives.  What the hell, it couldn't hurt much.  "I've come to the conclusion it's in the best interests of Troyka if the king is found soon.  I just don't know where to start."
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2007, 02:37:15 AM »
"I am Doyen Tormod, late of the Tardaad Highlands, my associate is Freeman Gallofrie." Tormod said, 'My sword is in service to the goddess of war and she has seen fit to send me here. There is a civil war brewing and I think the goddess means for me to help find a way to prevent needless bloodshed, or to ensure that it ends as quickly and bloodlessly as possible. Feel free to share our fire and we have spare bread to break if you are hungry. I should warn you that Freeman is rather tight lipped and has no interest in tossing dice."


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Offline valadaar

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2007, 11:42:45 AM »
Seldric took back his bottle, shrugged and put it away. He picked up a branch and began poking at the fire.

"Ah, the Lady of the Just War.  I much prefer her to Ajax the bloody.  In my last campaign it was either to her or the Matron of Harvests that I called upon.  My unit had no clergy of either on hand, unfortunately.

Your young associate had best learn that tight lips makes few friends, and although we take to field at the behest of our betters, we fight for our comrades. 

I too hope things will sort themselves out before steel is crossed, but I've seen precious little sense shown in the past.  I've noticed that none other from my village were called forth, and that strikes me as odd.  Not really sure what they want me for."


   
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2007, 12:10:03 PM »
"Do not take me for a prattling priest, but your words speak of some wisdom, and your profession is very close to the goddess already. Terat, blessed is her name, asks little and yet everything of her followers and grants much in return. Plus she doesn't have a laundry lists of thou shalts and thou shalt nots." Tormod said. "Unlike Ajax and his wet your blade with blood once a day to keep my favor, or other bloodletting and nonsense like that."


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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2007, 03:20:49 PM »
Arico carefully poured a goblet of wine from a half-used bottle on his cousin's sideboard.  It hadn’t reached its prime, but was still better than the watery vintages he could usually afford.  “I’m sorry, Kaide.  I’m sorry that it seems like I only come around when I need something.”

He paused to sip from his goblet as Kaide's cat, Seo, rubbed up against his leg.  “I didn’t go to Sarenburk looking for trouble, but I surely found a surfeit of it there:  I should have avoided that gluttonous cur, Baron Miroll.  Since old Baron Alnoll stepped down, he's practically buried himself in ancient lore, so I was hoping that he'd make it possible for me to finish my translation of Scathram’s Epic of Kehrgall:  He would have been an ideal patron.  Even though I’m not the best poet in the world, orcish poetry is such a novelty that I was sure it would be a success.”

Kaide listened attentively, biting back some scathing comments that came to mind about Arico’s foolish optimism.  “So, what went wrong?” he asked, wondering when his cousin would get around to some sort of female entanglement, as he inevitably seemed to.

“You may not have heard, but old Sir Walric died last year.  Since he was in fealty to Baron Miroll, the baron requested royal leave to determine what happens to Walric’s widow, Constanza, all in the hopes of forcing her into marriage with his sycophant, Garfell Blacktooth.  Can you imagine that poor woman, forced into marriage with that vicious, baseborn dog?  The Baron has no right to debase her so.  Constanza was miserable at the prospect, so I helped her write up an appeal to the Crown and go into hiding until the King rules on it.”

“I knew it!” thought Kaide.  Some things about Arico never changed.

Arico paced back and forth animatedly as he recalled what had happened.  “Somehow, Miroll got word of what I had done.  A troop of his huscarls tried to arrest me before I could get off his lands:  They nearly succeeded, too.  Their archers shot Harrier so badly that he nearly died!”

He reached down, picking up Seo and cradling the feline in his arms.  Looking at the floor, his voice took a more plaintive tone.  “So you see, I need to talk to the King before Miroll’s envoy can.  If I don’t, or if something has happened to the King as the rumors suggest, I’d be lucky to merely be exiled.  They’ll force Constanza to marry that vile man, and accuse me of trying to seduce her.  With my reputation, nobody would believe that I was just trying to help.”
« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 11:22:20 AM by Wulfhere »
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2007, 05:35:59 PM »
"You really need to start considering the ramifications of your actions," Kaide said quietly.  He'd already heard some vague rumors to the effect that Arico feared, but in this, he trusted his cousin.  He had a habit of leaping to help someone in trouble, particularly if it was a pretty woman.  And Baron Miroll and Blacktooth were both men he privately detested, so he could well believe such behavior as Arico described of them.  Besides that, Arico was the type to brag about his affairs, if only to Kaide.  "I believe you, at any rate, but I don't know how much weight my words would carry.  I'm your cousin, after all, and a foriegner."

Seo reached up to pat Arico's face with a paw and meowed.  :He silly tomcat.  But nice.  Seo and Kaide help?:

I suppose so, little one.  As much as we can.  "It seems to me," Kaide said meditatively, "That it would be best for you to make yourself scarce in the capital.  If you stay, it's only a matter of time before Miroll finds you, and knowing him, I don't think he's the type to wait for the king or one of his heirs to make a ruling on it.  And since you need to talk to the king himself before rumor gets out of hand, and I need to find him before Troyka gets dragged into open war, the smartest thing would be for us to go in together."  He smiled as a sudden thought occurred to him.  "And I'm sure it would be a relief to Father if I'm with someone who can actually swing a weapon without cutting his own head off."  While Kaide was a decent enough shot with a crossbow, melee combat was something else entirely.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2007, 04:18:03 PM »
"Friend Seldric, perhaps you would be a bit more loose lipped with you company than my hired man?" Tormod asked. "The road has a bit left to go and the weather is fine enough to stretch our legs a bit." Gallofrie gave Tormod a look of resignation, the youth was much more interested in riding Goldwing than he was in walking, but the deal had been struck, the coin paid, and it was better than laboring in the fields. Perhaps the youth would yet learn that.


