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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GameOfChampions's Avatar

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    Default Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    Madness is rare in individuals, but in groups, parties, nations and ages it is the rule."- Friedrich Nietzsche

    Madness is coming to Hanrui once more, nations are rising with powerful individuals at their head. The boundaries between nations are growing and the old rules are being thrown to the wind as this new age comes upon us... this age of war.

    The Balance Tips

    Deep beneath the main fortress of the Legion of Balance the women who has been known as Lady Lightcleaver slowly walks forwards into a massive cavern with only one thing in front it, shedding everything she has been for the last year including her very identity.

    A massive intricate statue of a women holding scales what seems to be a glowing free form ball of light on one side and a deep terrifying ball of darkness on the other. The statue seems almost life like in it's appearance as she approaches.

    The women who has been been known as Lady Lightcleaver is acompannied by a stout Dwarven priest who has never before witnesses this ritual and is watching silently from outside the cavern.

    She approaches the statue and as she reaches it she goes down on her knees with her head down and arms held out in front of her as if reaching for something. The statue creaks and shatters to show an ethereal women beneath who holds up the scales and says only one word. A word that echoed with power. A word that echoed throughout the realm. A word that could change everything for the women prostrate in front of her.

    "Balance"

    The scales begin to tip one way and then the other. Many images flash deep within the ball of light; A fleet of Paladins unloading thousands of well armed faithful, a collection of species linked only by their minds as they raise a three sided pyramid, a church in the desert praying for the salvation of their unbreakable people, an ancient elf bent deep over the corpse of an ancient evil with students watching him work, and a happy gnome biting on an ancient coin of gold. The ball of darkness reveals even less images though; a Balor leading dozens of Legion Devil's among a helpless caravan, blood pacts sworn in a city as assassins target the unwary, a coven of Witch-Priests sacrificing a withered old slave who had dreamt of freedom, and a hooded necromancer raising spirits by the dozen to seek vengeance on the living.

    The women rises, not Lightcleaver any more, but as Rivva Darkseeker and glows with an all consuming darkness as the statue settles back into its stone form, before the light and shadows fade the eyes glow black and pulses. Sending a massive wave of shadow over all the Legions of Balance She turns to the dwarf and and says a terse sentence, shadow leaking from her eyes.
    "Rally the troops we have balance to fight for."


    The Heart of Evil

    Arcturus leans over the withered old husk of an Efreet, his colleagues had bound and killed it a century ago. Its body kept... mostly preserved until today when Arcturus needed it. He was researching the powers of evil aligned flames. It was the tool of so many evil doers, monsters and humanoids alike. If he could find a commonality among the flames of evil then maybe he would be able to develop some new spells to resist them of vanquish them entirely. He clicks his tongue, he really had put off this dissection to long. The body was barely capable of creating a spark, let alone the powerful flames he needed to test on.

    The powerful Archmage glances at the summoning circle in his lab and decides, he would clearly need a live specimen. Dumping the remains of the dead Efreet into the disposal portal he works on the summoning. Only fifteen minutes later a powerful Efreet is before him, ignoring the temptations of power and wishes he circles it. Examining the flames billowing out, 'Yes this will do nicely.' Strapping it to the table with specially enchanted Frost Cold Iron manacles the old elf hums as he begins his work.

    It really was hard to focus with all that screaming, honestly it was a being of fire not flesh and blood. It really shouldn't be this worked up over a silly little heart, it would survive without it... probably. Either way he had what he needed. Leaving the Efreet to scream and thrash as much as it was able the venerable wizard wanders into the next room where he proceeds to start up several diagnostic spells.

    Only a few hours later the spells finished and he was happily working on his new spell, Arcturus' Enhanced Protection from Evil Fire. The name could be work shopped but what he needed now was a new project.

    He hadn't done work on the undead recently...


    Sin to Win

    Izoran tosses his skull chalice at one of the undead servants in the grand hall how was holding his meeting in. Zezzuzen rolls her eyes and levitates the skull back to the massive Pit Fiend "You aren't going to be able replace that you know. There aren't a lot of Arch Necromancers laying around and any other skull would lose that delicious necromantic spice."

    Izoran rumbles and glares at the succubus bit doesn't throw it again "Well what would you propose then Zezzuzzen. We can't open a gate while we're being invaded on several fronts"

    It had been a poor month for the Pit Fiend, an entire battalion of skeletons had been ambushed by Legion forces and annihilated them. Then in the middle of the desert these clockwork people had emerged from hiding which meant another border needed to be watched. Then the Jade Wizard had been starting to probe them and test their defenses.

    The lithe succubus gets up and struts over to the Pit Fiend, draping herself over his shoulders to whisper in his ear. "The answer is simple my dear, you've millennia of experience and clawed your way to the top of heap in more dangerous lands then this Hanrui."

    She flashes illusionary images in front of the Fiend; Legion fortresses full of dead, Jade Wizard spitted on a pike, clockwork soldiers broken and burning. "We do what we've always done my dear... destroy all who stand in our way with sword and hellfire until we can take what we need from the ashes."

    The Pit Fiend looks up from the images and slowly a brutal slash of a grin opens up on his face "This is why I keep you around Zezz. Now call the troops together I've got things to do."


    The Fire Cometh... Again

    Reports flood across Hanrui, whispers among courts throughout the world. A large shadow stretches over the lands as powerful Red Dragon shakes the air, leaving smoking ruins of villages in his wake for the Kobold Tribes to follow. It is whispered the line of Pyresoul once more returns to Hanrui, looking for the remains of its ancestor and vengeance upon the land. Prideful and arrogant it will only talk to the most influential of the nations there, burning the rest as poor inheritors to his ancestors lands.

    Rep 3+*
    (If you don’t have Rep stat equal or higher than 3, don’t open spoiler below)
    Spoiler: Rep 3+
    Show
    A young dragon has come to search these lands again. Inspired by the legend of his ancestor, The Pyresoul, and the empire he forged in these lands the ambitious young dragon has come to leave his mark on these lands as well. Looking for a powerful nation to join with the Young Dragon only wants to join the most prestigious and famous of nations to stroke his own vanity and reputation. Zeilrae the Victorious has arrived for war with several of his vassal kobold tribes.

    If you can read this you can also message the leader and interact with them.


    Across the World Stage

    Nations all around the world are invested in what occurs here, powerful allies to be made or enemies to be made wary of. Hanrui seems to be the fertilizer for new world powers to rise from and the powers that be are watching to see who will enter the world stage first, throwing around the weight of growing influence and reputation as a nation that has made it in these deadly and rich lands.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    The nations watch to see who uses their Rep best this turn. Whoever has the most impressive Rep actions wins the competition. Rep actions can be normal ones such as taking a territory, attacking an enemy stat, or raising a stat of your own. It can also be Long Term projects or any random idea you have. This will be 60% actions and 40% roleplaying so ham it up! If you have a high Rep stat that isn't an automatic win!
    Last edited by GameOfChampions; 2019-12-15 at 01:27 AM.
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

    “Why would I want to win anything other than a beautiful game?” - Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear


  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    3SecondCultist's Avatar

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    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    The Ironfang Republic
    Morale 5
    Reputation 6


    Look well, and mark not flesh and blood
    With flame or steel: throw away odium,
    Prejudice, fear, and baseless scorn,
    For you have but mistook us all this while:
    We live with bread like you, feel want,
    Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
    How can you say we are the monsters?


    - Extract from Armistice, apocryphal goblin poem




    We Who Would Make Honour A Virtue

    The flames flickered low among the braziers of the council chamber, wrapping its more ostentatious features in gentle orange shadows. Nine pillars of dark stone - their surfaces reflecting the warm glow like varnished mirrors - stood around the proceedings, the space between them forming an almost invisible circle that bound all of the participants to this place. Each of the pillars rose and joined each other somewhere in the pitch dark above. There, Bruthazmus knew, lay some of the most treasured work of his people. But this was no time to get lost in reverie - not now, when the work was not yet done.

    With clawed fingertips, the bugbear attendant gently adjusted his crystal spectacles so that they rested properly on his nose. Meanwhile, his left hand scribbled away desperately on a piece of parchment as he transcribed the furious debate that was occupying the chamber floor. Hazren - a seasoned warrior, and speaker for the Steel-Eater tribe - was busy orating to the Republic's assembly rather passionately. In fact, he was discussing a notion that Bruthazmus himself had put before the council not ten minutes ago.

    "... a disgrace that we would even consider this! We would be baring our necks to foreigners, to filthy humans, if we were to open our doors this way. Submission is a sign of weakness, and make no mistake, this is submission!" Hazren's speech elicited a few thumps and nods of approval from around the room, the hobgoblin leader striking his chest twice before stepping down from the Highest Throne and taking his assigned seat.

    Bruthazmus was not overly concerned at the objection's acclaim, however - he knew what was coming next. The mutterings around the chamber fell quiet as a second hobgoblin stood up from their chair and began to walk purposefully towards the raised obsidian dais at the heart of the space. General Azaersi stood tall on the Highest Throne, staring each member of the council down before ever speaking.

    "Tribesmen and chieftains, peers all; our honoured Hazren is not incorrect. From a purely tactical point of view, we gain nothing if we undergo the course of action discussed here today. In fact, we would be risking the very security upon which our enterprise is based. However, I believe it to be worth the risk. This is not the old world, where we must hide in caverns or up in the mountains for fear of being hunted down like animals. Hanrui has opened her bounty to us, but we are not alone on this continent. There are allies to be won here, not simply enemies in the making. We should avail ourselves fully to the opportunities that diplomacy has to offer before defaulting to traditional methods." The commander in chief of the Republic's armies let each point sink in like a knife thrust, her fierce gaze resting particularly on the war hawks in the room. Her striking silhouette, long blade, and general's epaulets made her seem larger than she really was, but she wore them comfortably. For all of their functionality, they were still effective props, Bruthazmus conceded: she had taken the Keeper's advice to heart.

    As he wrote, Bruthazmus let his attention fall on one more figure across the room. Kraelos, high priest to the Brothers in Arms and the co-architect of today's discussion, sat uncomfortably in his own stone chair. The barghest's figure was both old and warped almost beyond recognition of its previous shape, but the aged demon had long since proven that age was no metric of worth. Sensing someone watching, Kraelos turned rheumy orange orbs back at him, before giving a silent nod of affirmation. They both knew what today could mean. From her obsidian promontory, Azaersi finished her address.

    "The Ironfang Republic was founded on the ideal of strength by cooperation. What is this if not the same plan, but writ large? My friends, there are many paths to victory. Let us show you one more."



    The Invitation

    The missives are sent out the next day. They are delivered in almost as many ways as there are destinations: goblin couriers leave the city of Oprak at dusk, traveling overland, while others find themselves in port villages and cities, chartering ships across the shore to distant lands. Messenger hawks are dispatched from roosts, traversing vast amounts of territory at tremendous speed. The word makes its way across mountains, through forests and over plains. Nothing can stop it. It arrives in cities of the bought and sold, in great temples to angelic exemplars, in the scorching deserts of the faithful. Every city in Hanrui gets the same message, bound in a very fine scroll with a red wax seal.

    Spoiler: To All
    Show
    Salutations to the Kings and Prophets, to the Sages and Monsters, to all who would Rule,

    We are the Ironfang Republic. Our emissaries approach you as a sign of the deepest respect. As you may know, we have arrived on this bountiful land of Hanrui some years ago, but we have witnessed the coming of many other esteemed groups such as yourselves. The Republic plans to make Hanrui a home to all goblins as well as those who have been hunted in the past, but we see no need to shed by blood what can be gained by words. Too long have our people known the taste of fear instead of friendship - with your help, that can end today.

    During the winter solstice of the coming year, the Council of Clans responsible for governing our fair Republic has decided to open the doors of our capital of Oprak to representatives from across Hanrui. There, we will host what we hope will be the first of a series of inter-continental summits, with the aim of establishing policies for the mutual protection of these great lands. All will be welcome, no matter their background or provenance. As a sign of good faith, I will personally be in attendance, along with a great many of the Republic's elders and policy-makers.

    Take your time in making your decision, but we trust that you will come to the conclusion that war is not the only way to build a future.

    Kindest regards,

    Bruthazmus the Even-Tongued
    Secretary General of the Republic


    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    I am offering up my VIP for REP for the turn to host a private meeting (via PM) to discuss potential alliances and deals for everyone who wants to send a VIP. If the DM is okay with it, I'd ask him to start a private Discord sub-channel on the chat for us to RP out the summit, as opposed to using GitP's message system for multiple people.

    I am also staking several points of my REP for the turn as a sign of good faith (exactly how much depends on how many people say they are coming on the summit). If nobody shows up, my REP will go unused for the turn.
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2020-01-06 at 07:37 PM.
    Spoiler: My Profile
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
    You divine bastard.
    Currently Running:
    - Tales of Neutral Ground

    Winner of Total War: Rise of Kingdoms (Ironfang Republic)

    Loser of Total War: The Final Hanrui (Elda Hafnar)


    "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Not a house.
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    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    Silvermist

    Captain Goldfinder looked over the different companies. The gnome generals of each brigade wore their smiles well. Goldfinder nodded. "Congratulations on your courage. Each of you has devised a great opportunity for the whole company and you shall be rewarded justly upon your return. We have opportunity here! Opportunity that shall not be squandered by cowards that hide behind their high walls. We will reach out and find what this land has to offer.

    We shall conquer beasts that have never before been seen. We'll topple plans of destruction and world domination. We'll kick in, set off, sail through, stab, fireball, solve, sneak by, disarm, fly over, and get every bit of dungeon there is to have! And when we die, it'll probably be sudden and horrific, but we'll do it with a smile on our face!

    Remember, their need for treasure necessitates their life of adventure. Treasure fuels our love for Adventure!"

    He smiled and nodded. The wizards stepped towards the armies and began their casting. "Charm person! Charm person! Charm person!" It repeated itself until every explorer was smiling.

    "Go forth and bring back stories that will last you for the rest of your lives!" They turned and marched.

