LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

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LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Cowboy on Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:32 pm


Foreword

The Harken Dales were the most fertile and bountiful lands in all of Ghenrael. The mountain valley kingdom was generously bless with its share of towering wood lands and blossoming meadows, but Harken was truly the gem of this prosperous kingdom. At least it was prosperous until the crusades in the north called all able men and women to fight in the defense of the realms of man. A crusade that had run castle coffers dry and stripped stock houses bare. It was this crusade, as righteous as it was, that struck down the benevolent Nicholas Daverax, first of his name and ruler of the lost spires. When news reached the kingdom, the crown was passed to his son, Gwain who along with the titles and lands also inherited the debt of a decade long war.

Ghenrael owed gold to many lenders, most notably the Merchant Clans of Holdydin, the Vault Lords of the Aroma Isle. Gwain's response to this was a predictable one, when one considered his age. Gwain issued a kingdom wide decree that taxes and tithes would be raised. A proposal which was met with anger and outrage from a Kingdom already in poverty. Guards in Ghenraen towns and cities turned into corrupt enforcers who took coin and valuable or blood and flesh to appease the King's demands.

Without the kingdom guards, the lords were forced to assemble their banners and use their men to protect the lands from evils and enforce the law. However, arming all able men and women meant none were farming, building or laboring. Moreover, with the resources spread so thin the more rural hamlets and villages became vulnerable to attacks. Attacks made by the growing number of bandits, a direct result of the economic turmoil. Attacks that eventually included mountain orc raids as winter drew closer.

In mid autumn the Ghenrean crusaders returned from the the north. King Nicholas' funeral was held as great expense which angered the kingdom's people. Though none were as enraged as the crusaders, many of whom returned to burned down homes and murdered families. Mid Autumn saw the rise of the crusader Captain Edric Blackgate. Under his banner, three hundred crusaders turned on their fellow country men and through force, occupied Harken Castle and the Dales. This ignited a kingdom on the verge of anarchy. The King cried treason, the lords became divided and armies mustered, alliances were forged and all prepared for a bloody winter.

Before the first days of winter, Barron Rayne Gothard selected a band of champions to bring the Harken Dales into the fold of his Alliance. These Champions were granted the autonomy to decide exactly how the Alliance would gain the aid of the Harken Dales. This result in a siege against Torem and the Harken Castle. Then, after a day long battle, the Harken Dales were liberated, their tyrant overlord executed and its people freed. However, victory and spoils aside, Torem had suffered greatly as a result of the battle. Scores of wounded soldiers and civilians needed treatment, many others needed to be buried. Buildings needed to be repaired or rebuilt entirely. Defenses needed to be remanded and supply lines established.

Our story continues within the ruined walls of the Harken Castle. The beloved Harken Hunters, aided by Dawn's Hand members of the Cobalt Keys work to reestablish order. Supplies are short, the people are scattered,  and opportunistic enemies moving in to clam what was hard won. What's more, there is word of an army looming on the horizon poised to steal back the Harken Dales in the name of the King. The unacquainted factions of Harken must work quickly and work together if there is any hope for survival.


The Scene
It was nearly midday and the Castle had already seen the arrival of many more refugees from the surrounding rural lands and near by villages. Victims of the deserting Templar forces, local wild elf kabals and bandit clans. The Harken Hunter patrols had begun to return from their travels as others packed and began to set out. Under the combine direction of Arvian Del'far and Abnur Kane, the Dawn's Hand and local militia worked to repair and rebuild Torem and Harken Castle. Aiding where they could, or rather where their attempts were accepted, were the cobalt keys. The small band of representatives working tirelessly to establish the diplomatic footing they need within a community recovering from civil conflict.

The autumn air carried the foreboding bite of winters chill. It flowed into the feast hall of the Harken Castle, its walls peppered with breaches caused by the indirect fire of catapults. The subtle smells of smoke, ash and stale mud lingered in the air, reminders of the siege that had happened days earlier. It was midday now, and the day was already an eventful one by the standards of most.

At an intricately carved wooded table in the hall sits a group of men and women of varying races. Among them is Zalika Pirebrand, Calalion Le'Vain and Phillip Paraquette, Nordon the trader and Waleed Acheron. Sharing a conversation over a meal or at least a drink, the journeymen and women began to contemplate what they would do for the remainder of the seemingly busy day.


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Prelude Rules:
This is a RP text topic for the players that will soon be embarking on the Inner fire Campaign only.

For the players, the world themes and story have already been communicated. However, should you need to confirm anything you can ask on the Inner Fire campaign page.

This Prelude continues from where I left you, giving you a month to explore Torem and the Harken Dales in general. With the exception of towns/cities, you are free to add in places of interest (be it store, ruin or landmark) and new characters. Remember however, that you are in a country that has themes based on France and the Netherlands, and is set in a low fantasy 15-1600s. So names, language and other culture effected aspects need to reflect this.

This will be a player directed sandbox prelude story, aimed in connecting you with the world and giving you the opportunity to established stronger routes beyond your backstories in a fun and collaborative way. I will provide detail, plot points, describe fights and if needed push the story forward when needed. Other than that, have fun and use this opportunity immerse yourself in the world for the game to come!

In addition, because others may read this with interest please introduce your characters as if it was for the first time and detail their Name, Race, Background, Role, Demeanor, Motivation, Obligation & (if you have one) Duty in a spoiler as a part of your first post.

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Cowboy on Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:07 pm

The group sitting in the airy hall began to go their separate ways when a Harken Castle page entered the room. "Begging your pardon Sirs and Madams, but Master Kane, Madam Rodyae and Lord Del'far have asked for you to be present, now in the castle's war counsel chamber. They wish to discuss the present circumstances ailing the Dales.  Please follow me, Sirs and Madams."

The young man, barely in his adolescence turned with a lively step. Those who cared to follow were lead through what remained of the grand halls of Harken Castle. They were soon walking the wings of the castle that had been left untouched by the siege days earlier. Here the castle was intact, the floors and walls remained untainted by the unsightly gore found else where in the the castle, and the art as well as other decorations remained undisturbed. Lead through a series of stained oak doors and luxurious rooms, the guide eventually came to a stop. Stepping off to one side, the page gestured towards the paired wooden doors with brass detailed handles. "They are waiting for you inside, Sirs and Madams."

The entourage followed the page's direction and stepped though the extravagant doors into the war counsel room. Lining the entire main wall of the room were exquisite bookshelves reaching all the way to the ceiling, with a sage balcony half way up allowing the retrieval of books stored on the upper echelons. The rest of the room was furnished with a series of tables ranging in size and height serving various purposes. The room was decorated with antic weapons, maps, artistic figures and house regalia and at its center was a large wood and stone table with a huge jute map unraveled across its surface dotted with miniatures and other to scale markers.

Around the table looking over the maps, correspondence letters and scout reports was Abnur Kane, Sara Rodyae and Lord Arvian Del'far. Their conversation come to an end when their company expanded each welcoming those who were summoned to the room.  

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Comander.c on Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:58 am

Calalion greeted the assembled patrons with a swift courtly bow, and instinctively wandered over to his traditional spot at the table.

