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Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by TheDuncanMorgan
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TheDuncanMorgan The One True King

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The smell of incense hung heavy in the air as the brothers and sisters of the Divine church gently swung Thurible’s from side to side, filling the Grand temple with smoke. As Duncan looked around the temple he couldn’t deny that it had earned the title of ‘grand’. The building was constructed from a mixture of white marble and black granite. Great pillars of white marble ascended high into the dome shaped ceiling with several huge stained glass windows on every side of the walls. The temple was filled with gold and silver ornaments and the priests and clerics presiding over the funeral were dressed in fine silk. It truly was a place of awe. However Duncan did also find it ironic that a place that was meant to preach humility and modesty was also one of the richest places in Formaroth. Duncan stood on the second floor balcony, looking over the funeral on-going bellow him. The hall was filled with hundreds of nobles from Nyhem who had come to mourn the passing of their king. Or at least that is why they would say they were there; most of them were only present because it was socially expected of them. At the far end of the temple Grand Cleric Mildred was reciting the divine chant. Behind her lay the now deceased king John Remonnet in a finely carved wooden coffin, which was placed on top of a stone alter. He lay there wearing his ceremonial armour and holding House Remonnet’s Dwarven steel sword. Standing next to Duncan was Alenius; Alenius was a tall woman yet was unusually skinny for a solider. She had short ginger hair and was currently wearing leather studded armour. They were both out of earshot from everyone else and were able to speak freely to each other.

“It’s strange” Duncan said as he turned to Alenius “In his entire life he never wore that armour, yet people seem to think that it’s appropriate for him to be buried in it”. Alenius nodded in agreement.

“That’s how tradition works I guess” Alenius said glumly as she looked on to the funeral proceeding bellow. She had greatly respected John Remonnet and his death had saddened her. “Doing something because it’s the way it has always been done, makes perfect sense. Not to mention the waste of perfectly good dwarven steel”.

“No need to worry about that” Duncan said with a small smirk on his face “I have ordered the sword be sent back to Cawaport before he is buried; my brother has always wanted a dwarven steel sword in the family, he will be most pleased”. Alenius’s eye’s narrowed as she turned to face Duncan.

“Don’t tell me you have stolen the Remonnets family heirloom for yourself” Alenius said harshly. Duncan’s face didn’t change as he replied calmly.

“Of course not. After all I can’t steal something that no longer has any ownership over it. All possessions of the Remonnet family lost ownership as soon as John passed away. I am no thief, I have merely taking claim of the sword”. Duncan turned back to watch the funeral. “Besides, like you said it would be wasted in a tomb of stone in the hands of a rotting corpse”. Alenius’s faces soften a bit, though it was clear that she still disproved. She too continued to watch the funeral take place. The grand cleric was nearing the end of the chant.

“It’s strange to think that you are now the ruler of Formaroth” Alenius said

“Acting ruler” Duncan said bluntly as he corrected her. Despite currently being the official ruler of Formaroth, he actually wielded very little power outside of Nyhem. Half of the kingdoms in Formaroth had declared independence as soon as they heard of King John’s death and the other half would not swear fealty to Duncan until he had been crowned king. “There are still a lot of proceedings to go through before I am made king, including the coronation. Not to mention, people are going to try and take advantage of John’s death and crown themselves king, meaning we are going to have to debunk their fictitious claims to the throne as well, so I can solidify mine”. The grand cleric had finally finished the chant, giving the que for the priests and clerics to carefully picked up the coffin and carry it towards the back of the temple, where they carried it downstairs into the tomb where John would be buried. The nobles who had been seated in the great hall rose and started to flock out of the main temples doors. Duncan and Alenius exchanged looks and started to head towards the stairs leading down towards the main floor. They walked slowly so as to avoid the chaos that would currently be ensuing outside, with all the nobles barging past each other; barking at their servants to get their carriages ready so they could get home as quickly as possible. As they walked down the stairs Alenius continued the conversation.