    "Paper, dad." Goldfinder turned and looked at his son. The orc was about four of him tall and had sick purple skin. The shield had the map of their journey carved into it. The axe had notches depicting some rudimentary key.

    "Thanks, Grock." He took the scroll and broke the red wax seal. He scanned the document and looked up at Grock. "The Ironfang Republic is calling a meeting. They're proposing that the different factions meet and talk together. Ha! What morons. There's much too important work going on. We have to explore! Cut through the next door. Find the next room." Captain Goldfinder smiled and reflected on his own adventures as a youth.

    "Dad! We need to meet with other leaders. This is a rare opportunity to spread our name and create allies."

    "No son, that's dangerous thinking. We've got a good setup here. There's untold riches under our feet. Unspeakable evils. No reason to go off and speak with leaders from other countries about trying to fix inequality and making the world a better place."

    "Please dad. Let me go and-"

    "You go? Ha! No, you're just a boy. No, you'll lead our expeditions. You'll stand at the front lines of battle and map out the world."

    "I'm almost thirteen dad. I'm not just a little kid anymore. I want to make the world a better place for everyone."

    "No! You'll stay here.. You'll go exploring or adventuring and come back with new tales of glory and that's final!"

    "I hate adventuring and I hate you!" Grock turned and ran away. His screams of rage echoed through the mist.

    One of Captain Goldfinder's cousins saw the encounter and stepped forward. "Should we keep an eye on him?"

    "God's no!" A single tear rolled down Captain Goldfinder's cheek. "My boy's gonna be a hero one day."

    Two letters make their way across the lands. Once the letter is delivered the messenger stands smiling until dismissed. When opened, the letters release a puff of mist that lingers and a few lights that blink as the letter is read aloud by the voice of Captain Goldfinder.

    Spoiler: Balam: Mor 6
    Show
    Hello neighbor! The Goldfinder company would like to offer services to help you seek out and find that ancient manuscript or cursed ring that your evil plan if coquette requires. Terms are negotiable, but we have a standard rate of 3 mid tier caster scrolls, magic potions, poisons, or just gold for two of our expert navigators. As you are our closest neighbor, we offer you pick of dungeon between your and two of our own to lead your adventurers through.


    Spoiler: Ironfang Republic: Mor 6
    Show
    While I thank you for your invitation, I see no benefit in trying to right perceived wrongs in the world. Instead let me counter offer. We would love to assist you in crashing into any Lairs of monsters that roam around your territory. We are extremely adept at this kind of thing. We offer the services of two guides for about 3 mid tier scrolls, magic poisons, bragging and tales, or just gold. Think of the glory you or one of your companions could gain. Drop all this silly nonsense with saving the world. Nothing good ever comes of it.
    Last edited by LimSindull; 2019-12-15 at 03:51 PM.
    "I'll get a cool quote, just you wait."
    Here is the backdrop to the first Campaign in my Titan Blood World.
    Bastilonis

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    Free City of Khasal
    [Morale 2]


    It was the Festival of Askopar, and the Zephyr had never been one to decline an invitation. Every window and balcony in the city was left open for the warm and friendly wind, the chimes hanging from every frame-beaten out of picked locks and broken chains-filling Khasal with a pleasant melody. Taking full advantage of the wind, gliders and skysails raced off rooftops and tower balconies, joining flocks of feathered serpents and birds of paradise as they filled the sky.

    Closer the ground, the celebrations only grew more densely packed. The Zephyr of Liberation despised chains of all kinds, and on the day the whole city was his temple any could be cast aside without thought of reprisal. Even aside from those celebrating repudiated debts, cancelled indentures and dissolved families, it was considered auspicious to publicly forgive slights and end vendettas-and the great and good of the city weren’t ones to reconcile without making a great display of it. And-more for reasons of practical convention than any theology-the Festival was the customary date celebrated as a birthday by the senile, street children and all the otherwise abandoned. The City was, then, full of people with plenty of reasons to celebrate.

    As with all other fields of life, the Free City turned a celebration into a competition. On every plaza and across the side of all the grandest buildings artists strove to outdo each other in representing one of the Zephyr’s aspects-a seven-winged dragon, rampant and triumphant among the ruins of its shell and shackles; a pair of young lovers running side-by-side through a field, flesh and skin peeling away as they reached out so that their fingers never quite touches; an anonymous traveller with the world slung over his shouler, revelation and revolution in his wake, and dozens more original or obscure. It had been years since anyone serious about it had limited themselves to just paint of course-some murals moved, playing out myth-cycles and new epics alike, others put the face of the viewer onto the Zephyr.

    The most popular weren’t paintings at all, but sculptures of powdered and coloured sand, given form and motion by the accompanying music of enchanted pipes. It went without saying that that display-in one of the city’s grandest plazas, surrounded by roasting pigs and barrels of spirits being liberally distributed among celebrants-had been sponsored and orchestrated by the Artisan of Glass and Wind himself. But Vyas Asraya was nowhere to be seen-it was, after all, far too early to show up to your own party. And the coming Assembly session meant there was a regrettable amount of statecraft and negotiation to rush through, beyond ensuring the crowds were well-disposed to him and his.

    The proper place for such negotiations was, of course, a modestly palatial airship, a soarwood yacht floating leisurely among the racing gliders, deck open to the cool air in silent invitation for the Zephyr to involve itself in the discussions, with sufficient space for all relevant parties to lounge or posture as they liked.

    Presently the only human of the gathered was replying to some argument or another. “Mountains are nice, but it’s not exactly much to have between us and the literal hordes of hell, is it? Has anyone figured out how you **** up badly enough at magic to leave the devils here even after they’re done using your soul as a chew-toy, anyway?”

    In reply, the group’s spiritual authority just smiled and shrugged “Self-sacrifice is always the most effective kind, maybe losing a mage’s duel that badly counts as a ritual suicide? We don’t know it’s something to worry about yet, anyway-their leaders might be tragically unoriginal about means and ends, but we are theoretically on their side-”

    “-theoretically?”

    “Wait for the messenger to be sent back screaming and sans limbs before we assume they’re enemies?”

    “As long as you’re providing a volunteer.”

    At that, a weathered looking elf looked up from his notebook and interrupted

    “Speaking of messengers, you’ve all heard of the nauseous goblin who came in with the trade ships yesterday? To be clear, I am not going to miss a chance to see the public faces of everyone else who matters on our little patch of paradise, but it’d really helpful if we can wangle an official ambassadorship so I don’t cause any scandals infiltrating the wait staff.”

    “Does that mean you’re actually volunteering to handle all the mail from the other islands? Even the tedious and boring **** with nothing worth publishing in it?”

    “And you say I’m never willing to suffer for what I care about.”


    The Assembly’s session lasted several days, as any attempt to combine a festival with mass public politics invariably would. Still, by the end of the first a few different messengers were riding, sailing and flying out of the city.

    Spoiler: Ironfang Republic
    Show


    The goblin who brought the original letter is sent back within the week, the reply fitting on a single page in a neatly sealed envelope

    To Even-Tongued Bruthazmus*of Oprak,

    The peace-loving people of Khasal have heard your lovely vision of the world, and have of course embraced it wholeheartedly. As a well-known scholar of current events, the Citizen’s Assembly has charged me with the solemn responsibility of representing them to the wider world, and at the proposed conference.

    I dearly look forward to meeting you in person, and of course the other assorted representatives, come the winter.

    May Fortune ever find you,
    Corin Lettara, Friend of the People


    Spoiler: Brotherhood of Sin
    Show

    The letter is delivered by something halfway between tropical bird and elf, garishly colored but perfectly functional wings carrying him through the mountains to the palace of Izoran, clearly on edge as he delivers the messages and ready to jump back into the air on a moment’s notice.”

    To Bloody-Handed Izoran,

    Some congratulations are in order for having liberated yourselves from the mediocrity who first bound you. More pertinently, I’m sure you’re more than capable of reading a map and realizing that we will soon be your neighbors to the East. Whatever your long-term plans for the world, wouldn’t you agree that having at least one friendly border would be a boon? In every other direction it seems the closest you can hope for are wild and permeable mountains.

    May flesh never leave you caged,
    Lia Misri, Beloved of the Architect, Weaver in Blood and Bone
    The world was born in flame and art,
    The world was born – then torn apart.
    Creation’s sorrow rent the sky
    T​o know all things would cool and die​.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zweanslord's Avatar

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    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    Theocracy of Shemesh


    Source: https://www.etherealculture.com/leos...-2018?rq=solar

    Trust in Shemesh
    Shemesh lights the way
    Shemesh protects

    In Day
    In Night
    In Light

    Shemesh shines brightly
    Shemesh radiates warmth
    Welcome the Light
    Welcome the Warmth

    Shemesh is our Home
    Our Home is Shemesh
    In Faith we are Together
    We are Together in Faith



    Source: https://www.deviantart.com/jorgecarr...sert-272505331

    The faithful of Shemesh have moved from the North and settled in the deserts, the sands, under the radiance of Shemesh. Shemesh is their Hope, Shemesh is their Life. They sing songs of Shemesh, they chant litanies, recite incantations and pray, pray everyday. Their faith sustains them, their devotion feeds them, their zeal sates their thirst, their fervor welcomes the crushing heat of the desert. They look to the Light and know the love of Shemesh.

    Their journey continues, their flock has grown since their arrival in these lands. Amongst the sands, along ruins, sand-buried statues, through dunes, along ridges and much more. They seek a place, something special, something Shemesh will look favourably upon. A region for a Capital, one from which the radiance of Shemesh will illuminate all that is to come. A beacon for the other nations of this place, a Blessed site for all to gather.

    For there are others, who know not the bliss of Shemesh. Gathered in city-states and nations, across mountains, deserts and oceans, they see Light without all its splendour. Though there is a rumour, amongst some of the new faithful, who have travelled far beyond, that there is another whose Light is bright, though who knows not the true name of the Light. A glimmer of Hope amongst these dark lands, for in the same rumours there are worrying, troubles, indeed, terrifying words. They speak of other nations who seek darkness. Chief amongst them, those close to them, with the Legion of Balance, some dare speak, having embraced Darkness. A frightening idea.

    Yet other words are more welcoming, more inviting. From across the ocean, far away, in lands not scorching with Light. A pilgrim takes up the torch and sets out to bring the Light of Shemesh to lands far away. The pilgrim will take time to arrive, for mortal feet do not travel at the speed of Light.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    The Truth Flies

    Grand Voice Dawn flew over the legions that had arrived on the beach that morning. It had been their largest shipment of believers since they had landed on this new world, and they only brought messages that more were coming in order to spread the good word of the voice. She wasn't sure if anyone on Hanrui could hear it yet, but she knew that every believer on the continent amplified it.

    Dawn rose over the ranks and found her perch on a sea cliff just out of the reach of the ocean spray. There were other risen angels there, standing guard over the incoming ships. The angelling guards gave Dawn a short nod as she pushed back them to see Grand Voice Hybert pouring over a hand drawn map that was still fresh with ink.

    "Dawn," Hybert greeted without glancing up from his project.

    "How is the mapmaking going Hybert?" she asked.

    "The truth speaks to my ears but not through my hands," he frowned before sighing and motioning towards the piles of parchment in the corner, "I don't know the truth of these lands yet and every report I get is conflicting."

    "A break?" Grand Voice Dawn suggested. If she didn't have her wings she would have sat across from Hybert at the table, but angelic forms hadn't been designed for average chairs.

    "I don't think I have time for a break today," Hybert pointed out, though she still stopped her work and gave Dawn her full attention. After half a second she pushed the map to the side, "This isn't really a break."

    Dawn shook her head.

    "What words are on the wind then?"

    "Our initial scouts were deaf for a their initial search of the coastline and inland. They just got back from their second mission when they could actually hear the truth in their ear,"

    "And?"

    Grand Voice Dawn reached over to the map Hybert had been working on and hovered her hands over the parchment for a moment. There was a brilliant flash and then a symbol was emblazoned on the map. "Across the river in the foothills, we have neighbors."

    "Voice be mute," Hybert swore, "How did we not see them before landfall?"

    "Dwarves," Dawn explained, we could not see them until the voice showed us the entrances to their many tunnels and the chopped trees from their mining-" Dawn trailed off, the list went on but the point had gotten across. "We should speak to them."

    "Do they not hear the voice?" Hybert asked.

    "Any who hear the voice would have come to greet us upon on first landing." Dawn pointed out. "And that means we need to share the voice with dwarves," Dawn continued.

    "We've spoken to worse and made them listen," Hybert sighed at the logo that was now on his map.

    "Of course, Dwarves are reasonable, just stubborn and locked into their old ways." Dawn explained, "it may not be a fast conversion and we don't have the time to waste three seasons trying to find more land for our coming numbers."

    "Let the paladins know," Hybert passed on, the time for celebration might be shorter than we thought."

    Spoiler: Letters to the People: MOR 4
    Show



    Spoiler: The Ironfang Republic
    Show


    Blessed be all those who are willing to hear the voice ringing in their ears. We have heard your call and shall answer with our holy representatives so that you may hear the will of the Truth from a voice that you can hear with a mortal mind.

    Let it be known that goblinoids and all forms of creatures are welcome in our churches and welcome to the bounties of the voice. The calm song of her speaking travels through all ears, whether they be considered monstrous by others or not. It would be our pleasure to share the voice with you.

    - Grand Voice Hybert




    Spoiler: The Dwarf Hold of Khazn Durn
    Show


    Good evening or morning to those in Khazn Durn, may the voice echo in your halls soon.


    As you have likely noticed, the blessed emmasaries of the voice have been arriving on the coast over the past months, setting up their camp and finally finalizing the Fortress of First Words. We have been hard at work but we were deaf to your work being done a short flight away.

    This has left us in a difficult position, now that the voice has reached this new continent, we must spread the word, and for that we are going to need men and women to add to the chorus. We ask humbly for you to open your ears to the voice and let us know if you hear it. If you do not hear it, we are happy to share it with you.

    If you do not hear the voice but wish to help our cause, we would be pleased to accept the foothills just inland of our landing port as we are going to need the land for our coming soldiers. We have 20,000 on the shore and hundreds arriving each day.