Calalion, or just Cal as he preferred nowadays, stood rather tall for a half elf with long dark hair and a porcelain complexion that acted to enhance his air of Nobility.

He had been able to collect some of his own clothes and stood regaled in what passed for casual attire to the nobles of general. As he entered the room he propped his fathers old Rifle against the wall, subconsciously noting the mantle that used to hold it, what seemed like a lifetime ago but had actually been less than two months.

Taking his seat he asked "What news of the relm? Do we yet have any good to compliment the abundance of bad? Have the scout's returned from the investigating the nearby villages?"


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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Popdart5 on Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:38 pm

This castle was too small. Waleed could not help but appraise the quality of its walls as he was led through its inner passages. If this had been Ogre-made, it would not have fallen to the revolt that had occurred. Waleed checked his equipment and ensured that the straps on his leathers were sound and that his spear was secure. To be caught unprepared, even amongst so-called 'friends', would not be wise.

As he ducked under the opening into the council room, he observed the decadence that was apparent. He understood that few would ever see a place such as this, a place where knowledge had been hoarded and secreted from the people so as to feather the caps of the lords and nobles. Waleed hoped that his people would never fall to such petty greed and insecurity. He had already witnessed the obsession over wealth and treasure of the Dwarves in Holdydin and these men and women of Ghenrael did not renew his faith in their worthiness. Men and women of the earth truly knew what wealth was. Waleed hoped that he would see more of that once Clement had healed from the arrows that had pierced his flesh.

The Elf, Calalion, took his seat along with the nobility at the table. Waleed politely refused to sit, knowing that he could see more from a higher vantage point. In addition, Human-made furniture was not commonly accustomed to his size. Only the sturdier works could support him.

Waleed Acheron - Character Description:
Name: Waleed Acheron Kernog
Race: Ogre
Background: Scholar
Role: Hunter
Demeanour: TBC
Motivation: TBC
Obligation: TBC

Out of Character Question:
Considering Waleed is primarily concerned with the health and wellbeing of his friend, Clement, how will that affect things going forward? It was my understanding that it would take one full week for him to heal his wounds and then he and I would head for his home town of Dordem.
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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Cowboy on Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:15 pm

Lord Del'far was uncanny in his appearance, like a living manikin he was flawless, and his presence was haunting and alluring. Arvian wore extravagant robes, coloured a deep rich black and blue. In his right hand he held a staff comprised of both wood and metal, decorated with intricately carved runes and a tip mounted transparent crystal stone. Arvian heard Calalion and responded to his hopeful question. "Not as such, unfortunately."

Master Kane, leader of the Harken Hunters was wearing his salvaged chainmail over his basic padding and green tunic. His long light brown hair and thick beard were tinged with salt and pepper whiskers. Abnur continued after Arvian's vague response. "Reports have been coming in from across the Dales. The eastern river villages and Dorden are being raided by wild elf kabals, Elros and the forest roads leading to Pilgrim's Path are watched by bandits and the surviving deserters of the Templar forces have fortified the derelict Chelion keep in the west near the north river road."

Sara Rodyae was an imperial, and carried her self with an air stereotypical of imperial soldiers in Revelia. She wore a navy tunic, and was clad in darkened leathers with a blue bandanna wrapped around her arm with white keys embroidered on the ends. Sara's regalia identified her as a Cobalt Key and though her rank was unknown to many, as the Key's presence in Harken was still new, it was obvious she was representing a higher power of great influence. Her hair was short and dark and her skin was tan and smooth, she was an attractive woman with a commanding presence. As soon as Abnur had finished his general update she reminded all present in the room. "There is also a sizable force coming from the West, our contacts say it is a Battalion of Realm Guard backed by several well paid mercenary clans. It is obvious, Gwain seeks to reclaim Harken Wood."

"The deserters hold Chelion Keep, let the army hit them and weaken before we strike." Arvian reasoned.

Captain Roydae rebutted, "A foul hearty notion, the deserters would barely number in the thirties. Even with Chelion Keep to hide in, an army is still an army. We would be giving them a defensible location to mount attacks from and secure their resources."

Abnur nodded, seeing the merits in both. If they left the deserters to fight Gwian's army, they would have more man power to deal with the issues in the north and the east, though it was a gamble, one that would potentially forfeit hard earned ground. Abnur's next contribution introduced additional problems and offered no consensus regarding the impending attack. "The keep is one issue, but we have refugees arriving by the scores daily, and our own forces to keep supplied and fed as well as dozens of sick and wounded. If we loose the forest roads, supplies from Quillouse will fall into the hands of bandits. We also risk loosing the eastern farms and all the produce they yield. Torem and Harken castle have walls, let us repair them and ensure the continued supply of weapons and food."

"Where is the rest of the Dawn's Hand's forces? We were told near six hundred Templar trained fighters aided in the capture of Harken Castle. I've seen a mere fraction of that number." Sara asked, searching information that could inform a solution to the pressing issues.

Arvian responded quickly, though his tone indicated he wasn't used to negotiating in such meetings. To those present at the meetings leading up to the siege, it was apparent that Arvian wished his rival comrade was present. "Mannah Roth has lead them west to the Cesdradin Heights, leaving only fifty here to aid the defenses under my direction. I feel Abnur has put forward causes of merit, if the forest roads close and farms are raised, how will we arm and feed the forces we have."

"Roth. As in the Bloody Handed, the blood thirsty marauder and leader of the Dead Scars? By the gods, why would you give that infamous Elf an army?" Sara was confused and genuinely concerned, the consequences of this could be catastrophic.

Arvian raised his hands, "Mannah was trialed by the courts of Anvil Gate before Barron Rayne Gothard and a counsel representing the orders he had wronged. He was judged and sentenced for his crimes and trespasses. Besides, most know him now as Mannah the Dawn Star, slayer of the paired dragons and bane of blackgate. If nothing else the man wields Dawnfire, if he was tainted he would have burned up like parchment in fire when he touched it." Arvian's last statement sounded as if he was trying to convince himself, just as much as he was the others in the counsel meeting.

Abnur acknowledged the testaments of each leader, but wanted to avoid another Mannah debate. A topic so easily provoked. Abnur gestured at the summoned entourage, "Well as you can see we are still learning to work together. Before a week ago we were complete strangers. Now we are planning a war together. Some of you are members of our factions, others are not, no matter which we need your help. We have summoned you here because we feel each of you would make a great example for your peers, demonstrating what our factions or even determined individuals can do if we work together. Hells, if you do well enough we might even dub you champions. If you work with us, we may be able to preserve Harken Wood. Tell us, what is your opinion regarding the current dangers in the Dales?"

Response to Popdart:
Yes it will only take a week for Clement to heal to a point where he can walk around and such. Ill let the story evolve from there when the time comes, but even with him currently under care there is still plenty of reasons for you to follow the story in any direction you feel is justified other than the "i sit beside his bed and wait for him to wake up".