“So what is our first step towards getting you on the throne”? She said wilfully. Duncan paused for a minute before replying

“The first step is finding out which members of the court are loyal to me, and which ones I will need to…remove”.
Hidden 4 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Klomster
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Klomster The man, the myth, the legend.

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Unbeknownst to him, a great funeral was being held in the Nyhem cathedral.
But Claus Rotstein had no plans on solemn mourning, he was finally back to the city, finally back from seven long years of war.

The Steel fist was marching along the road, closing on the city gates.
Claus Rotstein had ordered the company to wear full parade dress today, banners held high and weapons and armour polished to a shine. Halberds, maces or crossbows held proudly over the troops shoulders, marching with proud steps with satisfying simultaneous thuds.

Drummers were keeping the pace, flutists and trumpeters played a happy tune and the proceeding was a cheery one.
youtube.com/watch?v=C9ilEh38-rQ (Ignore the visuals)

Claus had sent scouts to the city to warn the guards of the Steel fists arrival, so the gates were held open, but the banners were only half raised.
As the company entered the city with smiles on their faces, the guards and then the locals gave them saddened or even at times disgusted looks.
But the men gave them no heed, as the commander had told this was a joyous moment. We were finally all the way home, finally able to live of our hard earnings.
The entire main street was forcefully conquered by the happy parade, people had to move out of the way in shock.

Claus however noticed something was amiss, he was at the center of the column with only two honor guards beside him.
-"Keep going to where we planned, i'll soon be back." Claus told the one on his right before leaving the proceeding the same way.
He got a few confused looks but the men kept marching.

Claus got out of the way of the column and then stopped in an crossing street where an old couple had stopped to look, as the tall fully plate clad man jogged up to them they visibly panicked slightly while staring at the mercenary.

-"G-day, what's all the sour faces about?" Claus Rotstein asked bluntly, receiving only silent gasps for air.
He waited for a while, grunted and then gave up. He was just leaving when a voice loudly spoke to him.

-"You lack respect, you should not be here!" As Claus met the owner of the voice eyes he was surprised to see a woman, wearing a apron and a head wrap.
-"I and my men walk wherever i please, and no one has the right to deny me or my men that privilege, unless you pay well." Claus responded strongly in an irritated manner.
He hadn't marched for a month straight to have some commoner speak to him like that, and the woman realized she had made him angry and left with a worried look.
But she turned and spoke.
-"The king is dead, and your joyous parade here is what people aren't happy about." She spoke with disgust, then left.

-"Great, worst timing yet." Claus said out loud with a frown.
He then jogged ahead so he could meet up at the city square as he had told his men. When he arrived the men were almost finished forming nice square formations lining up with the town criers stage.
Claus briefly stopped to adjust his helm plume, then proudly walked along the center of the massive display on a path left open between the troops.
He waved, smiled and mounted the town criers stage and gazed upon his troops whom now finished their massive formation. A few civilians had come to watch the spectacle and encircled the scene.

Banners gently moved in the wind, black was prominent but with several others mixed in here and there, not least in the mens personal uniforms.
-"Gentlemen, friends. We have finally arrived to our destination. We have marched home from seven years of war!" Claus words were met with a cheer at the last sentence. He spoke further.
-"The time has come to celebrate our victory, we will remember our fallen brothers, our triumphs and defeats, and mostly that we don't need to have these damn blisters on our feet anymore!" Met with another cheer in the end.
-"Apparently old Roddy died, so when you are out there tonight..... drink another for him. NOW WE CELEBRATE!!!" This last was met with a massive cheer and several hats and shoes were thrown into the air.

The crowd quickly dispersed, men were at this very moment taking over entire establishments and already beginning to order several pints of ale , mead and good foods.

Claus Rotstein stood still for a while, watching his soldiers properly happy for the first time in a long while. They earned this he thought.
And no stupid king was going to ruin this for them, alive or dead.
Not like they could anyway, the troops had scattered completely. It would take him hours now to rally them up. He just laughed hard at the last fact.
He watched some city watchmen over the street, he almost felt sorry for them the workload that just arrived..... almost.