    We look forward to your reply of how you wish to help the voice spread.

    -Grand Voice Lyra







    Spoiler: TO ALL
    Show


    The message is simple, and delivered by an angel who quickly leaves after passing on the scroll.

    To All Who Hear the Voice, may she be praised and may her song fill your ears.

    To All Who Are Deaf but Willing, May the Voice fill your hearts with her sound.

    To All Who Are Deaf and Opposed, May you concede your stubborn ways and open your ears.

    To All on Hanrui, A Brighter Future.

    The Grand Voices Sing her words.






  7. - Top - End - #7
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    "WAIT!"

    Down below, in the sands of the scorching desert, a large group from a sandstone settlement in the Theocracy of Shemesh looked up at the angelic messenger of the Great Church of the Truth Speaker. Even with the sun behind the angel, the devout peered up, unfazed by the bright brilliance, not looking away from the Light. The shout had come from the receiver of the letter. She had passed on the letter to the man besides her, who was reading it now, glancing to the angel between words. She ran to chase the angel, reaching up with her hands to the skies.

    "Come back guardian spirit! Tell us what dire need has summoned you! Maybe we can help!"

    The man besides her shouted up as well: "We are here to illuminate a brighter future for Hanrui too!"



    Pilgrim Mentawy looked at his goblin companion, sailing the great ocean. How far was he from those like minded now. The boat looked strange to him. Certainly, he had sailed before, but the curves and angles were not that of his birth country, which lay far, far away. The sail felt wrong, but it worked well enough to catch the breeze. Not that Pilgrim Mentawy had been a sailor, but he had travelled through docks on his pilgrimages. The boat belonged to people who had been drawn to its riches and founded a small settlement on the coast of the Northern Continent.

    The subject of treasure was often brought up and while his goblin companion was apt to converse on the subject, when Pilgrim Mentawy spoke that Shemesh was the only treasure he needed and began to talk of the wealth he was given by Shemesh, he found the interest of the sailors swiftly waning, suddenly having to scrub the deck. On the other hand, when in the evening he told of his long journeys, the arduous treks, the sights under Shemesh and all the colourful people, he could captivate their stories in long stories which he liked the share.

    He gained their begrudging respect and envy when under a scorching sun on the ocean, with all the sailors sweating, he basked in full enjoyment of the heat, thanking Shemesh, as he did his duties on the boat. When his goblin companion and Pilgrim Mentawy departed, he was happy to know he had given them warmth, with perhaps one sailor more willing to look up at the sky to see the blessing of Light. Though the others would likely only see this as a story added about a fanatic follower of Shemesh.

    And there in the city Oprak, the goblin courier that had been tasked to carry the message about the summit to the Theocracy of Shemesh returned with Pilgrim Mentawy, a man growing closer to his older years with dark skin from the sun. Moving to the first summit, he stands before the great doors in the city of Oprak, surrounded by goblinoids of the Ironfang Republic, who have called out amongst Hanrui for a summit to discuss its future.

    Pilgrim Mentawy asks to attend, a humble man representing the Theocracy of Shemesh. Not a Very Important Person. Carrying no influence, no stake of desert reputation. A humble, devout, person, in high morale. The Ironfang Republic welcomed all, and would have Bruthazmus the Even-Tongued in attendance to host a meeting of international importance amongst elders and policy makers. Pilgrim Mentawy asks to be present, in good faith, as representative, having travelled far in respect, to speak. A hand extended, to see if the words of cooperation spoken are true.

    Pilgrim Mentawy of the far stretched Theocracy of Shemesh, a humble pilgrim, an ambassador in gesture, asks to attend the private meeting of the Ironfang Republic, to represent the Theocracy of Shemesh. With the nations of the world watching, what does the Ironfang Republic do?
    Last edited by Zweanslord; 2019-12-17 at 11:35 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    The Astral Collective

    Yonren walked unseen amongst the festivities on Tetrahedron Thirty-One. It was a curious mix of celebration and mourning; grief, regret, and guilt warred with hope, relief, and a renewed sense of purpose. Troupes of dancers, their permits having been approved weeks ago, spun gracefully through the streets. In marketplaces and town squares, empath-singers waited patiently for their turn to perform, crowds eagerly gathered for the outpouring of emotion that would soon begin. Githyanyi battle-poets sparred in taverns, each shouting their verses as they traded blows under the careful watch of metabolic healers. Yonren paused and let the emotions wash over his mind; he always imagined that this was what it felt like to be an empath. With a wry smile, he focused and the distracting barrage of discordant emotions ceased. He would have loved to participate in the festivities, to share this day with his people, but as a Speaker of the Council, he had a greater duty.

    It was the anniversary of the Shift, when the thirty-nine Speakers of the Astral Collective – Yonren included – had made an impossible choice. Faced with the prospect of imminent annihilation at the hands of a dragon-tyrant, a vast being of flame, avarice, and malice, they had abandoned their reality and sought shelter in a Hanrui that had been untouched by civilization for generations. It had not been without cost. Only seventeen of the thirty-nine tetrahedrons had reached this reality. More than a million people had been lost to an unknown fate, something which weighed heavily on Yonren’s mind. He – like the other Speakers – would do everything in their power to ensure that their sacrifices were not in vain.

    At last he reached his destination: a small, one-storied house near the bottom of the tetrahedron. It was unadorned and plain, but it was clearly well-maintained; the small garden in front of it was neat and orderly. He would expect nothing less from its owner. Moving forward, he walked through the door and into the Thirty-First Speaker’s home.

    The first thing he noticed was Jasnah’s body lying lifeless on her couch.

    The second was the warm chatter and conversation coming from the kitchen to his left. Jasnah’s voice, clear and sharp despite her seventy-six years, rang out as he stepped over the threshold.

    “Speaker Yonren, thank you for joining us tonight. It is my pleasure to welcome you to my home.”

    Like him, Jasnah was proficient in the art of astral projection. Her spirit, looking like a faint silver outline of her body, sat at one of the chairs at her kitchen table. Sitting next to her were the spirits of two other Kalashtar, Speakers Twenty-Four and Nine. Yonren bowed and addressed each of them in turn.

    “Iacantha. Rolind. I hope that you are both well. Jasnah, thank you for your hospitality this evening.” Yonren settled into the fourth chair as well as his incorporeal form could. “We have much to discuss. As the three of you know, the Council has proposed that I attend this ‘peace summit’ that the Ironfang Republic is hosting.”

    At this, both Rolind and Jasnah frowned. Neither of them were particularly fond of goblins, the Dragon-Tyrant’s most numerous minions. Rolind spoke in a booming voice: “I do not believe it. It is likely a ploy to win our trust in order to strike when we are most vulnerable”

    “I concur” said Jasnah. “It would be unwise to believe them. A goblin cannot change their fangs, as they say.”

    Yonren gestured to Iacantha, who had been uncharacteristically quiet. “And you, Speaker? What is your verdict?”

    “The Astral Collective was founded not only to bring peace and unity to the world, but as a sanctuary to those who had been cast out for the psionic abilities they displayed. While we have suffered greatly at the hands of the goblinoid people in the past, I too can sympathize with the plight of outcasts. I believe that we should take advantage of this opportunity to investigate their motives.”

    Yonren nodded, glad for the show of support. “I concur. This is a new Hanrui; we have another chance to bring peace and harmony to this world, and I will not waste it due to our own preconceptions. Especially with the threats to the North-West, we cannot afford to overlook an opportunity such as this. With your blessing – and that of the rest of the Council – I will go and meet with them.”

    The other speakers murmured agreements, placated by his arguments. Yonren smiled and continued speaking.

    “Now, let us discuss our other neighbors…”

    Morale 6

    Spoiler: To the Ironfang Republic
    Show
    A second scroll is returned, bound in silver thread. No one can quite remember who delivered it, only that they seemed friendly.

    My most esteemed greetings, Secretary General.

    We appreciate your invitation, and welcome this gesture of peace and cooperation. The Astral Collective stands firmly in support of this show of unity. We left behind our home – another Hanrui much like this one – that was lost to the whims of a mad dragon-tyrant. We know all too well what price war and avarice can inflict on this land.

    Many of my colleagues on the Council do not trust your motives. Some of them let past experience cloud their judgment. But just as this is a second chance for us, so too may this be a second chance for your historically war-like and violent people.

    I put my faith in you. I will attend – not quite in person, but I will be there nonetheless. Please disable any wards you have against astral projection; I would hate to have to dismantle them on the way in.

    I look forward to our discussions.

    Respectfully,

    Yonren, Twelfth Speaker of the Astral Collective


    Spoiler: To the Church of the Truth Speaker
    Show
    The return message is found carved into a large slab of sandstone near the initial landing site.

    Greetings, noble pioneers, on behalf of the Astral Collective.

    Welcome to our corner of Hanrui. I wish to state that we have no ill-will towards you, and will not stop you from proselytizing within our lands. Any members of our Collective that hear the voice will not be silenced. We hope to work with you and yours in the spirit of peaceful cooperation.

    That said, please understand that any military actions towards our borders will not be tolerated.

    I hope to meet one of your representatives at the Ironfang Summit this winter.

    Respectfully,

    Yonren, Twelfth Speaker


    Spoiler: To the Dwarf Hold of Khazn Durn
    Show
    The message is hand-delivered by a nervous-looking githyanki. She looks intimidated by the scale of the dwarven workings beneath their mountains. She stammers that she will remain for several days in order to collect a return message, if the King wishes one sent.

    Greetings, King Wildhammer. On behalf of the Astral Collective, welcome to Hanrui. I must say that we are pleased to have such lawful and orderly neighbors to the North.

    I hope that we can coexist peacefully in these lands. I wish to reassure you that the Astral Collective has no designs on your territories; that said, we would appreciate it if could notify us if you plan on expanding towards our borders.

    Respectfully,

    Yonren, Twelfth Speaker


    Spoiler: To the City of Wraiths
    Show

    The message is delivered on a silver scroll. No one can quite remember how it got there, but many of the spirits in the area are quite agitated.

    I will keep this brief and to-the-point.

    Necromancy, in itself, is not evil. What one does with necromancy determines if it is evil.

    We will be watching.

    Yonren, Twelfth Speaker


    Spoiler: To GM and ESP 6+
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    Spoiler: To: Zeilrae the Magnificent
    Show
    The message is delivered in triplicate on scrolls delicately bound with silver thread, each planted on a very dazed kobold.

    Greetings, most magnificent dragon.

    The Council doesn’t know I’ve sent this message. They’re blinded by their prejudice. They’ve seen what a dragon can wreak on Hanrui. I don’t blame them for their caution. I blame them for their cowardice.

    See, I’ve seen firsthand what a dragon can do to. I would much rather have one on our side.

    So, I have a proposition for you. The Astral Collective wants peace and harmony. That likely holds no appeal for you. Honestly? Sounds a little boring to me too. But let me tell you something – to get that peace and harmony, I’m betting there will be an awful lot of bloodshed. An awful lot of opportunities for glory. And if you join us, we won’t be sitting back and just watching. Oh no. We let that happen once, until it was too late. Won’t happen again.

    And then when all of that’s done, and when this Hanrui is united in peace and friendship – what’s left of it, anyway – I can offer you something better. A chance to help us avenge our lost tetrahedrons by joining us in slaying the one you call the Pyresoul in the reality we came from. You can help us take it from him and be greater than your progenitor ever was. It can all be yours to rule. I just want him to pay.

    Think it over. If you’re interested, maybe I can get the Council on board and sweeten the deal.

    Respectfully,

    Kalira, Daughter of Silence

    Last edited by Let'sGetKraken; 2019-12-16 at 07:16 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    Chemosh yawns as he is carried out of bed by a pack of skeletons. Another day living the life of luxury. Really more people needed to get into reusing the old things. Like those goblins. Recycling their old champion was genius. Maybe he should send some shades out to see if any adventurers picked up anything interesting. These past people had it good, even if they were dumb enough to leave perfectly good stuff lying around.

    He sighs slightly as his skeleton carry him next to Salazar who immediately starts talking about some silly news like dragons. He immediately stops listening as Jenkins comes with his meal of oatmeal and bacon that has been cut into small piece. As Jenkins carefully spoon feeds him, Chemosh hears something that interests him.

    What was that last one? He calls out in between mouthfuls.

    We were invited to a council by the Iron Fang Republic, sir. It is to tal... Salazar starts before Chemosh cuts them off.

    Is their resurrected champion going to be there?

    Salazar grimaces slightly before continuing. Er, the invitation said they were going to have some elders there and she is probably the eldest, so maybe?

    Worse comes the worst I might at least meet the people responsible. Jenkins, get me my fancy robe. I have a journey to do. Vizier Salazar watch over my domain while I'm away.

    With that Chemosh gets carried away. Salazar just smiles slightly before leaving to do actual work beyond just talking to Chemosh.

    Spoiler: Ironfang called council-Chemosh description
    Show

    Chemosh comes to the meeting carried as always by his skeletons. His thin form is covered in a thick robe that he clearly got from the City of Wraiths. It's deep purple color isn't faded but it appears to have been patched up and matted. Most of the button match at least but a few have been clearly replaced. There is a thick smell of must and death around him. He gives a toothless smile when arrives.

    A pleasure to be here. Always glad to be invited to these things.


    Spoiler: The Astral Collective
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    Spoiler: Yonren
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    You maybe better served watching your own than trying to watch shadows. Some interesting messages coming from others in your collective.



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    Spoiler: Giant in the Playground Hearthstone Champion
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    BALAM
    The City Stained Red

    At the heart of the wicked city stood a monolithic fortress, with tall towers and thick walls that loomed up above the city like the wretched, crooked claw of the Demons that built it. The shadow it cast fell across the land both physically and metaphorically. For it was here, in halls never graced by the light of the sun and kept barely lit through ghostly witch-light and sorcerous pyres that sputtered and bubbled with the rendered fat of a thousand slaves, that the Witch-Priests of Balam came together to meet.

    Of them, there were twelve. Each seated upon a grandiose throne of gold and bone and jet, arrayed in a wide circle around a central podium of polished black glass. Within this glass slab sat the insensate form of their Master – the Mad King Zakaius, and First of their Order.