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Cowboy on Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:50 pm

Near a weeks hard ride, deep in the south woods of Harken rested Alari. She was pale, her lips and cheeks drained of their once lush colour. Earlier she had managed to shuffle around the near by woods, finding herbal remedies for her grievous wounds. This is it, I'm going to die, She thought to herself, now leaning against the ancient alter that was perched on a natural stone plateau, surrounded by huge stone carved Idols covered in wild overgrowth.

Surrounding the fair haired elven hunter were the cadavers of raised undead, awoken by the ritual she had performed hours earlier. Alari was no mage, but her elven blood afforded her some easements when it came to practicing the Aether Arts. However, if she was a mage perhaps she could have avoided sundering the Veil as badly as she had. This was all a result of the ritual she had performed hours earlier, one that had been described on a scroll given to her by Mannah. Alari managed to put down the zombies she had disturbed, but that didn't change the fact that their were dozens of them and one of her, which was the reason she was now stooped, leaning against the alter wounded.

Mannah had advised that using the scroll untrained would be incredibly and the Aether disturbance would be so large that any attuned powerful enough would feel it. Alari thought back to the fight she, Leoren and Arvian had had with Mannah in the Harken Hunter's camp days before the siege. How could I have been so naive, Gods I hate it when the betrayer is right. She looked down at the gaping gash across her torso, still bleeding despite the expert attention and herbal remedies. There were incoherent murmurs being whispered from the alter above. Alari gave a hopeful smile as she looked to a falling star above, I wonder how long until he wakes.

***********************

Leoren was standing in the Courtyard of Harken Castle, surrounded by the near frozen scene of the Siege. Rubble lingered in mid air, ricocheting from a bolder that had been flung by a catapult forcing it through the reinforced walls of the castle. All over the hall were Harken Hunters and chainmail clad warriors locked in gore soaked combat against veteran Templars. Torrents of blood were hung in the air like wet crimson ribbons following the arch of blades and deadly edges that had slashed throats and torso, or severed heads and limbs.

Leoren navigated the timeless destruction and gore, witnessing the still seconds of sudden death that surrounded him. As he walked he could hear the voices of all the men and women in his head. There voice were loud, all yelling and screaming and the same time, crying for help, screaming in agony, whimpering in prayer. As he moved deeper into the Castle halls the voices unified into one, one voice repeating his name, a familiar voice. In his peripheral he spotted an armored shadowy form which darted from sight as Leoren turned to look. Leoren gave chase to the only moving being  in this motionless world, dashing through the halls weaving past the static conflict. As leoren gained ground he saw the telltale signs of Dark hair and Imperial Trappings, Bertrem?. He charged on, though the halls and luxurious rooms of the Castle.

Leoren had closed the gap considerably, his glimpses of the familiar stranger were becoming more detailed. He charged on, hooking around a corner with dexterous affinity. Then Leoren heard a voice, her voice, and each time it sounded the world shook violently blurring the boundaries of this timeless existence. "Wake up Leoren!" The world quaked, "Dar-nous-quel-de-shar Vorus-tekel-mar-pel-sume." The walls of the castle began to crumble, the earth beneath Leoren's feet began to crack.

Leoren began to run again, forsaking the specter he was chasing. The world was falling away around him. Leoren was thrown to the wall and then to the ceiling, it felt as if the castle was rolling down a mountain side. Suddenly, Leoren was in the air, the last of the Castle's structure had fallen away, below was the earth rich blues dotted with green and brown expanses. Leoren was falling towards it, slow at first but quickly gaining speed. Faster and faster, through time and space, wind rushing past him. There was heat and fire, it was hot almost unbearably so. Then! A rush of adrenaline, an impact. A flood of air engulfed his lungs. Leoren threw himself forward, sitting upright on top of a cracked Alter. Now Leoren felt cold, very cold. He looked around and found he was surrounded by huge stone carved Idols, lightly scorched, their rudimentary forms clouded by dust and debris.


Inspiration:

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Comander.c on Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:18 pm

Calalion's laconic demeanor belied the his astute attentiveness to the matters at hand. He pondered the news for a moment, before leaning in to the table and speaking. "Forgive me if i return to matters already discussed before my arrival but, The Deserters at Chelion Keep, Could they be swayed to our side? They face imminent death, or at pest penal service at the hands of the King. I'd Sure we could offer them better, Remind me again of their cause?

After a moments longer ponderance, he added "And the roads, What supplies are being send our way? Harken is the breadbasket of the land, And surely what we have to offer outweighs what we could loose from the roads blockage. Were we to offer our supplies exclusively to a powerful enough faction, we could gain the army we so desperately need. In theory that is, what causes or options are at our disposal on this matter?"


Last edited by Comander.c on Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Skits on Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:12 pm

Zalika had hesitated when the young page had summoned them all to the war counsel chamber, uncertain if the invitation included her or not. It seemed to, so she slunk along behind everyone else, doing her best to blend into the background and not draw any attention to herself. Which wasn't all that hard given her very short, petite stature, and with her hood up to hide her fiery red hair.

Once in the chamber, she hadn't taken a seat at the table, instead lurking in the shadow of the strange ogre, hoping to avoid notice. The entire conversation meant little to her - she didn't recognise most of the names, and the few she did recognise, she knew next to nothing about. She didn't know enough to feel comfortable with trying to contribute to the discussion, so she kept silent.

Instead, Zalika spent her time scanning the room for potential cover and exits, as well as habitually evaluating every little item her gaze fell across for estimated worth. Beneath her cloak, one hand rested unconsciously on the dagger sheathed at her hip, ready to defend herself at a moment's notice. Every sound from outside the chamber made her head twitch in that direction, nervous and alert.
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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Popdart5 on Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:26 pm

"Hrmph." Waleed grunted as he heard the words of the so called leaders of this place. "The King seeks to control his realm. I see nothing wrong with that. From what I've heard you liberated the lands from a usurper and restored it to its rightful ruler. Merely send a messenger to this army and inform whomever commands it that the King still rules in Harken."

He stepped forward from where he had leaned against the stone of the wall beside the door. This seemed a simple misunderstanding but perhaps greed and a lust for power had infected these lands too. Waleed hoped it was not the case but this situation was too complex for him to understand. The lords and lady played with toys while, as they admitted, they were powerless to protect their subjects. "Your responsibility is to the people of Harken first. Feed them, clothe them, defend them. The roads should be safe to travel for everyone. Show the people that and defend them from brigands. Damn the rebels and revolutionaries in their castle and clear up the situation with the King's army." He crossed his arms as he made his final point. "The King is your ruler whether you like it or not. Correct this misunderstanding before it descends into tragedy."
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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Comander.c on Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:39 pm

Waleed had struck a cord with Cal. "Despite the ineptitude the King has showed thus Far, our Ogre companion may speak of wisdom proportional to his size. I must admit, the concept of operating to guide the king to a better path from within his Court sounds far more appetizing than a bloody civil war.

Calalion looked into the map of the Relm hung upon the far wall opposite the great arching windows, recalling the lessons of his father. "Whether you agree with me or not on that, Waleed is indeed correct. This is about the people, First, Foremost. Before we commit to this i would be sure that the people Need, or even remotely want a war. Every alternative must be addressed."