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Offline Nobody

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2007, 09:24:57 PM »
OOC: hey guys, i know that i haven't been doing anything here for a while, but my car broke down, and between fixing it, and the metro commute(which takes up 5-6 hours of my day at this point) I just can't do this thread justice for now.

Sorry.
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Offline Lanfear57

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2007, 10:19:18 PM »
[BUMP]
[OOC: I'm going to do my best to "run" this, i have no clue what im doing as a GM here, so bear with me...]
There's truth in your lies, Doubt in your faith. What you build you lay to waste.

Offline Nobody

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2007, 11:01:31 AM »
Hey everybody,

Right after I got my car fixed, my internet broke. Don't ask me why, I have no idea, but it was out for quite some time.

I will be PMing everybody to make sure I haven't lost you all. If I did, i am very sorry, it's my fault, I should have found a way to be more reliable.

On a side note, Lanfear has built this whole thing from the ground up with me. She has 100% inclusive authority to make any posts, make any rulings, and do anything that she feels is appropriate. What she says goes, and you can consider it as a post from myself.

She can be a bit timid about her own strength as a GM, but I have already watched her to see how well she does, and she is quite capable.

Anyway, I intend to get this back up and running shortly. Again, I am very sorry for the delay.

Graciously,
-Nobody
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Scrasamax

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2007, 11:55:27 AM »
(OOC - once we get rolling again, heh heh, rolling... I mean once we get started again i'm going to split these OOC submissions out of the thread and into their own thread in the OOC channel. Great to have you back Nobody ~ scras)


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Offline Lanfear57

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2007, 06:13:51 PM »
 Yohan Steel didn't Know where to begin. He had the outside of six days remaining to find as many persons, of quality, to search for the king. He so far knew of two prospects that he even still needed to contact, and then question as to loyalty, interest, and skill.
 Maybe since the Princes were already getting ready for their d**ned war there would be some loyal to the kingdom and not just to coin among those arriving soon. He offered up a prayer to any gods who happened to be listening, that he had not been given an impossible task. His hand was slightly shaky as he began to write.

 To Karbrandt Vanfoss
I wish to welcome you to our kingdom. I offer you my sincerest apologies that the king has been unable to meet with you. I have some matters of importance to speak of regarding this, however, and if you would join me for dinner we might discuss these things. I look forward to your company.
Yohan Steel
Royal Guard


 It wasn't perfect, but it was the best he could do. He hoped the falconer would understand, he could explain much better in person.
 Then next he knew he could be far more direct with. Kaide Valefos was distinctly loyal to the missing King, as was all of Troyka. Or, if not to the King, then at least to the peace that knowing who the king is, gives.

 To Lord Kaide Valefos
I wish to be direct. We both know that Troyka would not withstand a war, and there is likely to be one in the near future if something is not done. You have been in the city for long enough to hear the rumors yourself, I merely confirm them. I wish your help in preventing such a war. With your response, I will visit you at The White Paladin tomorrow at High noon.
Yohan Steel
Royal Guard


 With that, he summoned two pages, sealed the letters ,and sent them off to their respective recipients. He sighed another prayer that things would work. He desperately wanted to go back to the patrols on wet, cold nights, rather than the Important Tasks that People Depended On.
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2007, 06:40:32 PM »
The two of them had been sitting in Kaide's rooms, talking, when a knock sounded at Kaide's door.  Slightly puzzled, he got up to answer it.  It was late, and there were few who would bother him at this hour (and one of them was already here, drinking his wine).  He opened the door to find a page standing there nervously.  "Yes?"

The page handed him a sealed letter.  "Message for you, your Lordship."  The page looked a bit relieved at not being yelled at for the lateness of the hour.

"Thank you."  He took the letter, and read it quickly.  The page waited, apparently having been told to wait for any reply.  "Now this is interesting."  He handed the message over to Arico to read, then quickly jotted a response.

To Yohan Steel, Royal Guard
I should be delighted to meet with you.  I shall also bring my cousin, who has an interest in the matter as well.  Noon will be satisfactory for the meeting.
- Lord Kaide Valefos


He sealed it and gave it to the page to return, along with a few coins for his trouble.  As the page departed, he closed the door and turned to Arico.  "This might be easier than I thought."
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Offline valadaar

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Re: For King and Country
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2007, 06:54:11 PM »
The remaining part of the journey to the capital was uneventful, but worrying.  He had never seen so many different units and colors on the roads, all loaded for a real campaign.  He kept quiet about his apprehension - he would not be saying anything that would be news to the war priest.

"Good company makes for shorter miles," said Seldrick, " and the saying has been well proven.   I need to report to Porthos the Merchant at his villa.  He is known for his generosity and were I higher born, I would be one of his friends.  He will provide hospitality for myself and any companions. What say you?"

(ooc - Edit)

"I understand you may have other buisness to attend to, but you can meet me here," Seldrick pulled out charcoal and a scrap of parchment, "and say you travelled in the company of Seldric, though Porthos would provide hosptiality to any priest of Terat."

Without further ado, Seldrick turned and proceeded to the merchant's villa.



« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 06:03:17 PM by valadaar »
   
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