Now it was time to celebrate, Claus entered one of the finer dining halls in the city, albeit just barging in bringing two heavily armed bodyguards and just sitting down at a table was not how the place ran things, they realized it would be foolish to try to stop them.
Especially the butler whom were in charge of showing people to their tables got to know this first hand, as he was about to stand in their way Claus just gave him a deathly glare, supported with a snarl from one of his men.

The three sat down, ordered fine food and drinks and had a jolly good time, so good in fact all the others left. This didn't deter Claus Rotstein, no, he ordered the music to play, the maids to serve their drinks and the servers to bring their foods.
He made sure the owners knew he wasn't poor by leaving a large sack of money at the table.... or they would at least know the noisy undesirable could pay for the feast. Since this was not in the least fine manners.

Claus cared not, he and his two good friends were having a jolly time, bringing in some bard from the street to get the party going. The normally fine dining establishment was turned into a dancing and drinking hall for the evening, much to their owners dismay.
Later after getting bored of the butlers constant whining, the now large gathering of people left for a drinking hall, where several squads of men were already in full swing, met their commander with a cheer as he entered the room, one fell to the floor snoring, already drunk.
Claus saw the same woman from earlier hard at work serving drinks, he smiled wryly at her and then threw her a gold coin.
She was clearly not amused.

The streets were a mayhem, mourning people were insulted by the constant cheers of hundreds of drunk men and women.

Claus knew he was in so much trouble later, but didn't care.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by MacabreFox
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Nyhem - Grand Temple


In the capital city of Nyhem, the kingdom of Formaroth mourned for the passing of their king, John Remonnet, within the walls of the Grand Temple. Aurelia Vyncetta had come to the funeral out of respect; she admired the king for his strength in attempting to solve Formaroth’s problems from his brother's rule, Heylot Remonnet, or known to the locals at The Mad King. As she stood alongside the other nobles present, she kept her shoulders square with her hands clasped in front of her. A black lace veil covered her face, as was custom of all women in mourning who did not serve in the king’s forces. To match the black veil, she donned a black silk dress that was rather plain in style, along with a pair of black gloves and a black velvet robe that identified her status amongst the people as High Magister.

As she remained standing, Mildred, the leader of the Divine church had started reciting the ceremonial chant that would bless the king in the afterlife. Aurelia rolled her eyes in slight annoyance; she did not believe in the church’s nonsensical teachings. Particularly with how Mildred acted outside of the church services. The priestess was known to splurge all expenses on throwing elaborate feasts for the other brothers and sisters of the church. Everyone knew, but no one would say what she was doing was wrong. The church taught humility and modesty, yet Aurelia knew, that was not the case. The elderly woman swayed as she lifted her hands up in prayer, her eyes shut tightly. With subtle glances, Aurelia was able to determine what members of the royal advisors were present. She spotted Duncan De Reimer standing next to Alenius. She was familiar with the two as she knew Duncan on a more personal basis, Aurelia hadn’t spoke much to Alenius, but then again, she really had no need asides from common courtesies.
The thick smoke of incense, frankincense and myrrh, filled her nose as she listened to the hum of the chants. Somewhere in front of her, a woman and a small child were weeping quietly, as were several others. The king’s passing signified a change that would affect all of Formaroth and even the other kingdoms across the known realm.
It took longer for the ceremony to end as many people insisted on paying their respects to the deceased king. Aurelia was one of these people, she was one of the last to do so, but she felt comforted as she knelt before the ornately carved, wooden coffin. Aurelia did not clasp her hands together in prayer, instead she simply closed her green-speckled eyes and sighed heavily. With a gentle hand, she placed it upon the wooden coffin and detected no life form within. The king was truly dead. And now Duncan had become acting ruler until a replacement could be found. Part of Aurelia felt that Duncan would suffice for the time being, yet she pondered if he would try and claim the throne as his own permanently. Even though she favoured Duncan, the locals had taken a knack to calling him, The Snake, for his clever ways of getting things done, especially if it favoured supporting or benefiting the House of De Reimer.