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Cowboy on Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:27 pm

The counsel was surprised, and a little confused. First to speak was Abnur, a champion of the people, and steward to Harken Castle. "I find it strange Calalion, that you who has lost so much, and has spent so much time traveling among the people of Harken Wood, the Hunters included, fail to see why a war is necessary. It has been near a decade of high taxes and increased tithes. Then the King and his loyal lords saw fit to raise them again. If the King could be counseled, he would have been by now. Instead his guards are taking what little we have put aside to feed ourselves and our children. You might not have been exposed to the grim poverty that runs rampant across the realm but it has been the reality of the under privileged for too long."

Abnur had manged to fire himself up, he was about to launch into a angered lecture when Sara interjected. "There are so many perspectives here, and I feel without proper information we will be forced into a rather pointless argument. I was told not to divulge this information until I was able to establish an alliance, though it is apparent that I must give before such an alliance can be approached."

Captain Rodyae began adding new figures to the table. Explaining the amendments as she did. "Gentlemen, this Kingdom is in turmoil and has been for near ten years now. However, until recently your King was Nicholas Daverax. King Nicholas was a notorious glory monger, going to war over any cause. For a time this was against bandits and orcs in the Kingdom, and because of this Nicholas was loved by the people, he kept the people safe. Then, he ran off north when the Silver Wardens declared a blight at Trilogy Gate, a Crusade. The people supported this charge, they gave coin, and tithe to support their men and women, but eventually the people ran out of excess."

Abnur, now with a grip on his anger interrupted, he had stood up from his chair and collected six apples and placed them on the table in front of the counsel. "You may have been above the reality that beset the rest of the kingdom Calalion, but we the people were not born into a home of privilege. Your father, as good as he was, could not stop poverty in the kingdom or on his lands. This will be crude but it communicates the same result." Abnur gestured to the collection of apples before him and then continued. "ten years ago the kingdom went to war, the people gave all they could to the cause"

Abnur rolled three apples across the table to Calalion. "We kept enough to feed ourselves, our children and to maintain our livelihood. But the war persisted, so the king asked for more"

Abnur rolled another apple across the table. "We, then barely had enough for ourselves and our families, and now our livelihoods were threatened. But Nicholas didn't push past this point, we were starving, and had no real way to sustain our way of living but we had enough. We struggled on for eight years, and then Nicholas died. Now Gwain is demanding more, increasing the taxes and tithes."

Abnur snapped off a stem from one of the apples before rolling the last two across to Calalion. He held it up before the table for all to see before throwing down. "This! This is what the people are expected to live form. What the people have been living on for the past months under Gwain's rule. I for one, cannot live eight more years on this! Nor will I allow Gwain to force my child and my children's children to suffer as I have. I say enough!"

Arvian spoke, ushering away the awkwardness lingering in the air. "I am a Del'far, a member of one of the noble families of Pur'due. I left the capital, it was filled with lords and ladies seeking to better themselves. Concerned only with seizing more power and stuffing their pockets with more wealth. Nicholas was less privy to the advances of lesser nobles, this was because he was a warrior. If you had never killed anything with your bare hands, Nicholas cared little for your opinion. Though with his death and the rise of Gwain's rule, it is painfully obvious that this is no longer the case. This might suggest the royal court is corrupt, which it is undoubtedly so, but then comes the act of turning the kingdom guard into an army of enforces. This is an order that can only be given by the king. His men, under his order are actively taking from the people, and those with nothing give the only thing they have left. Their loved ones, or their lives."

Captain Rodyae interjected, she seemed to be less emotionally involved with the kingdom's current circumstances, or at least she hid it far better than others. "All Abnur and Arvian have said is true, even if it was delivered gracelessly. The point to all they have said, gentlemen, is that the time for diplomacy has past. What we have here is a far better situation that anywhere else in the kingdom, a kingdom poised for civil war which will happen whether you what it too or not. Unfortunately for you, Harken Wood is the realm's 'bread basket' which means it is a necessary holding required by anyone that whats to rule. the late Lord Le'Vain knew it, Blakegate knew it and even the Tyrant King Gwain knows it."

Sara circled the table, explaining the amendments she had made before Abnur interrupted her. "There are rumors in the north that Lady Sellow has begun ushering in Galt's in from the north, promising titles and lands to the clans if they put her on the throne. As she holds Auskel, she is in a better position than most to launch a rebellion. Lord Morgrain of Quillouse has control of nearly half of the kingdom's mines, using them to buy alliances with the Kingdom's resident Betrayer's. We believe this powerful alliance, if you cared to call it that, caused the dwarves to defect to Lady Sellow's claim. Here we had Lord Le'Vain, but in the months past he was murdered and Edrick Blackgate took Lordship over Harken Dale. He had three hundred crusaders and six hundred trained warriors. By the time we got here, the circumstances had changed again. Now Abnur and Arvian are stewarding these lands. King Gwain has small armies in each of these towns with the bulk of his forces mustering in Marpel, the other Agricultural metropolis. Now Gwain seeks to take back the Dales so he can move to crush a divided rebellion."

Abnur had noticed that Sara missed Anvil Gate, "and what of Anvil Gate, where does Lord Gothard stand in all this?"

Sara smiled "Lord Gothard is why I'm here. Gothard also knows Harken Wood is a key strategic holding, and until recently he had been trying to use diplomacy to avoid what is now the inevitable. It is a race to secure the kingdom, anyone with a heart or a mind for law and order won't like the notion, but its a reality. The Cobalt Key's are prepared to help the people of the Dales Secure Harken Wood, if they in turn are prepared to aid Anvil Gate."

Sara then moved to the pile of unorganized correspondence. "To answer your earlier questions, Morgrain seeks to buy your alliance with the offer of weapons and coin. He has the mines after all. Sellow offers grain to sew your fields. These lands may be the bread basket Calalion, but without seed, you have no crops. Your fathers granaries were near empty and because of the bandits, elves and until recently, the crusaders most are now empty or raised. The Lords want your fertile land for its sustainability and without people to work those lands, their yields are non existent. In addition, Waleed was it? For each of the kingdoms not under Imperial, the prerequisite that makes you worthy to rule is to be the offspring of the ruler before you. More often than not, the offspring turn out to be lesser men and women. Concerned only with the pursuit of power. In this case, the Kingdom is ruled by a delinquent monster. One that would hang a man for hiding bread so he can feed his staving children. One that would rape and drown a noble woman for giving coin back to her people instead of to the King's Marshals. It is a grossly naive to call this a simple, misunderstanding. The people who you claim to speak for have had enough, they cry out for change, they cry out for justice, for they have paid too much for too long."

Arvian listened to Sara, but became puzzled. When she finished, he put forward a question. "Captain Rodyae, you say your here on behalf of Lord Gothard? He is in fact the reason the Vale Vangards had come, why were you sent here."

Sara looked at Arvian, she too was now confused. "You are a Vale Vanguard? We were sent here to help bring Harken Wood into the Alliance. We were told to seek the Vale Vanguards who were sent to negotiate the terms of the alliance by any means."