    The Witch-Priests and gathered, as was their custom, to discuss matters and events that needed their attention. Not the small squabbling of the petty slaver-princes, or foreign merchants but the Machiavellian plots that they slowly wove across the span of years.

    There were messages from abroad that needed their attention, with the rise of so many foreign powers, and a plethora of new markets to exploit.

    Despite the positive outlook many of the Witch-Priests had on these new developments, it was almost a unanimous decision that they at least maintain a solid watch of their borders for now. With so much political upheaval across Hanrui, it was possible that someone would try to capitalize on it and take territory by force.

    And so, with no further argument, the Witch-Priests summoned Neren – their most feared warlord – and sent him with his armies to adopt defensive positions throughout their territory.

    Spoiler: MIL 4+1 for Iron-Eye VIP
    Show


    Balam’s entire military is adopting a defensive position. As I understand it, this counts as double value for the purposes of military actions. 3 of the 4 points would defend territory 19 as their capitol, and the other 1 would be sent to territory 10.



    Spoiler: The Ironfang Republic
    Show


    The scroll bearing the wax-seal of the Ironfang Republic had been ferried quickly through the crowded avenues and thoroughfares of Balam, before being delivered into the ancient fingers of the Witch-Priests themselves.

    Their Voice – Lahan – had spoken the contents aloud, from blackened lips and bloated viper’s tongue, all the while the sussurus of muttered comments and whispered plots had hung on the periphery of his listeners.

    The consensus was reached quickly. Goblins and their ilk were valuable at many times, both in the Fleshworks, the mercenary levies and beyond. An entire nation of them, and the other dispossessed was a wonderous new market to explore.

    A return missive was sent. The message was carved into the flesh of a slave. A Dwarven mercenary who’d garnered something of a reputation for slaying Goblins in the past. He was shackled, bound and delivered to the Republic capitol by a pair of black-armoured warriors, upon iron-fleshed steeds that snorted fire.

    The message was both a response, a gift to the Ironfang Republic, and a message.

    A message that, while succinct and blunt, was an admission of the Balamite’s excitement for future endeavors.

    ”We have heard your words and your entreaties, and we welcome you and your kin at the altar of community. We send to your summit our Voice. He who speaks with our Authority.”

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show

    I’m cool with the idea of a summit via Discord channel. I’ll check out the discord link later today. It’s been crazy at work the past couple.

    Going to send Lahan (VIP) to the summit.



    Spoiler: Silvermist
    Show


    If there was amusement at the nature or delivery of the Goldfinder Company missive, it would not have been seen behind the strange masks of the Witch-Priests. But while the delivery was, perhaps, questionable…the timing was indeed a thing of perfection.

    A response was drafted with haste, and sent back with the same messenger that had brought their own missive. But it was accompanied by a chest of gems and coins. Though not large enough to dent the coffers of Balam, it was a down payment for services rendered in the future.

    ”It pleases us to discover that we have such indomitable and valiant neighbors. While we do not immediately have any need of your services, it is our estimation that this will change as the days go on. Consider the accompanying chest of coin as a down payment for future services. Please, do consider availing yourselves of our markets. Many useful tools can be found here that may help your endeavors.

    And if you come across any prisoners you wish to wash your hands of, we will take them off your hands for a more than fair price.”


    Spoiler: OOC
    Show


    Balam will spend a temporary Economy point to buy a future favor, if that’s agreeable.




    Spoiler: Brotherhood of Sin: ECO 5 +1 from Red Lady
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    Beauty that surpassed mortal ken, wrapped in supple flesh and diaphanous gowns of scarlet and gold arrived on a palanquin of bone, held aloft by a dozen strong slaves and accompanied by an honour guard of well-armed mercenaries in black mail bearing the red, rampant Hydra motif of Balam.

    The Red Lady had come bearing tidings from the Slaver-Princes of Balam.

    ”Warm greetings, O Magnificent One.” The Red Lady purred. ”My Masters bid me come to you with an offer that would be most pleasing to both. We offer unfettered access to the Fleshworks of our great city, as both buyer and seller. We have goods from across the world, and slaves uncounted that could be used for whatever purpose your dark heart…desires.”

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show

    A trade agreement between two fiendish nations, for slaves and raw materials. Whatever the Brotherhood needs, Balam can provide. Troops. Slaves. Gold. Weapons. Magic.



    Spoiler: ALL: ECO 5, REP 2
    Show


    Gossip travels fast across the breadth of Hanrui, carried upon the lips of traders, merchants and wanderers alike. It spoke of a great call to welcome all those with needs – material, spiritual or magical – to attend the many markets and bazaars of the Wicked City. An open invitation to any who wished to share in economic growth.

    And an offer to relieve the other nations of their prisoners, their criminals and their unwanted.

    For a more than fair price, Balam would handle these unwanted masses. Why spend your own wealth to keep your criminals imprisoned, when you could earn cold, hard coin for them instead?

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show


    Balam is willing to negotiate a trade deal for any nation that wished to benefit from the slave trade to make their way to the Fleshworks or the Red Market.

    "Even in these chains, you can't stop me!" - In This Moment, Big Bad Wolf

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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    The Gates of Oprak

    Eygara, ninghast - a word in goblin that translated in the common tongue to ‘blade peer’ - of the Third Class, wondered not for the first time how she came to end up in this position.

    She was hardly anybody worth noting. Born Clanless - just like thousands of other goblins who joined the Republic in hopes of a better future - she had no family name or legacy to lean on. She had come from nothing, whelped in the fields and brought up tough. Although thick of muscle and tight of frame, she had never had any particular smarts in the way that a member of a more learned species might appreciate. She was no gifted scholar, no philosopher or writer. Her works were primarily written in cuts and edges; jagged and wounding.

    When her time for proving to her superiors came, just as it did for any hobgoblin of a certain age, she had been sent out into the wider world to bring back a prize of great value. The greater the prize, the higher potential for advancement up the social ladder that existed at the end of adolescence. Eygara had wanted so desperately to prove herself that she took the premise of the challenge perhaps a bit too close to heart. Journeying from her home farms, across mountain ranges and seas, the young hobgoblin warrior arrived in the golden heart of Kaoling. There, she had studied for nearly three years at the feet of the Celestial Sword-Sages, just as Aza the Immortal had done before her. When she returned to Oprak, it had been with the secret techniques of the rulers of the cloud temple. Of course, her superiors were not all that impressed: not only had the Glorious General already brought back the majority of the secrets that fabled place had to offer, it had only taken Azaersi three months to reach the same level of skill in the forgotten Celestial Styles.

    All the same, her not-so-impressive tale had in fact made its way all the way up to the Council of Clans, for here she was, making anther 'adventure of a lifetime' to collect a pious lunatic and bring them back to Oprak in order to meet up with a group of similar idealists. She couldn’t say for certain that she would have made the same decision, were she in their shoes, but a ninghast was not to question the roles of their superiors. The elders - and Azaersi - had seen fit to open the doors of Oprak to the ruling elite and high ranking representatives on the continent.

    As the two of them made it further down the road, the familiar silhouette of the Cinder Spire began to grow in the distance. The solitary peak had been transformed by years of hard labour into one of the most impenetrable fortress-cities of Hanrui, and yet to Eygara it was still a new home. The outer guard would be upon them soon - and no sooner did Eygara finish the thought than she saw the plumes of dust rising from the middle distance. Several hulking figures came charging down the road: the famous hill yaks of the yzobu, mounted knight regiments designed for steady but deadly engagements. On flat ground, a horse would have the advantage, but the yaks were tough and could handle most kinds of rough terrain. They had an escort, it seemed.

    The yzobu column stopped not twenty feet away from Eygara and her dusty desert companion. As she pulled back her cloak to reveal the Republic insignia on her uniform - and the three silver dagger-stripes along her torso denoting her rank - the lead rider pulled back his mount, gesturing for the others to follow suit. Within a minute, the pair were surrounded. The lead rider pulled up the face plate of his black iron helm, revealing a lean grey face and crooked lips pulled into an authoritarian frown. Eygara recognized the countenance of Ulrak, himself of the Fourth Class. Technically she outranked him, though she suspected in these special circumstances his orders superceded her own.

    "Ninghast, we were not expecting you back so soon. I see that you have brought with you an envoy!" The sergeant paused, taking in the sight of Pilgrim Mentawy for the first time. Ulrak’s patient gaze swept over the otherwise sparse road, noting the lack of any other attendants or dignitaries. The frown deepened, as the hobgoblin turned to Mentawy properly.

    "You, step forward. You approach the sovereign state of Oprak, heart of the Ironfang Republic. We have orders to keep an eye out for trains of foreign ambassadors and escort them into the city." Ulrak paused for a moment, digging through his saddlebag before producing a piece of folded parchment. He squinted slightly as he read it over. "It says here that Blade-Peer Eygara was to return with an Archpriestess of Shemesh or envoy of similar standing, not a single sandy traveler. Who are you, that we should let you speak for all of the followers of your god?"
    Last edited by 3SecondCultist; 2019-12-17 at 11:57 AM.
    Spoiler: My Profile
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeno Desaqqara View Post
    You divine bastard.
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    Winner of Total War: Rise of Kingdoms (Ironfang Republic)

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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    Pilgrim Mentawy stands before the hobgoblin, at ease and relaxed, with a peaceful look on his face.

    "May the Light of Shemesh shine upon all! I have come from far, from the sands of the Theocracy of Shemesh. The followers of Shemesh have heard of the intercontinental summit and wish to bring Light to the summit!

    I am Pilgrim Mentaway, and I have journeyed through the Burnt Wastes, the High Steppes, the Rolling Sands under the gaze of Shemesh. The Light of Shemesh has been my guide through cliffs, mountains and deserts. I have seen much in my time here in the Light and I have been bestowed upon the honour, the blessing by the Theocracy of Shemesh, the responsibility by Archpriestess Akhteret, our great beacon amidst the sands, to take upon the great journey across the waters to this intercontinental summit to represent our people. I carry the torch of Shemesh, the word of Shemesh, as illumination to dark hearts, welcoming them to the warmth from the rays of Shemesh.

    I have travelled with congregations of the followers of Shemesh across the sands, been a spark in the starless night, my journeys and tales are an inspiration to others. I am Pilgrim Mentaway and ready to brightly represent the Theocracy of Shemesh!”

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Apr 2014

    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    "Ah so the Archpreistess herself couldn't be bothered with politics," Grand Voice Khal said as he approached the goblin and pilgrim waiting outside of Oprak. The Grand Speaker looked up to the grey spires of the gate and sighed, "I suppose I was brash thinking they would have the decency to have someone useful sent."

    Behind a speaker, a small group of Paladins followed on horseback, all of which were quite a bit younger than Khal. Above them a small group of angels hovered with slow wingbeats. It had been a long journey here and all of the were ready to get into the city.

    "Grand Speaker Khal," Khal introduced himself taking a low bow, his long grey hair dangling in front of his face for a moment, "may the Voice ring in your ears and may it soon spread to the Ironfang Republic," Khal turned to the pilgrim, "and to the lands of Shemesh as well."

    The Grand Speaker turned back to the head of the goblins, "I have come on behalf of the Church of the Truth Speaker, I am the head of their economics on this continent and a proper representative of the church banks beyond. My words are those of the voice and of my follow speakers, Dawn, Myra, Sylas, Hybert and Jeleva. We regret that they couldn't be here with us today but due to some unforeseen circumstances it is simply me and my humble paladins who have come to discuss the future of this land."


    Khal finished his piece and then glared at the pilgrim before him, "Though if the other nations are sending voices that aren't able to bring change forward then I'm unsure if the Great Church has the time to speak to them outside of mass."

    Khal waved his retinue forward to join him in front of the guard. "The mass is every evening at twilight, if you wish to come hear the voice for yourself."


    Spoiler: Letters to Factions: 5 ESP to read if it's not to you.
    Show



    Spoiler: The Astral Collective
    Show


    The letter arrives on a scroll which whispers the name of Yoren until it is delivered to him

    Speaker Yoren

    Perhaps you judge us as crusades that you have seen in the past. Maybe you believe that we are here to bring fire and smite your people. This could not be further from the truth. Your people will never need to live in fear from us, no people shall. Those who are willing to let the voice into the hearts and ears find only a strength that lets them push through this life to salvation and those who do not are welcomed to salvation earlier.

    We appreciate your welcome to your lands, and will hopefully be offering our protection and words on your borders soon. For now we must deal with local matters.

    Grand Voice Khal



    Spoiler: The Grand City of Balam
    Show


    We have no wish to make your kind rich off the suffering of others. May you hear the voice, or may the voice bring you to salvation quickly.

    There is no signature.




    Spoiler: The Iron Fang
    Show


    Apologies for the incident outside of the walls, it was quite surprising to see the Theocracy try such a blatant show of disrespect at an important summit.

    I do not know if we will remain in the city if the meeting is to simply be a member of each nation rather than someone who is capable of making change.

    Grand Speaker Khal




    Last edited by Writtensanity; 2019-12-18 at 02:36 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zweanslord's Avatar

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    Jul 2005
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    The Netherlands
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    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    Pilgrim Mentawy of the Theocracy of Shemesh stood at the Gates of Oprak, with his focus quickly shifting as Grand Voice Khal approached. The devout man did not react to the words spoken, because he gasped as he saw the hovering angels of the Great Church of the Truth Speaker. Not a gasp of awe, but an expression of worry and concern. "Shemesh protects us!" Stepping forward to the speaker, the horseback paladins and the angels, Pilgrim Mentawy spoke loudly.

    "By the Light of Shemesh, I am Pilgrim Mentawy! Please tell me, what danger is afoot, what darkness is threatening?"