Arvian nodded, the orders were familiar. "Yes, I am, and yes, we were. Though Mannah saw the way Blakegate ruled and called him a Tyrant. For one such as he to call another as he did. Well I was not able to argue with him."

Sara nodded, she could find no real cause to disagree with the events that had transpired. She circled around the table, picking up and placing a new marker. "You say Mannah is riding for the Heights. Which would mean Gothard seeks bolster Boldrin's Watch."

Arvian had the sudden look of realization, then frustration. He expected more of himself, and this was a simple oversight. "Winter is coming. The orc raids are mere scouting parties, the raids are yet to begin. Mannah moves to block the pass, which means..."

Sara continued, "Gothard seeks to protect the Kingdom from the Orcish Hordes while it is vulnerable."

Abnur looked at Calalion, "What other alternatives are there. The people have no voice, if we did it would have been heard years ago. It is clear to us that we must serve justice ourselves, take the right to live by the sweat of our brow. Mannah was a nightmare to these lands, but he showed us that we have it within us to right the wrong."

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Popdart5 on Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:31 pm

Waleed stepped forward and loomed over the map as he considered what the representatives said. He saw the marker that represented Quillouse and how it was a different colour to all of the rest of the pieces on the map. He also saw a smaller marker located just north of Quillouse that was carved in the shape of a small, stunted man. It was the Dwarven holding of the Paragon Vault. He sighed as he stepped back from the table.

"I admit I don't know much about this kingdom," Waleed began to speak in a low tone, "but I passed through along the main road on my way here. I saw the army that you speak of gathering in Marpel. I saw the exodus of the Dwarves from Quillouse. I've seen the aftermath of the conflict that overcame this castle."

"And yet," Waleed looked around at the faces in the room. He saw the stern look of the one called Master Kane. Lord Del'far was a portrait of nobility while Madam Rodyae seemed to be the most reasonable of the three in this council. "And yet, your words ring hollow. You speak of saving this kingdom from a tyrant and yet you ignore the tyranny and suffering that you yourselves inflict upon this land. The nobles and lords have each sought wealth and power at the expense of the people and I see nothing different here. Madam," Waleed glared at Rodyae, "you dance to the tune of the lord who would be king. The one you call Gothard. And the work of the rest of you," he turned to face Arvian and Kane, "in removing the usurper Blackgate, you have merely swapped one power-hungry ruler with two whom don masks to champion the people while inviting further pain and suffering. War is not something that you should seek. Ever."

Waleed picked up one of the apples that Kane had toyed with earlier and closed his eyes as he remembered one of the teachings of his mentors. "People and ruler are intertwined on several levels," he said as he glanced around the council room. "The people serve their leader while the leader serves his people. One cannot exist without the other or else society will collapse into anarchy. The lords and ladies who engage in petty power struggles are fools to rush headlong into anarchy and betray their King. As are you, if you wish to join them."

"From what you have said, the King, Gwain, inherited the faults of his father. In his leadership, he made the choice to raise tithes from his people to satisfy the greed of the Dwarves. That was his mistake but you should not repay his error with rebellion. His father's war was the root cause of this problem and his son sought to fix the problem in the best way that he knew. Hardship is a burden that must be shared equally among all, be they king, noble, merchant, or farmer."

Waleed placed the apple back down on the map in front of Kane. "The King asked for assistance in sharing his burden, in sharing the debt of his father. The nobles and lords have spat upon their oaths of honour as they prepare to rebel. You talk of fighting against his so-called tyranny. Do you also spit upon your oaths to your King and country? For if that is the case," Waleed said as he turned and walked towards the door out of the council room before turning back to face the assembled leaders, "I will the help the people as best I can but I will not take up arms against your King. I will have no part in treachery." Waleed pushed open the sturdy ash wood doors and left the council room. He had work to do in repairing the destruction that had been caused to this castle. Whether it was repairing tools or hauling stone to fix the places where catapulted boulders had torn through the masonry, he would serve the people in rebuilding their lives.
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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Comander.c on Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:57 am

Calalion turned to Abnur as he spoke. "I am aware Master Kane, I asked what alternatives have been sought, and asked the peoples opinion. Your fervour speaks volumes for you are a man of the people, and i value your insight in this matter more than the others arrayed before us." But Abnur's ire was on the rise and if he was listening he did not show. 

After the display with the Apples Cal interjected again. "I do understand friend, I may be beneath the line of lordship but My Father tutored me still. More than my siblings in fact as he had Hoped i would act as Minister to my siblings. He wanted a future for all of us.." As he spoke, Cal raised one of the apples, slicing it open. "He collected the taxes, but he also wrote the reports of our projected earnings..." Cal continued to slice the apple, and pull the seed's from it "He sent what could be sent to sate the kings greed.." Cal began to hand out the slices of fruit to each present "But kept enough to keep his people fed in harsh times..." Finally he handed the seeds to Abnur "And he made sure that new crops would grow, and we could continue. That was his Legacy, one i hold dear. He did what he did for the people. He could not be prepared for the war that came to him, but even then he tried words before combat. He died for peace, and if it was the Death of Peace itself then so be it, But i Will not support a war without every alternative investigated. Else this will be our legacy..." At a gesture, Calalion sent a small bolt of Bio-Lightning into the remaining apples before him, burning them instantly to a crisp.

"What you are right in, Master Abnur is that We have little new's outside the Hubble and Bubble of the Townsfolk. What of the rest of the land? Surely one of you has eyes and ears in the places of the Land?" Calalion Took his seat again as Arvian continued. 

When the others were done, Calalion made to speak, but was beaten to the punch by the Deep voice of Waleed. Calalion could not bring himself to dislike the Ogre for his point of view, but made note to talk to him more on the matter later. His cultural insights intrigued the young half elf. 

"You have made excellent points. As I said, I apologize for re-iterating on points I am sure all of you have Debated long and hard over. I do have one final question however, What of the rest of the World? We are an Imperial Vassal, Does the Emperor even know of our plight? If he were to weigh in on either side, it would be definitive. Even We will need his patronage come time for a new ruler to be crowned? And were he to decide that rebellion were something to be discouraged... King Gwain's forces are nothing by comparison to Empire Legions. For that matter, aid or support from the neighboring kingdoms will be important. What do we know on these matters?"

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Skits on Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:19 am

At some point during all the talking, Zalika had tired of standing, and so had found somewhere to sit near the edge of the room, curling up in an armchair. It was comfortable - at least, more comfortable than the saddle that she'd spent several days in. Even after her earlier rest, she was still weary from her flight, so as the conversation droned on, Zalika found herself beginning to doze off.

That swiftly changed when she felt a sudden discharge of magic nearby, jolting her back to full alertness as every muscle tensed, ready for fight or flight. She stared around the room wide-eyed, one hand tightly gripping the hilt of the knife beneath her cloak as she tried to figure out just what had happened. As she looked around, the current thread of conversation caught her attention, and she listened for a minute, frowning.

Finally Zalika couldn't remain quiet any longer. "I apologise if this was brought up earlier when I wasn't paying attention," she called from her chair during a gap in the conversation. "I admit I know little of this whole situation. But if this... tyrant King Gwain fellow is so unbearable... why hasn't anyone just up and assassinated him yet?" She shrugged. "I mean, I don't know how you do things around here, but back home, if someone was incompetent at their job for whatever reason, they'd just end up face-down in an alley somewhere with a knife in their back -- so to speak. It encourages people to, you know, not be incompetent."
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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Cowboy on Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:40 am

As Waleed took leave from the room in favor of repairing the Castle in what ways he could Sara spoke. First in response to Zalika's comment, and then moving on in response to Calalion's shared opinion. She was another outsider like Waleed, as most would guess from her ascent. "Well Zalika, not to put it to a too finer point, but the King is far to well guarded for such a feat to be performed by any one individual. Moreover, if it was to be performed, the person or persons would want payment. Besides, for most its less about the act of assassination itself and more about the aftermath. A king, even as terrible as Gwain has loyal allies, ones who somehow benefit from his tyranny. Moreover, the next to take the thrown would seek to ensure the death dealers that cleared the way for them do not return. In these particular circumstances, I feel that the King is simply a by product of a much larger issue. Killing him might temporarily solve the Kingdom's problems, but only until the next piece of rotten fruit falls from the family tree."

Content with her response to Zalika's simplistic solution to the kingdom's issues, the Captain then turned to Calalion. "We do have information regarding the Ghenraen Kingdom. The Cobalt Keys is an information network spread throughout the Kingdom's towns. I don't what to have to repeat all I have said so ill be concise. Lady Sellow is preparing to take the Kingdom, she is a Merchant Lord of the Port Settlement Auskell in the north. She is bringing northern raiders into the Kingdom from across the Jaggered Sea and the dwarves are supporting her claim, presumably to take back the coin they are owed when she takes the Kingdom.

Lord Morgrain has always wanted more, he is a greedy man who is only concerned with the value all things have in coin. Coin is something he is not short of as his lands hold more than half of the kingdom's mines, what he does lack in abundances are provisions. He has made himself an ally with the Elven betrayers, the Drow. The motivations of the Drow are currently unknown, but they provide Morgrain with unparalleled mastery of the Dark Arts and Age old warriors who were fighting wars generations before we many of us existed.

Finally, the emperor has no power in these lands as democracy has only been embraced in Dyrinin and Ekkelie. The other five, Ghenrael included, have not accepted Imperial Rule. Thus, the emperor has no political grounds to move an army into another kingdom. This would be an act of war. Moreover, sending an army instead of an envoy to discuss terms or negotiate an alternative to battle is also an act of war. An act that looms on our door step.

Lord Rayne Gothard, despite the assumptions of Waleed, does not seek the throne for himself, he seeks it for another. What's more, while the emperor cannot send an army, he is able to send agents to report of the issues." Sara tone was implying more than she was actually saying to the counsel.

Abnur listened to Calalion and all he had said. The boy before him spoke with the same considered intelligence as his father, without the wisdom of experience and apparently the courage to act. Abnur attempted to compose himself further, readjusting his tone, despite being called a tyrant. He brushed of the insult, narrowing it down to cultural difference and allowed the outlander to leave the room without further argument. "Calalion, your father has been excersizing that exact practice long before the kingdom's circumstances had escalated to this point. Which is why the granaries were only 'nearly' empty. When Gwain increased the tithes and taxes. That is both gold and seed, the nearly empty graneries, became empty. You cannot divide seed among the factions if there is no seed to divide. Calalion, your father's land has no seed, or at least nothing amounting to a sum that would make a difference. What we do have has been taken by the Elves, the bandits and before them, Gwain. Sara says Sellow offers grain, but what she wants is the food it yields. Morgrain offers us weapons and gold to equip our forces, but the elves who he has allied with have stolen the seed for our crops. Morgrain wants an alliance so he can plant the seed he has stolen so he can feed his forces. The bandits are simply opportunists, some may have lost there entire families, others may just revel in the opportunity to take without apparent consequence. Then on top of it all orcish scouting parties attack, pillage and burn everything they come across. Calalion, in the metaphor you were the king, not your father or the people."

Abnur retrieved the apple stem he had thrown to the table. He circled round and placed it in Calalion's hand. Cut this in half and find the seed young lord, your father and his people have been looking for eight long years. Maybe you'll find something we didn't. Until then..."

Abnur picked up some of the residual mush from the apple Cal had exploded in his own demonstration. "I would gladly take up arms in the name of justice, if it meant we the people could have what we worked for. what we are entitled to after an honest days work. My only regret is that it took your father's death to make us realize that if we want what is ours, we must fight for it."

Abnur finished by gesturing towards the remaining apples before taking one. He looked at Sara Rodyae after assessing the table. "Who does Lord Gothard want on the throne Captain?"

Sara smiled, "Settine Daverax."

Abnur took a bite from his apple, "Why would she want the throne?"

The Captain gestured towards the table, "Because, unlike her brother, she sees the suffering and she wants to shares the slices of the apple, rather than take the apple whole."

Abnur smiled, "Well, if Lord Gothard is able to help the people secure the Dales, then the Harken Hunters shall aid the claim he supports."

Abnur left the room, eating his apple as he did. Sara perused the table once more before giving a neutral nod at Calalion and leaving the room. Arvian took to his feet and loomed over the table assessing the developments.

Arvian's voice was saddened, "I don't want to be a Tyrant. I see Mannah and if nothing else, i never want to be like him. But a part of me admires him. Action Begets change, and change it seems is inevitable. Though we have an opportunity to shape it, make something better for the people, give them a future we can all be happy with. Your father, gods bless him, thought he could reason with wolves. That was Blackgate, now it is Gwain. Though as Sara pointed out..."

Arvian reiterated what Sara had diligently pointed out, "A King who was seeking peace would not send an army if his intention was to negotiate. By comparison, Lord Gothard sent us the Cobalt Keys who are currently sharing all they know and are actively trying to help us. It would seem we all have allot to consider and little time to do so. I fear a day we look back at the time we have now and regret our idleness and indecision."


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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Cowboy on Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:57 pm

Abnur stepped outside into the Castle's court yard. The air was crisp and the sun was bright. Though that was all that was good about the day. He looked over at the makeshift infirmary filled with wounded. He looked around and saw damaged and destruction that was left in the wake of the siege. He felt saddened for a moment, was he truly no better than Blackgate or the Tyrants that have repressed his people for so long?

As the thought nearly consumed him, Abnur saw something. A small group of men, women and elves working together on a wooden scaffold patching up a section of wall. They were smiling, and working as one. He looked back at the infirmary. He saw local alchemists and eager volunteers of Dawn's Hand caring for for the injured. We may be asking the people to fight, but we are fighting for this. We are fighting for a community, we are fighting for our right to peace and freedom. A life we cannot have under the rule of Tyrant lords. I am choosing to fight for this, and so are they. That Ogre is wrong. Abnur shone, his resolve renewed by the simple acts of his brothers and sisters. The Ghenraen people will not be robbed of their livelihoods a day longer.

Abnur made his way to the Castle barracks where the Hunters had taken residence. With most returning from their first patrols it was time to assign new tasks. "Lads, I've read your reports. You've all been doing well, but our work to keep the Dales safe for our people is far from done.