    Nebtise looked up high and prayed. Scarce little did she realise she had arrived until one of the deck hands of the boat snapped her out of her concentration. She had arrived at the coasts where the Great Church of the Truth Speaker had arrived and made their home. Continuing her journey, she made her way to the Fortress of the First Words. On her way, she learned of ever so strange things. Not Light was held paramount here, but Voices. Called Truth, no mention of Shemesh was spoken. Estranged, she had reassured herself by prayer to Shemesh, who was with her on her journey. At the Fortress of the First Words, she stood before the guards at the gate. "May the Light of Shemesh illuminate all. I am Nebtise from the Theocracy of Shemesh, following a spirit guardian's beacon. A letter was delivered to our people by the very same spirit guardian. I have come to ask: In what great peril is the Church of the Truth Speaker?"
    Last edited by Zweanslord; 2019-12-18 at 03:18 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    “Father” Mycognicist Jerran Dissomer stifled a groan and scrunched his eyes tighter against the light that threatened to seep through his retina. He ran the odds on whether or not a groan would get him out from whatever the boy’s words were waking him towards. Sleep had been a precious commodity these past few days, one that had seen the Doctor’s fatigues compounded and his energies worn down. He grunted and twisted to his side, away from the words and the work that came with them. Like everything else in the commune, time had to be triaged and measured out. Applied appropriately. If he wasn’t so damned tired Jerran might have found some irony in the sentiment. As was time was in as short supply as everything else. Minutes to seconds more. He relaxed his eyes a bit, but not too much. A few stray shafts of light had started peaking through slats stacked to walls, and he didn’t want to let them in. A few more minutes in bed then he would see who saw fit to disturb him at this hour. A pair of fingers prodded at the meat of his shoulder, and Jerran let out a slightly exaggerated groan at the contact.


    “Father.”
    More prodding. The boy was always touching at things he shouldn’t. Picking and peeling at the surface to expose what was underneath. Much like his mother in that regard. “Its Kerrick.” Dissomer let out a groan and this time there was nothing exaggerated about it. Kerrick meant the guard and the guard meant the Hegemon. The doctor righted himself and blinked a few stray spots from his eyes. The sparse two-room that had been his home since-since-Ten years-stood back with the same indifference it always had, sharing the same mottled brown tones as his step-sons clothing. Next to his bed, a screechwick was sputtering away, leaking seconds into the house’s putrescence as it burned down to the part of the wick responsible for the word’s namesake. Jerran gave the wick an apathetic look, then licked his fingers and snuffed it out. He ran a few thin fingers over his face, then stood to the full height his gangly frame afforded. It was an always awkward fact of his relationship with the boy that their respective heights made it seem that he was looking down on his step-son. It helped that he actually was today. Jerran sighed and began to get his surgery kit and tonics from the small cabinet that warred for space with the screechwick’s nightstand. He considered putting on a fresh workshirt, then thought better of it. Any task requiring what he was bringing with him would just spoil attire.

    “It’s the Hegemon’s son.” Jerran shook his head and looked back to Kerrick. The miasma occluding the commune’s sky was particularly pervasive today, but nowhere near as bad as it could have been. Some days it was sufficient to make day seem as night and night seem as days. Or was it some nights? Jerran shook the mad thoughts free from his head. He needed his mind ready for solutions towards whatever afflictions had beset his future and thoughts about the miasma detracted from that.

    “Eh?” Jerren grumbled and adjusted the thin film of cloth that passed for his face-filter. It was slow going through Onestreet. What would have been ordinarily packed with commerce and people was instead laden with a great layer of mycology, piled high like sediment-layers. Those who couldn’t get inside during such downpourings took to the local shelter. And if they could reach there then the fungus or the air got them.

    “The reason you were sent for. The Hegemon’s boy, Chructus?” Kerrick’s words were halting and sparse, like he was trying to choke back a weeze or some other thing that would convey weakness. It was hard to tell, for just like Jerren he wore a full headmask to keep the miasma out. Still, the Mycognicist thought he could eke out something underneath the muffle of the guards filter. “Ah.”

    “You don’t want to know?”

    “Know what?”

    “What's wrong with him.”
    A bit of a weeze snuck out under the guardsman’s words, stilling him into an uncomfortable silence. Jerren let it be as they trudged on, down through the Onestreet of their communes namesake, silent and disparaging of each other. One way or another Jerren would discover what was wrong. He didn’t need to waste time or energy quantifying it with words.

    The Hegemon’s residence had been situated on the second highest hill in town. The other tallest had been host to the Commune’s watchtower before tremors had knocked it askew. The aloofness that the second hill had been chosen-prized-for now only served to isolate leader from community. And bring them closer to the particulates that perpetually suffused the air. Otherwise the house remained like all others in the commune: squat, brown, caulked with waxes and fats where the wind blew threw slat-holes and, unlike most residences, crowned with a second story that bespoke of a high position within the communes hierarchy. Jerren might have found it an honor, but recent months work had leeched ideas of honnor from his marrow. Well. That and the house was an uphill walk.

    The doorframe-a seemingly baroque affair carved with warding symbols from Balam-was flanked by two guards of a similar stature to Kerrick. Each one had a headmask on that was bleached near white, a far cry from the fresh red cloth used to denote the Communes guards amidst the spores. They must have been waiting a long time. Jerren wasn’t envious. If his findings were anything to go by anytime spent outside was best spent with a purpose in mind. Otherwise it was just time spent dying. Jerren in behind Kerrick without a word or so much as a glance at either guard. He tried, then failed, to dull down his sympathies for them both. Mycogniscist and guard captain passed through the threshold into the Hegemon’s house. The two guards outside slackened with relief, and followed.

    Several adherents of the Boastful Tiger sat in a circle amidst the main living space, each joined arm-in-arm-in-arm with one another. Thleta, the Hegemon’s wife, sat in the center of the farce in silent contemplation, her face completely stone. Jerren ignored the scene and marched towards the second floor, willingly oblivious to the prostrations and bids made to a god he’d long since abandoned.

    The Hegemon was of goblinoid stock, seemingly capable of looking crestfallen and wrathful all at the same time. He looked at the child-his son’s-form like one would an invader to a foreign land. Like there was something unseemly on his progeny which could only be scourged away through sheer will. And conveyed through a narrow glare. A small little Shemesh pin was the only decal on the otherwise black outfit the Hegemon was wearing. Jerran had to admire that. Black made it harder to see blood stains, which in turn might have helped with the comfort of others. As was what looked back at him was further cause for silence.

    The Hegemon’s boy was, externally, fine. His breathing was shallow, if a bit narrow, and there were a few dermatophytyes about his skin, though none more so then the average person. By the Truth. Jerren’s stepson had a worse case this past harvest. Back when there were Harvests. Jerren sniffed through his mask and cocked his head at the faint smell of alcohol, then adjusted the lenses on his goggles. Ah. Yeasts and cheilitis. That combination of symptoms wouldn’t have yielded unconsciousness on its own. Or could it? A buildup like that could have yielded an excess of alcoholic fermentations. Too drunk on nothing. Accounted for the shallow breathing. “Do you have any sputum?”

    “Hm?” The Hegemon looked away from the boy, and some cord of sympathy in his gaze bade Jerran to think on removing his moving his mask. It was common sense that stayed his hand. “Sputum, uh. Spit? Maybe a from a rag or something? It’d be…easier than doing an invasive culture.” Something twitched in the Hegemon’s face at the mention of the word invasive and Jerran exhausted a bit more mental energy in noting not to use the word further. “Look it-it wont have to come to that. If we can induce some coughing and I wont have to-“

    “Godsdammit!”
    The hobgoblin thumped a meaty fist into the bedpost against which he braced himself, then seemed to slump a bit more on it for support as the taciturn militancy he held dissipated. “I-I have some. Few hours old.” The man slipped into goblinoid and Jerren lost his accounting of what was being said, but got the general gist of things. Specimens taken in advance of his arrival. Etcetera. He snapped back to paying attention, shaking his mind from numbness. “-y the drawer over there. Quarantined ‘em. Mycognicist?” Jerren blinked under his mask, looked to the Hegemon, then the drawer, then back again. He shook his head again and made his way over. Shouldve left me resting. Do more good from there. He trudged towards the drawer and the window above it, numb to the gale that ensorcelled the house despite his ears keenly registering. Registering it. By the Tiger he needed to sleep.

    He stumbled over to the drawer, mindful of the window under which the drawer sat. He’d just reached it and had opened one of the drawers er-drawers when it all went to ****. The gale outside swelled to a peak and dashed the window open glass of his left lens open wide. Open wide. The howling that had been confined outside raged within the room, mingle with the chorus of chants downstairs into some sort of unholy liturgy. Jerren grimaced, blinked away a few spores from his exposed eye and tried to think past thoughs of contamination. And the Hegemon’s shouting. He lurched forward like a drunk and drove his elbow into the corner of the window, slamming it shut as the Mycognicist drove his full weight into it. It slammed shut and, abruptly, Jerren found his face making contact with the window’s glass, spiderwebbeing it with it fissures. He gasped with pain and tried to peel his bloodied face away, but not before he saw the entire town laid out before him.

    And the glorious-by gods glorious-garden the hilltop view afforded him.



    By the Shemesh. How much Tiger-damned longer.
    Barrac squeezed his fists and eyes a bit tighter and cursed his luck a little more. He was sure that Thurnin had swapped around the chits so that he’d have to go last. Just to goad him. Thatd be just like Thurnin to do. F*ck him. And whatever it is I’m standing on too. It had been too easy to sneak out after his father-step father, Barrac had to remember that, even if it was a little thing-had gone out to see to the Hegemon. Barrac had given him a full ten minutes before sneaking out across one street in the opposite direction. He’d counted on the spoors. It’s why he’d brought his out headmask and three best filters. What he hadn’t counted on was the depth of the spoors. Barrac had almost gelt as though they’d clung to his pants, threatening to tear or pull apart the alchemiwax that sealed them at his boots. He’d been patient and careful and that had made him late. Which, in turn, made him late for the game. Maybe there is something to be said for step-father’s lessons about cause and effect after all.

    The children had no name for it.

    Well. They did. But it was as nondescript as labeling their game as the game. So they called the object on which Barrac stood the “shell” but Barrac knew better. Jerren would have called it something like “chitin” or “carapace” but those words had too many syllables for Barracs liking. The shell fit just fine. Except for when it was it his turn in the game. It was scant comfort that others felt the same way. But then again standing on the xenomaterial with his arms outstretched to the haze of the spoor-squall was comfort none in the commune took comfort in. But children had to test their dominance over one another and medicine was in short supply was boredom easily gestated, so little competitions like this one ensued from time to time. It didn’t make them any less dumb. Or important.

    Must be done soon. Thurnin had lasted the longest so far, so he was the person to beat. Kryph had stood on the bugshell for a grand total of thirty seconds before squealing and running back to the moss covered rocks the group was hiding behind. Tornaegev was behind Thurnin at-at. Barrac shook his head free of the cobwebs. Five minutes. Hrista and Thrista had both stood for two minutes and had yet to go respectively. Which was good. Meant he could talk to Thrista if he won as runner-up and could make fun of her into conversing with him if she lost. By the Tiger she was pretty. Barrac stood a little straighter at the thought and ignored the mushrooms that grew on the shell’s outer exoskeleton. Was the wind picking up? How ****ing long had it been?

    Barrac blinked under his lenses and tried not to think to much about that thought. Thurnin had been time keeper and when it was his turn. Barrac’s mind turned back to his journey from home. His home. It had been mothers before she passed and so it was his, not Jerren’s abode like the Mycognicist claimed. The momentary anger was almost enough to clear past the memory of Old Garrowgar, croaking away amidst the miasma despite being waste high in spoors. One of his lenses had shattered and flowered over with hyphae-that was a word Barrac knew from step-fathers tincture induced sleeps-budding out into a series of colonies that obscured the veterans right eye in a violet display. Barrac hadn’t heard the kernel of his mumblings but for their cadence, and by their choked volumes guess the old veterans meanings. Garrowgar had come all the way from Silvermist to settle away from conflict, yet found new conflict trying to even speak.

    Alone and on top of the the shell, Barrac thought he heard the same murmurings again, conveyed on the swish and flow of the wind as it carried spoor to soil.

    How long. How long had it been? Barrac needed to piss, and not just from lingering anxiety. He’d snuck an sip of fungus-rum from Jerren’s cabinet before leaving, in anticipation of the game and shell to come. Boy had that come back to bit him the taint. Barrac grimaced and thought about looking back at the others and calling it quits. Surely he’d gone longer than two minutes. That meant he could try and talk to Thrista again-

    Vaguely, some in between the pop and whizzbang that followed, Barrac recognized the sound as a screechwick. It made it all the harder to hear the snickering and laughter that carried over the gale that was picking up, but some how his ears sounded it out. Barrac tumbled from the shell face first. Lens-first. At an angle that meant his lens bent, then snapped in two. Barrac coughed out a breath as the wind was knocked out of his chest as he hit the ground. He jerked his head up. In time to see a refracted version of Thurnin leading the others around the shell. All of them except Kryph were laughing and backslapping amongst themselves. Loud enough that Barrac could hear them laughing through the wind. Over the ringing in his ears. His broken lens cut Thurnin in half, like part of him was a little bit over his midline. Barrac coughed again and scrabbled for his filters, hunching over it so that none of the spoors got on the adhesive part. He stuck it over the bottom part of the lens and let out a half-sigh half gasp, then fought back the urge to take off his headmask and gulp down air. That would be stupid and he was feeling a stupid of a different kind.

    Laughing. Everyone was laughing and tittering over the rustling of the spume that the wind carried. Barrac blinked back tears and clutched at the dirt. His fist were knotted with a rage that carried him forward into Thurnin’s midsection, shoulder-first. He drove the wind out of the older boy like the fall from the shell had done for him. The momentum and sheer shock of the blow was enough to carry both of them down onto their backs and knees respectively, with Barrac on top. Thrust downward with a pair of gloved knuckles and drove them into Thurnin’s neck. Just enough to make it harder for him to get that breath back. It was the only useful thing Jerren had ever taught him.