Marrisa, take ten hunters, a group of builders and laborers and an alchemist to the east river towns. Get to Dordem, it holds what little grain we have left and Morgrain knows it. He has the Drow raiding the villages pillaging our stocks and abducting our people. Be careful, the Drow are using poisons.

Gaston, take five of our best and secure the north forest road. It is almost certain we will not ally with Morgrain but we still need the north road open in case Gwain's army takes the west.

Phillip, you have been doing an exemplar job at bringing the people to the safety of the Castle and Torem. I would ask you and five others to continue your work, we need to get the people to safety, we can't watch over them if they are scattered across the Dales.

Those who are not chosen will remain here. We need watchers on the walls and hunters bringing in food." The Hunters all nodded, this is why they uplifted Abnur, he watched over the people like a Sheppard tended his flock.

*******************

Sara was concerned she had shared to much before gaining the alliance she was sent to forge. Though, her actions seemed to make a positive impression on Master Kane, and she did find the Vale Vanguards, or rather she found one of them. Arvian was a good man, and seem to have his priorities in order, and always approached things with consideration. Though it was apparent that Mannah Roth was the driving force behind the Vanguards, and he was else where. The thought alone was something Sara could spend days trying to comprehend. Though, the results of such an unexpected move on Lord Gothard's behalf had yielded admirable results. The Dales were placed in the hands of the people, and the people unlike Blakegate could be negotiated with. What's more, Mannah has centuries of warfare experience and have managed to not only over throw Blackgate, but also preserve the majority of his forces which were promptly marched on to bolster Boldrin's watch. Maybe be the bloody handed truly was the Dawn Star now. Sara smirked at the novel notion, she would save judgement until she met with Mannah. Until that time, his actions on Gothard's behalf have been nothing short of a miracle.

Sara made her way up the internal stairs of the Castle's outer wall. She walked the length of the ramparts to a wall tower where here entourage had begun setting up a temporary residence. In addition to Lendrae and Bainar, Sara also had a small group of seven Cobalt Key's. Lendrae had rocked back in his chair, balancing on two legs with his feet resting on a create of supplies, sharpening the tips of each crossbow bolt one at a time with a wet stone. Bainar was busy writing letters to his contacts, presumably to begin hiding the location of their new recruit, Zalika. The others were busy establishing the site and preparing equipment. Sara stepped into the town room, and addressed her comrades. "Well that could have gone better. It could have gone allot worse, but it defiantly left allot to be desired."

Lendrae responded, his attention still focused on the bolt tips, "Give them time, they'll find their way."

Sara looked out the Arrow Loop of the tower to the busy square below, "If only that were something i could give them."

Sara noticed the Harken Hunters were preparing to move out, their numbers were being divided into task groups. "Lendrae, it looks like the hunters are preparing to move out. Get down there and aid their efforts. Talk to Abnur. I have set the foundation to build an alliance but we need to support our claims with action."

Lendrae gracefully swung forward on his chair landing on his feet. He shouldered his crossbow and his pack and returned his bolts to his quiver. "I shall be a shining example." He said with a smile as he sauntered out of the tower.

Sara looked to the remaining Cobalt Key's. "Right, Abnur's first priority would be the people. He expressed an interest in the north roads and the east river towns. Which means the Keep will go unattended. I need four of you to go out and report back on the situation at Chelion Keep. We need details, numbers, command figures, weapons and supplies. Anything we can use. If you can find out what their motivations are maybe we can negotiate with them."

Sara looked over at Bainar, who without looked noticed her gaze and replied promptly. "**!!@! off, I'm busy."

"Sorry, what was that Bainar?" Sara's voice was sharp, she was unimpressed with Bainar's attitude.

Bainar cleared his throat, "Begging your pardon. I what i meant to say was, **!!@! of Captain, I'm busy."

Sara nodded with a smile. "Much better. I shall have to see what our new recruit can do, she was less than vocal at the meeting today."

Bainar put down his quill, frustrated that he would not have the peace he wanted until he entertained Sara's thoughts with a response. "Just throw her in the deep end, if she can swim we have a useful Key, if she sinks i have less work to do. Its a win win."

Sara liked conclusion Bainar had arrived at, but wasn't sold on his reasoning. "Perhaps. I shall offer her the choice of aiding the Hunters or helping our own recon the Keep. either way she'll be earning our efforts to hid her."

*****************

Confident the counsel meeting had concluded, Arvian stepped out of the room leaving Calalion and Zalika behind. The walked through the halls contemplating the question that he found was haunting him with increased frequency with each passing day, What would Mannah do. Arvian was not the natural aggressor Mannah was, but he had witnessed enough of his planning to make a move in some confidence. Arvian found his way out to the Castle court yard. Most of his men and women were working in the infirmary tending the wounded or aiding in the rebuilding of the castle. They had made great progress but Arvian realized he was turning trained soldiers into laborers. This was a wise move in the beginning, but now refugees from across the Dales were flooding in, workers and laborers that could fulfill these tasks, and in some cases perform them better. When Arvian asked Mannah to teach him how to fight in armor, he took the first step towards accepting his role in the events to come. Now he will lead the force Mannah had left to him and take his second step. Arvian knew of a time when Ghenrael was great, and he would help in making it so once more.

Arvian found the leaders of his forces and asked them to muster in the feast hall of the Castle. Once all were present he spoke with a confidence that betrayed the person he was. "Men and women of Dawn's hand. You are Ghenraen and what's more, you are people of the Dales. You know better than most, the hardships that besiege the lives of this Kingdom's people. Many of you were given no choice when you joined the Templar's forces. Well to each of you, I now offer the choice, stay and fight, or lay down your arms and leave. But know this. If you leave, if you put down the weapons you now know how to use, you are leaving it to others to defend your homes and your families. Others that may not know what you do. Others that deserve your help as much as you do theirs. We must fight together, and we will start by securing Chelion keep."

Knowing they could leave freely gave many in Dawn's Hand reason to admire Arvian. He would risk the numbers of this small force, offering each of its members the opportunity to go home. Though, few of them had homes to return to, and those that did would have to fight to protect them. They all knew that if they were going to make a stand, this was the place to do it, but now they knew it was because they wanted to.


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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Comander.c on Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:55 pm

Cal gave a wry chuckle at Zalika's Comment. "Were that it was that simple i should expect we would not have come to this point. In short, a few have probably tried. But he is a King, and has a Kings security. Kings-guard sword to protect him who will never let anyone get near, And are always accounting for snipers nests and points of entrance and egress. Probably a Diviner i should think, I know the kind keeps at least two magi on staff, so to speak. The political world can be rife with plots, assassination is not that uncommon so close to the top. Social Evolution means that most would never survive to make it that far, But Prince Gwain inherited his Fathers Aegis.

For the duration of the meet, Calalion felt fit to listen and absorb the full scope of their situation. Asses each member's virtues and vices. Eventually, the others took their leave to attend whatever duty they saw fit, leaving only Calalion and Zalika in the hall. "I'm not one hundred percent sure why they saw fit to invite us to that. The information i was glad to have but i have no idea if they even heard my advice" He said, his usual smug wry half smile giving away to his knowing sarcastic undertones.

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Skits on Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:43 am

"If nobody's succeeded yet, they obviously haven't been trying hard enough," Zalika replied to Cal's response. "A good enough assassin could counter whatever protections this Gwain fellow has in place." She shrugged lazily, frowning as the rest of the group at the table didn't even acknowledge her attempt to contribute. "I suppose the problem is that this lot can't afford a decent enough assassin."

She attempted to follow the rest of the conversation, but there was too much information being covered too quickly, and she just couldn't keep up. There was no chance for her to try to add anything else anyway.

Once the meeting had ended, Zalika remained curled up in her armchair as everyone else filed out. Well, everyone except one. She huffed out a small laugh at Calalion's wry, sarcastic comment. "I have no idea why I was invited either. I don't even know most of these people." She shrugged again. "But this chair is comfortable, at least. Are there any of those apples left?"
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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Comander.c on Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:09 am

Calalion tossed Zalika an apple. "So where are you from to be such a master on the arts of cloak and dagger?" He said as he bit down on his own fruit. "I had intended to keep my identity under the rug but our benefactors seem against this, I am Calalion Le'Vain, Fourth child of the former lord of this keep. This is my home, or was some might say. Still is in truth, and deed, even if not in actuality. But don't rug me in with the other Nob's" He said, his smile growing "I'm the family Half breed."

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Skits on Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:44 am

Zalika caught the apple and immediately took a bite out of it, which gave her some time to consider Calalion's question and absorb the information he'd given her. It also gave her time to consider her own reply. Calalion seemed friendly enough, even for a half-breed noble, but she wasn't about to trust him yet, and she didn't want to give away any more than absolutely necessary.

Once she'd finished the first bite of her apple, Zalika gave a playful little bow from where she was sitting. "A pleasure, I'm sure. Call me Zee." She grinned impishly from the depths of her hood. "I'd tell you where I'm from, but I'm afraid I might then get knifed for being incompetent."
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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Comander.c on Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:00 pm

"Hmm.." Calalion pondered aloud, his gaze suddenly scrutinizing the female before him. "That sound's like a challenge to test my own competence". He said teasingly.

"But perhaps later." He said, drawing his attention away. "I need to talk to Master Kain, and then i intend to seek out our resident Ogre. His cultural differences intrigue me." The half elf considered whether or not to continue for a moment, and decided swiftly Zalika would make a good sounding board for his peculating thoughts. "He say's he is for the people, I admire that above all else. And his point is valid, The problem is more than just the Prince, he is a symptom of the systemic issue that has been drowning our country for the past decade. We need a new form of Governance. One that works for the people. Not one that is carried upon their backs. Waleed is an outsider, and his outside perspective may be very insightful in the matter, as we have thusfar seen." 

With a flourished bow, Calalion walked out of the room. "Feel free Join me, Lady Zalika, Or continue to hide beneath your hood. Up to you."

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Skits on Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:55 pm

"Test away," Zalika replied just as teasingly. "I claim no responsibility for any consequences involving you getting knifed."

She took a second bite of her apple, chewing thoughtfully as Calalion talked. The past two years that she'd spent underground - literally - meant that she was very behind on the news of the land. She was reluctant to admit to the depths of her ignorance though, so she merely commented, "Waleed was certainly admirably forthright in giving his opinion. We shall see if any of the others actually listened to any of it."

As Calalion began walking off, Zalika hesitated for a moment, then shrugged and slipped out of the armchair before hurrying across the room to catch up with him. "I see no reason why I cannot do both," she said cheekily as she fell into step beside him, occasionally having to do a little hop-skip to keep up with his longer stride. "It certainly beats sitting around by myself and risking being conscripted into some chore or another." She took another delicate bite out of the apple still in her hand.
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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Popdart5 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:03 pm

His hammer clanged down on the anvil as Waleed worked to shape new horseshoes. It was a far cry from his time forging blades and shields in Baal but it kept him occupied. He had ventured straight to the forge after the meeting and he had taken solace in the fact that the other blacksmith was taking the opportunity to rest and eat. There was much to be done.

Waleed gripped the heated metal with tongs and began to hammer the curve in the shoe. Everything was so small to him and he almost resolved to kneeling at the anvil so that he wasn't so hunched over. Waleed shook the thought out of his mind and kept at the forge, taking a moment to press the bellows to keep the temperature right. His forge brothers and sisters in Baal did not complain about the labour and neither would he.

He dunked the finished horseshoe in the water barrel before placing it in the tray beside him. Twenty more horseshoes were required today alone with more likely in the coming days. Waleed glanced up to see a number of people, Humans and Elves mostly, venture out of the castle and into the wilderness. He noticed some of them carried quivers filled with arrows while others bore their swords on their hips. Waleed hoped they went to confront the bandits and vagabonds and assure the people that they were safe. That was what he remembered from the warrior Ogres in Baal. They didn't seek glory or bloodshed. The warrior Ogres fought to protect the people of Baal and the rest of the Ogre clans. They didn't have the luxury of choosing when to fight, which these people of Ghenrael seemed to have.

Waleed grimaced as he remembered the sight of the accursed Elves in Quillouse and the abandonment of the Dwarves. There was no sense of loyalty or duty to the people, Waleed thought. The lords and nobles in the meeting made the situation sound very dire indeed. It made it seem as though the troubles would last for a long time. Paragon Vault and the secret of Dwarven rune-forged steel seemed so far away. Waleed scooped up another bar of heated iron from the forge and placed it on the anvil. Honest work would cleanse his thoughts and keep him true to his duty and he began to hammer his concerns away.
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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Comander.c on Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:19 pm

"Hmm, Well. Let us see... The accent is local, so you are Genrean. You suggestions have been.. some what nefarious, and you are allied with the Key's, both of which suggest a city lass, among other things. It's hard to draw a conclusion with that hood covering your delicate features, based on what i can see least-ways. But then again, That is as suggestive as it is occlusive, ey?" Calalion said, lifting his own hat briefly to reveal his slender elvish ears.

Calalion and Zalika walked together from the keep into the cool autumn day outside. After a moment to take in the hubbub of activity around, Calalion spotted Abnur, clearly busy organizing groups of Harken Hunters.

"Hmm, He seem's rather occupied. Perhaps ill chat with him closer to supper." Calalion said aloud. "If you wish to join my dear, i think i shall drop by the Hospice to check up on my patients before seeking out our Ogre friend."

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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

Post by Skits on Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:16 am

Zalika raised an eyebrow at Calalion's speculation, though the gesture was mostly hidden by the rim of her hood. "I can neither confirm nor deny any conclusions you may come to," she commented pertly. "I must say though, that is quite a nice hat you have there."

She continued trotting along beside Calalion, still munching on her apple as they headed outside. "How could I refuse such a charming invitation?" she replied wryly, then paused for a moment and tilted her head to look up at him curiously. "Patients? You are some kind of healer I take it, then?"
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Re: LoD: Raising Harken - Inner Fire Preludes

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