    Normally, in the scraps and fights that the boys held for dominance with one another, there were certain rules. One didn’t aim for the heads or the groin, nowhere that would call attention to the conflict once the test of masculinity was over and the winner had been decided. One also didn’t bite or scratch either. It was the grappling, and the strength of those who participated that decided the outcome. Barrac abided by nothing. He hammered a gloved fist into Thurnin big bug-eyed lense, shattering it into mirror of his own optical. He drew back and repeated the offensive, heedless of the spoors and their whisking in the wind. Tears made a blurry outline of Thurnin’s face, and on the third blow Barrac felt something give in the older boys face. He must have. How else could their be screams over the wind?

    Other voices were being raised in tune with Barrac’s gnashing and shouting. He felt two pairs of vice clamp over his biceps then heave. Barrac held on to Thurnin’s safesuit and lodged a knee right in his solarplexus blind with rage but for the small splinter of gratitude which he held in his heart. Apparently Jerren’s anatomy lesson had left an impression. He followed it up with another blow and Thurnin screeched and pushed over as fear overcame his pain. It connected with Barrac chest just in time with another hoist that saw him pulled clear of Thurnin’s form. Barrac launched a febble kick at the enemy’s shin, but missed as he was yanked out of range. He struggled, a little bit miffed, a little bit stung to see Thrista helping Thurnin up and still very angry. He wasn’t done yet.

    Barrac bit at the air cushioned in between his mask and face. Instinct laden rage told him to go forward, to tear his mask from his face and beat and bite and tear into the enemy until there was nothing left. A more rational part-the part that found sense in Kryph’s yellings on his left-felt shameful defeat at how wrong giving up felt, even if it was the right thing to do. The wind ebbed a little and Kryphs shouting got louder as more sense eroded away at Barrac’s rage. He slackened a little. A lesson maybe? He didn’t want Thrista to be afraid. Come to think of it he didn’t want anyone to be afraid of him. Maybe a little more respectful-

    A lone figure strode through the haze of wind and spoor that, alarmingly, had begun to pool on the ground. Barrac squinted through one and a half lens at the figure-a woman-and slackened even more. All the blood had left his fists and jaws to pool somewhere else.

    She was beautiful and that made Barrac all the more glad for the violence he inflicted. It meant that everyone, even the ones who’d hauled him away, had their backs turned to her and that meant that the view was his alone. Her hair was a white blue flecked with bits of blonde-gold and a soothing green, all the more impressive for the fact that it defied whatever pull Mother Hanruni exerted on it, stand tall in a large beehive of a spume. None of the spoors in the air touched her, nor did any of the soil she walked on mar her dress and gown. Her face was almond perfectly shaped, framed by a pair of dark green eyes that, at least to Barrac, spoke of a secret sadness, talked of in verses that only they were party too.

    She was among them now, and Barrac felt his rage ebb to flecks in the face of her radiance. Every spore that struck his face-when had he taken off his mask?-was rapture on his skin. The grass plucked at his feet beckoning him towards her. He knew he had to be fast. The others-the others-the enemy seemed to have the same idea. He would have to be fast. But first he would listen to what she had to say. Her words were borne by the wind, carrying promises of a beautiful world. A beautiful Hanruni. All for him.

    Behind Barrac, the carapace shivered and rose in time with the others underneath it.



    Hanruni. Hear my prayers. Let me dream again.

    Daena Stellacy stared through eyes that were no longer her own at the handiwork which she had wrought. Months of similar incidences had worn away at her will to fight back. Too tired to resist such a simple a gesture as caressing someone across the face. There was a time when her will could have moved hills for the communes. Heh. Stellacy blinked-but-didn’t as the thought thrust into her synapses. Still hanging on, mm? She steeled herself against the influence. Against the plant or the formian or whatever it was that they had found in the tunnels. And you never will know either. She tried, and failed, to wipe a hand across her face. Anything was better than what she was seeing.

    Each the of the figures around her-biomass, the fungus corrected-had begun gestating. Stellacy’s new eyes, the ones pioneered and commandeered by whatever malign influence suffused her, highlighted every detail. Skin cells fought a rapidly losing war with invasive fungi. Eyes and livers had given way to fronds of mushrooms and lycans, each a separate strain unto its own. Each of the figures (biomass) were rooted in place as the fungus made her dance about them with a cold indifference, so that she might see her handiwork up close. The tenants of the Lucky Herbivore had said that all life was sacred and should be marveled upon, regardless of form. If the fungus had allowed for it, Stellacy would have vomited. Heh. She felt herself swell as the last of the gestation protocols was instilled into the youths below her, then proceeded onwards, towards the town.

    Had she known its name once? Her pact with the Herbivore had necessitated travelling from town to town. Every town had its own name for the rostrum as, like most religions, you were either in or you were out with the Herbivore. Or the Church of Tru-Stellacy doubled over as the fungus exerted a contortion over her body, doubling her over ever as her left eye snaked outwards into an oracular apparatus so that she could view her own punitive transmogrification. No. No. NonononoNO. I am. The servant. Of the Lucky Herbivore. I will not. Yield in the fac-Havent you heard? It’s the Tiger now. Stellacy was turned upright as the last of her arm re-collapsed back into itself. The Fungus marched her onward, with only the motion of her body to register locomotion.

    As Daena trudged on, the haze that suffused the town thickened until it was lost to sight. Until there was nothing left but the soft patter of spoor on people-biomass-falling to the ground as the plant overwhelmed their defenses. Stellacy was aware of this peripherally. The fungi-plant? Is there a difference?-was showing her something else. She was-

    -ack before the tunnels with Old John Strong and Smudge and the Mad. Sitting around a table discussing their fortunes of what what was to come. . “I says we go forward frontways, like a bull. Such is the only surety of victory. Decisiveness. Boldness. Strength. Those are the things that determine a victor in conflict.“ She felt trapped, lodged at the table and unable to move from it. “Ah but can strength nae be turned back onisself twentysome, were someasscuh villain might employ a dastardly trick afore this fair party of folk?” Part of Stellacy, a real physical part that replaced the injuries she has sustained in her capture by the formians, twitched at the words of a long since dead Murko. She felt the twinge in her: left eye right lung a 3 full tracts of intestine and many too many muscles that all ached from the sensations the memory impinged upon her. And locomotion. Stellacy balled her fists up just as she had in the memory: clasped together under the table, with both sleeves obfuscating any frustration that might have shown. Smudge’s turn now. “What say you, Sister Stell-“

    The tunnels now. It always came back to the tunnels, in one way or another. Whatever was in her liked to trot out the memory and put it on display. And the irony of it was that it worked: everytime the failure replayed Stellacy found the few writs of inaction she had left debased and shirked of courage. Getting smaller and smaller. Everyday. She looked up from the soil of the tunnels towards the sterness that Old John strong held in his face.

    “Stellacy, with your light we cannot fail, woud you guide us?”

    “Daena, with you its ok. With you Im…not scared anymore.”

    “Cisterna Stellaciky with your accumensa and cognifications wefoursome will see this set right”

    Correct. No. No **** you. You don’t-You don’t-You don’t get to have this-this part of me you don’t. So **** you. **** the herbivore. **** Old John Strong and his decrepit pride. **** Smudge and their affections and **** Murko and the idea that I should have done more than I could h-Something shattered inside Sister Daena Stellacy’s mind, never to be put back again as her thoughts aligned themselves with the bitterness of what gestated inside her. A spectrum of sensations bombarded her. A great volcano of spumes powering skywards. An alien configuration in the sky, laden with xenolife. A great all consuming sorrow, prefaced by abandonment then coddled in indifference. Limitless indifference.

    She opened her mouth to scream, and the village (Onestreet) was revealed for what it was. Stellacy damned the Herbivore for the last, and perhaps final time in her life. She-Stellacy-moved and her arm moved with her. She-her and the fungus, that was what it was- stared down at her hand, at every cell replete with the possibilities within. At every myofibril and hyphae, every tendon and chlorophyll, every osteoblast and fungus ridden fissure. All of it beautiful and full and so, so yearning to break free and expand upon the mother that rejected it. Stellacy asserted herself. It was important that the plant knew what her goals were. That meant they could better align. Upon the deities that reject it.

    Onestreet was on display: a commune in which no thought or want or need existed but for Their own. All had shuffled to the center of the state: a great pale obelisk set in stone. Stupid. Stellacy cried-nae wept- with joy as her fingers blebbed into trusses of-of-of vines that clutched at the statue, only to push inwards, violating the statues sacred marble as it pushed outwards to encapsulate the whole of the structure. Stellacy couldn’t remember what the statue had stood for. Didn’t care. Had never cared. They had to designate some sort of staging area.

    She screamed again and this time the fungus-that was what it really was, she’d known it she’d always know I've always kn-screamed with her. The whole of Onestreet, their vocal chords momentarily sedate in torpor, sprung to action and wailed with her in the agony of a lost faith. Lost trust. As one, as every person animal or structure yes structure for They would leave nothing behi-, sprung into motion, all of them-the biomass-gestating and devouring and procreating and sporulating towards the other ones-the other Stellacy (Stellacies?) in the sky. Stellacy raised her hand towards the molten orb that dared to backlight the sky-her sky. Their sky.

    The biomass began to orient itself, some of it moving to place itself at the optimum position, some growing new forms inside itself. They directed it all like a master maestro might conduct a junior orchestra, deriving it into a great pillar of matter that pushed upwards. Not a hyphae out of place. Stellacy took moment to marvel at the column of flesh and fungi and promise that erupted upwards, away from Hanruni. Limbs twitched amidst hyphae amidst mold amidsts yeasts as every cell teemed with life and Their promise. Unity and community. Always. Stellacy stepped and let the column take her upwards, timing each step on a hyphae step until she was at the tower’s apex. Just as the column reached its apogee. They held out a hand-a fist like the youth had held or like what his non-father had held when he struck him- and eclipsed the sun in her hand. Brightness swelled out around the edges of her main hand and Stellacy smiled in time with the fungus, glad for the synchronicity and its accompanying sense of belonging. Mother (herbivore).Do you see me now, so far above you and yet umbilicaled to you by our own failures?

    Stellacy paused. There was an absence in her senses. A lack of response that spoke to those who yoked under the Herbivore’s service. She spread her arms wide at the temerity-the indignation-of ignorance. Stellacy-and-The-Fungus spoke with the Oneness of their being. "Sapients. Biomass. Hanruni. Know that when I-

    Spoiler: All: 0 Morale
    Show


    scream into your soul, it is with legion voices,
    When your marrow and eyes slough from their orbitals, fit for naught but dirt and soil
    Know it is devoured with endless mouths.
    When your minds are reduced to squabbling and portioning out scraps to the least worthy,
    Know that it is at the cognification of an omniscient mind.
    When I shatter your wills, know that it comes at ten decatillion limbs.
    I will take you to a unity without end. Welcome me or dispair, but know that your biomass will be added to the Combine.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show

    Hey all, glad to see everyone in the game! Oh and also I declare war on everyone.


    Last edited by n0ble; 2019-12-18 at 11:23 PM.
    “Have no fear, you will find your way. It's in your bones. It's in your soul.”- Mark Z. Danieleweski, House of Leaves

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GameOfChampions's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Canada

    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    Legion of Balance
    Mor 5

    A lean sandy haired man in casual commoners clothes disembarks a standard trade ship, shouting goodbyes to the sailors he seemingly befriended before heading down the docks towards to Oprak. Taking in the sights of the city, and relishing the chance to interact with goblins and not be worrying about getting stabbed, he slowly starts to acquire a feel for these new 'good' goblins. Well they definitely seemed to fall in the 'good' side of the scale so it seemed like ol' Lady Balance called it right again.

    The common looking man approaches the great building the summit is being held in, as he approaches he holds out the symbol of the Legion of Balance. He calls out "I am Randy, an associate of the Legion of Balance who was inducted for my... unique abilities with the Goddess of Balance. I have been empowered by her to come and channel the idea of Balance."

    As he approaches he stops and closes his eyes as he clutches the symbol to his chest, divine power starts to coalesce around him in a powerful aura. As he opens them his eyes burn a deep black, his entire body leaking divine power carelessly as if he has power to burn. When he speaks his voice shakes the air and a powerful female voice overlays his own "Balance has come to this summit. We will judge the scales between good and evil accordingly.

    Spoiler: To: Theocracy of Shemesh, Church of the Truth Speaker, The Astral Collective, The Ironfang Republic, The Pillar of Wisdom, Dwarves of Khazn Durn, Silvermist
    Show
    Hail the Forces of Good,

    The Lady of Balance has spoken. She has decreed that the scale has tipped towards the forces of Good in Hanrui and this cannot stand. Balance must be found among all things, from Nations to Heroes. Reduce yourselves from your pedestals and crusades to the path of neutrality of face my judgement and the wrath of my Legions.

    Regards,
    Saladrahal,
    The Goddess of Balance,
    Supreme Commander of the Legions of Balance

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    This is not a deceleration of war but a warning from the Legion. Continue to fight for the forces of good and risk war.



    Brotherhood of Sin
    Mor 3

    Spoiler: To: Balam
    Show
    A small but powerful Imp, wreathed in dark magics, approaches as a powerful Pit Fiend lounges on his throne with a skull chalice slopping blood red wine all over his chest. "The Brotherhood always has need of amusements, gold and weapons. Our legions need armaments, food, and supplies to spread through the world. However, why should we trade when we can take. Our legions can sweep across these lands, take what we need and summon what we don't find with our dark magics."

    After their audience the envoy is given the run around until they leave.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Solid proposition but no reason to do so. Your low Rep is working against you here.


    Spoiler: Free City of Khasal
    Show
    Greetings to the Flesh Weavers of Khasal,

    We will always desire friendly borders, however why should we not destroy our enemies on all sides. Break all who stand against us until all our our slaves, subjects, or a destroyed. Then we will be bordered by none except who we wish. The Flesh sculptors would make fine vassals. Swear to us and you may yet live to see a friendly border.

    Izoran,
    The Unchained,
    The Bloody Handed,
    Slayer of N'crahteps,
    You Future Master

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    No real reason and low rep equals targets not allies.


    GM

    Spoiler: To: The Astral Collective
    Show
    Greetings Psionic ONes,

    Your magics are not my own yet you are powerful and news of your appearance has shocked the world over and intrigued many, myself included. I am especially intrigued by your mention of my esteemed ancestor, it would be a magnificent thing to see the Pyresoul in his prime... and possibly to bring him down in the ultimate sign of power. I await to hear your offer and reasoning for my esteemed self.

    The Magnificent
    Last edited by GameOfChampions; 2019-12-18 at 09:52 PM.
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

    “Why would I want to win anything other than a beautiful game?” - Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear


  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
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    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    The Free City of Khasal

    An excerpt of successful motions of the Autumnal Assembly, Year 9 of the City, as compiled by Far Shores Brokerage and News

    -As the Zephyr finds offensive locked cages and closed doors, it is unbecoming for a city partially his an arcane and forbidden prison. And so the City offers a bounty to all brave souls willing to risk life and achieve glory plumbing its depths. (proposed by a partisan of the Magnificent Vyas Asraya)

    -As the City has begun to reach out into the world in trade and diplomacy, it is only natural that its own borders should grow and it should establish colonies and protectorates to more firmly secure itself upon the continent. And so Vyas Asrays, Beloved of Glory, is charged with the raising of an army and the establishment of peace and liberty along the Broken Coast. (proposed by a partisan of the Magnificent Vyas Asraya)

    -Since everyone else with a shred of self-respect is getting together to start writing maps and treaties, and since it would just embarrassing to not attend, Corin Letera is charged with travelling to the city of goblins and representing the City’s interests there as Ambassador. (proposed by a partisan of the Esteemed Corin Letera)

    -The Next Assembly will be held on the spring solstice of Year 10, and be preceded by the Festival of the Muse (proposed by the Exalted Lia Misri)
    Morale 2/Essentially Public
    Spoiler: Great Church of the Speaker
    Show


    The scroll is read aloud, to much laughter and jeering. The angel’s retreat is marked by a barrage of rotten vegetables and a few skyracers making a game of trying to pluck a feather.

    Somewhere along the journey back, the angelic messenger might notice itself being followed by itself in miniature-or an excellent attempt as such in origami, anyway. The magic animating it expires moments after it traces the angel’s path back to its origin, unfolding neatly into a reply.


    All are welcome to preach as they like in the Free City, but anything made of nothing but whispers and masks won’t be well received by the crowd. If your voice wishes to be heard, then it should send a representative to make its case. I, at least, will be happy to hear it and offer a reply.

    -The Magnificent Vyas Asraya, Great Man of the Republic.




    Spoiler: Brotherhood of Sin
    Show

    The strange messenger reads the reply himself, or at least seems to-his eyes changing colour as soon as he opens the letter. When he finishes, he shudders and convulses for a moment before replying

    “And what would we swear? And who are ‘we’? I might agree to whatever groveling you require, and when it becomes inconvenient I might tear out the tongue that so defiled itself, and replace the knees that deigned to kneel with some more proud. Just as my city might do the same. Shall we elect a king to swear fealty to you, so we might make a spectacle of sacrificing him when the charade wears thin?

    Perhaps I spoke too grandly. Style yourself Prince of the Earth if you like-in the long run I am already damned, and the distant future doesn’t much concern me. But you have only so many armies, and so many lands to march them against. Might it not be prudent to focus first on those who already consider themselves your foes?”


    Spoiler: Midturn Actions
    Show


    The Intrepid Atena Nalara (Tier 1 ADV) and 4 ADV will get as far into the Old Palace as they’re able.
    The world was born in flame and art,
    The world was born – then torn apart.
    Creation’s sorrow rent the sky
    T​o know all things would cool and die​.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Apr 2014

    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    The flagstone steps of the Fortress of First words whispered to the paladin as he climbed them. It seemed like every day the staircase got longer, winding down the cliff-side closer to the ocean. For a while the Paladin’s had simply used a natural pathway to move from ship to shore, but there was now time to let the Fortress of First words feel like home.

    Home was a weird concept to the Paladin, he was thousands of miles away from the orphanage that had never really felt like a house. He was separated from his adventuring party who had been his first family. He had spent his twenties finding a home in the tents between towns but once he’d heard the voice...

    The Voice had become home.

    His party had understood once they heard the Voice. A calm reassurance that seemed to only be talking to you. The Voice, she, had time for everyone. She have conversations instead of scriptures, discussions instead of speeches. She was a never-silent companion through everything you needed to do. There wasn’t a home you needed outside of the voice.

    The Paladin pushed open the large doorway of the fortresses’ side courtyard and the repurposed ship wood creaked as it got out of the way. Inside the walls of the fortress there were groups of Paladins shuttling materials back and forth, everything from grains to metals being heaved around in bags from the old world. The Paladin slipped between the ranks of workers and carrier on, deeper into the fortress.

    Though the Paladin had found home in the Voice, he was one of the few who still spent his time looking for something. In the old world that had meant wandering the wastes to find new treasures to bring to the church. Over here in the new world it meant charting paths between mountains and rivers, making a map of Hanrui for the church to follow.

    At least it had been that.


    A week before Grand Voice Sylas had pulled him home from his journey out into the wilderness. The ancient angel explained that there was something that needed to be explored back at the fortress, but wasn’t willing to explain anything more outside of the fortress walls.

    The Paladin took a left and started down a dark and damp staircase that had been hastily carved by magic down into the cliff. The light warmth of the fortress snapped to cold as soon as he was below ground. The mirror was close.

    “ D̝̖̙̹̥̳͇̕o͓n̴̠’͈̙̠͍͕ț̷̗ ͓̟͎͚͓͢w̞̤̻̤͝o̧̱̜͉r̴̭ŕ͕ͅý̦ ͎̙͓̰̗̦ͅ,̰̭̭͓͍͡ ̖̜̠̖̪ͅm̲̜̻̗̹̝ͅy̤͡ ͏͚v͓̜͉o̭̪̰̦̩ͅi̡͚͔͙̘c̪̖̝̖͍͖e͚ ̸̥̻̜ͅi̴s̢̳ ͎͖̣̜͡ẉ̤í̫t̙͡h̶̻̞̲̯͖̠ ̤̀y̞͍̲͙o̧̠͓̳̠̖̮u̪̮͖̙͔”


    The Paladin smiled as the heat of the voice filled his chest like a hearth. As long as she was there with him, he was prepared to go into the lands beyond.

    At the bottom of the staircase was a room filled with silver strings that cross-crossed across the floor with every strand eventually ending on the edge of a large mirror that was laid out on the floor. The Paladin took a step toward the mirror and his footsteps rang silent on the stones. For a moment it gave him pause.


    “Th̛͜e̕͟ ̴͢f̷̢͝à̢̨i҉͞th͡f͠u̴̢͞l̨ ̵́͏ẃi҉l͝l ̴͘͟ne͢v̴͘e̛r͏ ̷̕͞ḱ̛͟no͞͠͞w͘͞ s̡͟íl̛͜͡e̷nc̸͘͡e͢͡ ̴è͜v̧͡ȩ̴n ̡̢̀in҉ t́͏hà̷t͘ ͠p̵ļacè̷̀.̵“

    The Paladin nodded, he was listening. He was ready for anything to come from the other side of that mirror. The Shadowlands beyond meant nothing to him.

    Spoiler: GM OOC Adventuring:
    Show


    I am sending The Grand Voices Hybert, Dawn, Jeleva and Myra along with my two points of ADV into the shadow mirror.



    ------

    Outside the Fortress


    Angel Vintra sighed as he fluttered down from her perch on the battlements. She had seen this man following her across the deserts and over the oceans. He had been tenacious if nothing else but she had been hoping that he would leave.

    The instructions with the letter had been clear, it was to be dropped off at each nation and then you flew away, no question on answer period, no negotiations, that was all for the voices.


    S̡̖̞p̡̳̼̞̬̣͔̪e̴̙̲͎̘̭͙̜̪a̴̦͓̳͇̝͚̖͢ķ̼̝͈͈͇̟̀̀ ̸̭̹̞͖̙͔͓͘t̷̴̳̠͉͍̖̭̕ò̬͎͕̘̪͇͙̰͞ ̛͎̱͢h̝̱̯͟i̵̢̝̝͘m̖͙̗̥̪̤̹͈͟͠ ̼̖̝̤̦̩͟s͕̫̯̯͙̙̼̗̻͠o̲̹̙̼̱͢͝ ̦̥̝͓t̳̰̣̪̠̜̯h̻͇̼̦̫̲a̷̰͔̯̯̠̺t̢̝̝̠͚̜̝ ̧̠̮h͏͡҉̱̟͖e҉̨̦̝̦̭ ̸̱͟m̡̺̙͓̱̖̙̜̫͟á̩̩͡y̹͎̝̤̠͘ ̼͕̗͕̙̙̳̫͠b͓͕̲̫̤̤̘͎͡e̶̡͚̺͈̬͠ ̢̮̰͝h̵̘͖̖̦e̸̶͓̪̭̙̦͕̘á̱͚͕l͏̸̫̠̮̺̬̠́è͎d̪̝.͙̟́͠ ̴̡̡̙͎̲̯
    ̸͍̲̘̯̦̱̦S͝͠͏̙p̴̶͙̪̲̞̙͙̤͓ę̷͉̹̥a͢͢͏̘̼̻̤̞k̛͏̲̪̭͖ ̣̤̝͕ ̸͕̖̬͕͖t̶͉͎̺̘͖͓̖͟o̵̡͕̬͉͈͍ ̦̙̜̻h̰̘̬̩̕i̟̬̬͍̭͔̥̠m̯̜̱̱͉̦̦͘ ̻̖̰̟̪͎ş̘̯͉͘̕o̯͉̟͡ ̧̟̱͍̟̺̦̳͓t̛͈̳h̸҉͎̪͕̹͕ͅa̷̷͏̯̹̹t҉̼͔͙̟͓ ҉̰̪͇͝h̶͍̫̹̗͍̫̩̖e̹ͅ ̥͓̹̕͝m̦͢a͍̙͖̼̺͞ý̴̘̥̘̯̪̪̺̜̠ ̶̞̳̫̳̘̪̘̰͝͞b̡̻͕͈͚̟͜͡ͅe͞͏̠̲̟̲̪̞ ̝̬̣̤̬̬͎͕͈͜t̨̛͙̞̫͎̱̬̳r͇͙͉͙̞u̜͉͡͞ş̴̣̯̱̙̦̯̻̝t̢̫̮͓͚e̵ ̰̦́ͅͅḑ͓̘̰̦̝.͓̙̠̙͜͞ͅ
    ̹̕͟ͅS̡͘҉̱̝͖̰͈̠͎̠̫p͖̼̬̳̳̭e҉̼̙̯̟̪̪͖̯̙à̗͕̞͖̝ḱ̕͝ ̜͔̲ ̢̨̖̺t̢̧̢̗͙͉̯̬͎̙̬̪o̟̞͓̦͖̖ ̫̯͚̕͠h҉͕̝̦͓̺͇͉͙̩͢i͇͙m̟͇̟̩ ͔̲̺͓͕̮̤ͅs҉̴̳̭͘o̺̜͙̞̟̗̥ ̴̝͕̩̞̙̩͡t҉̨̤̲̱͕̞̦h̸̩̭͓ͅa̷̶̸̹̠͙̙̮t̢̛̟̹̠̠̦ ̦̯̰̯̰͞h҉͈͉̺e̵̬͙̮͞ ̶͢҉͉̰͚m̟̭͞à̳͈̯͇͞y̴̶̟̳͎ ̧̤̠͘͘u͎͎̬͜n̵̠̤̪͓͈d̻̜͍́ḛ͓͚r͕͇͈̮̱͙s̭͠t̴̰͙͡a̶͉̠͡ń̺̰ ͇d̖̭̬̀͠.͏̗̺̱̫͍̹̘


    Vintra landed on the steps in front of the of the pilgrim of Shemesh that had come to the fortress.

    "We are in no great peril pilgrim. Our guardians are our angels, and many of them like myself were once human as you are. The sound of the voice carries us to a higher power. Vintra started her next, less welcoming point but

    B̲̜͕͕̖̟͓̹̜͓̟̀̀͝͠e̷̤̺̫̼̕͜ͅ ̷̣̫͇̘̭̖͈̰̭͝k̺̻̺͉̜̯͔̮̳̤̻̟̼͘͘í̧̦̞͇̼̯̺͔̮͍̼̲͖̱͉̘̺̝͟͡ͅ n͏̧̮̗͍̱͝͝d҉̸̴̣͈͕̦̩̪̺̬̝̦̳̰͢ ̴̸̞̱̦͉̭͓͜͟s̸͍̤̠̯͙͉̺̘̬͎̳̗̰͔̮͝ǫ̛̳͎̭͓̯̬̺̹̣̲̫̥̙͡ͅ ̝̖̙ ̸̱͚̜̥̭̝̮̥͉̠̘̗̩̫̼̬̤͢͟͝ͅt͏̸̶̴̦̠̥͖̜̯̘̤͓̥̯̘̀ḩ̸͔͉͈͕͙̱͖ ̙̼̫̪̤͚̲͚̟̯a̶̷̡̼͔͝ͅt̷̡̛͕̯̲̹͚̹̗̻̜̣͍̟̟͍̭̩̲͕̀͢ ̵̶̛̻̥̯̖͚̱̙̫̘̣͔͉̜͝ͅh̸̟̪͓̰̹͍̣̝̖͘͘͜é̴̛͎̟̦̞̪̣͈̻͜ ̵̧̫͓̱̣̘̫̀ͅm̶̡̠̝̙̪̬͖̩͖̳̤̰͘a͏̧̛̛̫̩̗̪̳͈̝͈̱̙͖̙͙̤͙̪̀ͅͅy ̸̮̺͖̱̬̰̣̲̰͉̕͘͟ ̵̡̳̭̳̩͉̟̥̰̬͎̭͉̖̘͈͇̤h̶͘͏̡̱͇̖̭͚̫̟̹͖̺̤ͅe̴̺̰̤̗̮͢͞a̷̡͟ͅ ̦̗̜̞̤̘͓͕̺̝̥͉͔͕̰̠̖r̸̡̝͍̙̟̗͉͓͜ͅ ̷̴̙͖̖͙͖̳͎̲̣̟̗͈̯m̴̧̭̙̻̮̤͈̬̥͍̺̖̙̣̟͘͟͠ͅe̛̳̯̼̲̖͈̥̥͍͚͈͡ ̼͉̩͙̗̱͚ ̷̴̟̭̱̺͔̫̲̤̺̜͍̠͕̱̳̪̜̠͠y͏͕͉͖̟̟͚̙͔͈̕o̡͏̷̠͙̗͙̯͉̥̝͈̠̫̀ͅ ̬͎u̫͖̖̜̭̯͚͙͚̦̬̯͙̞͜͢͢ń̸̼̗̩̳͓̞̯̮̲̯͝͠g͏҉̵̧̱͍̭̺̥͚͔̦͎̩ ͇̺̙͉̫̲ͅͅ ̷̢̛̫͈̫͚̲̟̪̗͈̥̱͓̬̥̦͝o̵҉̱̠̟͇͡ṋ̷̜̰͕̗̼͎̞̟͈͓̀͘͘͝e̴̶̫̖̺ ̼̼̯̣.̸̴͖̗̻̳͔̗̳̟́̕̕ͅ

    "If you wish to see our fortress you are welcome to walk our halls and hear our history. If you are simply looking to offer aid we are honored by your attention but your aid isn't needed at this time." The welcome from the angel sounded different from her original greeting, as if her words were only partially her own.
    Last edited by Writtensanity; 2019-12-19 at 05:04 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zweanslord's Avatar

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    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    Theocracy of Shemesh

    Public message to the Legion of Balance

    Djehu stood before one of the Paladin fortresses of the Legion of Balance and did so with some unease. He took a deep breath and his mood lightened, the unease fading. Looking up, he knew the Light was always there, even if shrouded by clouds. Moving forward, the tanned man, hailed the guard at the fortress.

    “The Light of Shemesh is radiant. I am Djehu of the Theocracy of Shemesh. Saladrahal has sent a message to the Theocracy warning to move to a path of neutrality. I have come to illuminate the path to know what it means. May I be permitted entry to learn what balance it is the Legion seeks?”

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GameOfChampions's Avatar

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    Default Re: Total War: Rise of Kingdoms IC

    Legion of Balance

    Quote Originally Posted by Zweanslord View Post
    Theocracy of Shemesh

    “The Light of Shemesh is radiant. I am Djehu of the Theocracy of Shemesh. Saladrahal has sent a message to the Theocracy warning to move to a path of neutrality. I have come to illuminate the path to know what it means. May I be permitted entry to learn what balance it is the Legion seeks?”
    Soldiers rest at ease along the battlements of the fortress, wearing blackened steal armaments and flying a flag with the scales of balance tipped towards the shadowy void on the left and the blinding light on the right raised higher. Only a few weeks ago this fortress would have seen the reverse, soldiers in brightly polished gleaming steal with white enameled shields and a flag showing the light weighing more heavily.

    Soon the senior Paladin in charge of the fortress joins the pilgrim, leaving the fortress to parlay outside the gates. "Greetings Pilgrim of Shemesh. We will not allow you within our fortress but I will parlay with you out in the sun. You have received our warning yet we do not expect your faithful to head us. Were this only a few short years ago we would have fought by your side and defended you with zeal. Now however the balance tips in the other direction, with the forces of good so prominent in these lands. With this inequality between the forces of good and evil we only expect disaster to befall this land. Unless large forces of good abandon their path for neutrality or evil we will be forced to rectify this imbalance with force. We do not expect your adherents to abandon your god of light or bringing radiance with you as you travel through the dark and dangerous, nor the other nations their gods or morals. That is admirable and we do not expect otherwise but that leaves us with our one course of action."
    Last edited by GameOfChampions; 2019-12-19 at 04:39 PM.
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Theocracy of Shemesh

    Djehu looked at the battlements filled with black, the scales of balance visible on the flags with weight going towards the shadowy void. His eye is drawn to the blind light raised higher, until the senior Paladin speaks up before Djehu. The tanned man listens and nods in agreement with parlaying out in the sun. There is a smile as the light of the sun shone over Djehu. It was replaced by a thoughtful look as the Paladin continued.

    “The Light of Shemesh illuminates us. Thank you for parlaying. Here is a good place. I am glad you do not expect us to abandon the ways of Shemesh, for the Light of Shemesh is radiant and everlasting.”

    “Yet you bring reason for great concern! You speak of disaster to befall these lands. So please, cast light on this matter so I can better understand. What happens if there is an inequality between the forces of good and evil? What darkness looms in disaster?”

    “I am curious about the warning and wish to learn more about your place in the Light. What is, to you, good and evil? Am I correct you consider the Theocracy of Shemesh, the Church of the Truth Speaker, the Astral Collective, the Ironfang Republic, the Pillar of Wisdom, the Dwarves of Khazn Durn and Silvermist the forces of Good? And the Fungal Combine, the Free City of Kasal, Balam, the City of Wraiths and the Brotherhood of Sin as evil? Or are there neutrals amongst the last named? Why are each of them to you, good or evil?”

    “Under the Light of Shemesh, how do you weigh when the forces of good and evil are in balance, or are not? Simply a count of factions, so that is by what I just said seven to five, thus an imbalance, whereas if it were six to six, it is in balance?”
    Last edited by Zweanslord; 2019-12-19 at 03:19 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Legion of Balance

    The Paladin shrugs, the shrug of a career soldier who has seen much of the world. "The same disaster that befalls any area solely dominated by the forces of good or evil. Where Evil rules good cannot abide, crusades sweep in and good destroys all that may be evil. Where Good rules Evil must tarnish, torture and rebellions corrupt the forces of good until they can no longer be called such. The teachings of our goddess and our own experience, tells us that a balance between the two is needed. it keeps the powerful forces of both sides ambivalent to the situation and the local forces to occupied there to make trouble elsewhere."

    We have judged your nations by morals presented, gods followed, and our goddesses whispers. She is ever correct. Our purpose has been determined, we will fight along the side of evil for the next ten seasons. Then our goddess will weigh the balance and set us on our path once more. If at that point balance is in place between nations of good and evil we fight to uphold it ruining those who would cast down another."

    "We do not trust nations to tell the truth under the threat of war. A nation deemed as good may plead neutrality when our armies march near but rarely do they mean it and even more rarely do they not slip back into old ways."
    Last edited by GameOfChampions; 2019-12-19 at 04:38 PM.
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

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    Theocracy of Shemesh

    Djehu listened to the words and considered it. Fleeting moments pass, before he looked at the Paladin again.

    “Shemesh is good, so difficult to argue with you there, unless you have a different view of what is good. This balance sounds odd to me, though. Are you saying if Good wins, it will grow complacent and not notice a festering Evil corrupting it, or it draws many Evil from elsewhere causing disaster?”

    “If the latter.. would it be right for me to say that the continents of Hanrui, each individually, should be in balance as well, so that the forces on each continent are too occupied to trouble the others?”
    The man looks up, then back at the Paladin, hoping he has gained a bright insight.

    Spoiler: Internal
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    Doing nothing for the Midturn.
    Last edited by Zweanslord; 2019-12-19 at 04:30 PM.

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    Legion of Balance

    A small grin slips across her face for a second before returning to passive determination. "We tend to look upon areas that share the same sphere of influence and interaction rather then physical landmasses."

    "We find that it can either or both. Some nations grow complacent and unwary to the forces of evil growing among them while others simply draw the ire of powerful forces. Sometimes it take years, other times decades or even centuries but it is always... inevitable. The longer we wait the worse it ends up being."
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

    “Why would I want to win anything other than a beautiful game?” - Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear


  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Midturn Results


    Legion of Balance
    Mor 5
    Spoiler: Results
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    The Legion of Balance sent 2 Adv into the Minotaur's Labyrinth and cleared 2 floors. They gained ancient potions ((+) Temp Adv), and a set of Mithral Dwarven Full Plate (+1 Mil Item).


    Brotherhood of Sin
    Mor 3
    Spoiler: Results
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    The Brotherhood of Sin sent 4 Adv into the Necromantic Palace and cleared 4 floors. They came back with scrolls for Zezzuzen to help her magical power, an ancient piece of art ((++) temp Rep), and a Berserker Axe (+1 Mil Item).


    Pillar of Wisdom
    Mor 4
    Spoiler: Results
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    The Pillar of Wisdom sent 2 Adv into the Warped Cave and cleared 2 floors. They came back with ancient scrolls ((+) temp Mag), and a Wand of Simulacrum (+1 Mag Item).


    Ironfang Republic
    Mor 5
    Spoiler: Results
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    The Ironfang Republic sent 2 Adv into the Crystalforge and cleared 2 floors. They came back with a small chest of ancient silver coins ((++)) temp Econ), and an ancient potion ((+) temp Adv).


    The Fungal Collective
    Mor 6
    Spoiler: Results
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    The Fungal Collective sent 2 Adv into The Open Cicatrix and cleared 2 floors. They came back with an ancient potion ((+) temp adv), and a piece of an ancient passage array.


    Free City of Khasal
    Mor 2
    Spoiler: Results
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    The Free City of Khasal sent 4 Adv led by the Intrepid Atena Nalar, Ruby-Eyed, Ruin-Seeker, Cartographer of the Perfected Map [Tier 1 Adventurer] into The Old Place and cleared 6 floors. They came back with an old wand((++) temp Mag), a handful of gems ((++) Econ), and a room of beautiful ancient statues ((++++) temp Rep). There were no complications.


    Church of the Truth Speaker
    4 Mor
    Spoiler: Results
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    They sent 2 Adv led by The Grand Voices Hybert, Dawn, Jeleva and Myra into the Mirror of Shadows and cleared 8 floors. They came back with ancient texts to help the martial abilities of The Grand Voice Dawn, a crate of ancient potions ((++++++) temp Adv), a large tapestry ((++) temp Rep), and an ancient necklace ((+) temp Econ). A Young Adult Shadow Dragon was unleashed from the dungeon!


    Silvermist
    Mor 6
    Spoiler: Results
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    Silvermist sent 3 Adv into the Feral Troll Tribes Den and cleared 3 floors. They also sent 2 Adv into the Pirate Fortress and cleared 2 floors. They came back with a bar of gold ((++) temp Econ), magical reagents ((++) temp Mag), a Flametongue +(1 Adv item), and an ancient saga of adventure ((++) temp Rep).
    "Facilis Descensus Averni." - Virgil, The Aeneid

    “Why would I want to win anything other than a beautiful game?” - Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear


  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Theocracy of Shemesh

    Public message to Legion of Balance

    Djehu contemplates what was said.

    "Illuminating. So an abundance of good, you say, will lead to, in time, a large disaster as bastions of good fall to corruption or ire. Which will be a disaster of far greater scale than local conflicts when good and evil are in balance. Did I cast the light correctly from the Legion's point of view?"

    "What sphere of influence and interaction does the Legion acknowledge here in Hanrui, if they differ from landmasses?"


    Public message to the Great Church of Truth

    Nebtise looked shocked at the ahem explaining before her. "You're not in danger?" She cast her head high to the sky, opened her eyes widely, then she looked at the angel again, with a wary look. "Are you sure?"

    Looking unconvinced, Nebtise looked at the angel and the fortress. "Alright. The Light of Shemesh guides me. May I be illuminated and cast light on the path before me." She then looked at the angel and offered a friendly smile. "Please, be my torch in this place, show me around and tell me about it and yourself. With help not needed, perhaps we may instead get to know another?"
    Last edited by Zweanslord; 2019-12-20 at 05:02 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    The Wraiths Morale 7

    Spoiler: The Astral Collective and The Free City of Khasal
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    So we all went to the same peace meeting so we are all are at least somewhat work together. While we were there I got to thinking. What if all 3 of our nations worked together on a few delicate missions? With that many spies all working together it would be easy to rob a variety of potentially violent and profitable elements. Say for example we were to rob the Fungal Combine of a few valuable resources. You know weapons, magical items, luxury goods and the like. We could easily cripple their war efforts and make a much large profit than if we all individually targeted different nations.

    Obviously the Fungal Combine aren't prime targets but I figured they would be the ones we are least argumentative about. If you have any better suggestions, I'm more than willing to listen to them.

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    Silvermist

    The fire threw its heat onto Captain Goldfinder. It had been a week longer than he expected, and if Grock was here… but he wasn't. He muttered an enchantment and nodded.

    "Update Nippwittlelict." He waited soon a response came.

    "Success. Reefs cleared. Small islands next. Must return. Zero. Worth."

    Captain Goldfinder smiled and breathed a sigh of relief. He looked around they grey that surrounded him without the noise, he wouldn't know that there were a hundred people here.

    Out of the mist, a human officer of some rank came dragging a gnome. "Sir, this one… has created something."

    "Oh?" Goldfinder smiled at the other Gnome.

    "Yes Captain! It's a gas bomb, but it melts and rend flesh! It's just as effective against them as it is against us!"

    Goldfinder nodded. "Good! Get him the materials he needs. We're pushing through to another level."
    "I'll get a cool quote, just you wait."
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    The Astral Collective

    Morale 6

    Spoiler: The Free City of Khasal and the City of Wraiths
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    I'm not sure if this is meant to be OoC - I'm replying as though the original message was IC.

    The Astral Collective is willing to entertain the idea of cooperation towards a peaceful and prosperous Hanrui, as evidenced by our participation at the summit of nations. Direct collaboration in the manner you suggest, however, is currently out of the question. Perhaps in the future we would be willing to lend our aid against a greater threat, but for the moment we will not work with either of you outside the dictates of any agreement decided at the Ironfang summit.

    Spoiler: OoC
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    Between your low rep and alignment differences, the Astral Collective is saying hell nah.
    Last edited by Let'sGetKraken; 2019-12-21 at 01:55 PM.
    Loser of Total War: Rise of Kingdoms
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    The City of Wraiths Morale 7

    Spoiler: The Astral Collective
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    Unfortunate, but I understand.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Yep, that is how Chemosh writes. He isn't overly formal.

    Last edited by Hamste; 2019-12-21 at 02:16 PM.
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