Exiting the inner temple, Aurelia could see all of the nobles making a mad dash to their carriages, whistling for their servants to fetch their horses; it appeared that everyone was far too eager to return home. She took her time strolling along the marble flooring, the hood of her robe pulled up. Most would consider Aurelia to be solitary and cold, in truth they were right, to an extent. She simply despised talking about meaningless, petty issues, which made her appear that she didn’t care. Suddenly, she spotted Duncan and Alenius just feet ahead of her. Aurelia sprinted to catch up with them, and when she was in earshot, she called out to the now, acting ruler.

Duncan! If you have a moment, I’d like to speak to you about what you plan to do next.” Aurelia appeared like an ethereal shadow in the swaths of her black lace and velvet robes. She wore plain and few pieces of jewelery, as she detested wearing it; at her throat sat a velvet broach with an onyx piece, and on her right hand, a silver garnet ring, with matching garnet studs that adorned her ear lobes.

Hello Alenius.” Common courtesies were due, no matter whom she spoke with, the Mage’s upbringing on the isles made her seem stiff as a board and perhaps too formal in the way she addressed people. She drew back the hood of her robe, and lifted her veil. Her green-gold eyes sparkled like tiny gems from the shafts of sunlight that shone through the stained glass windows that lined the hallways. Aurelia turned her attention back to Duncan and added, “I just wanted to know what you would like me to do now, since you’re acting ruler. What should I do?” Her voice gave away no sign of emotion, whether she was excited or concerned, but rather simply one that exuded curiosity. Now that Duncan was acting ruler, she didn't want to lose her place as the Magisterial Advisor on the king's council. Aurelia enjoyed living in Nyhem, and she especially enjoyed the solitude of the tower where she could conduct her work in private, away from the meaningless, petty issues that were brought about from the daily court life.
Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by TheDuncanMorgan
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As Duncan made his way across the marble flooring of the outer temple he heard someone shout his name from behind.
“Duncan! If you have a moment, I’d like to speak to you about what you plan to do next.” As Duncan stopped walking and turned round he saw Aurelia heading towards him. Duncan had worked on the high council alongside Aurelia since the beginning of King John's reign and was the council member whom Duncan respected the most.
“Hello Alenius” She said as she drew back the hood of her robe. Alenius nodded in response but remained quiet; she did not know the High Magister very well and had no intention of making small talk. Alenius turned back to Duncan before continuing to speak.
“I just wanted to know what you would like me to do now, since you’re acting ruler. What should I do?” Duncan paused before given a response.
"At the moment I would like you to return back to Miserth Keep with me; I am calling a high council meeting so we can discuss the next course of action. If you wish, you can travel back there in my carriage alongside me and Alenius. It would save you having to walk all the way back, as well as being able to continue this conversation in, private" Duncan said as he glanced over to a small group of nobles who were currently watching them. Political affairs was valued gossip amongst the upper class of Nyhem, and a conversation between two high council members would definitely be of interest to them.

"I never mind the walk, it is good for the heart, but I will take you up on this offer, please, lead the way." Aurelia gestured humbly, she would rather travel in a group than alone as one would never know the chances of being caught by a brigrand, assailant or even assassin on the way home.

Duncan nodded as he turned round and continued to walk outside. It was warm outside in the city of Nyhem and Duncan wondered how Aurelia was coping in her all black get-up. The temples plaza was are large open space around two hundred meters long, with stone tile covering it's flooring. Various statues of famous historical figures standing in sequence of each other and a huge fountain sat elegantly in the middle. The plaza was starting to empty of carriages and nobles but it was still chaos nether the less with the nobles arguing about who should leave first. Duncan made his way through the crowd of people to get to his carriage. As he did he faintly heard fanfare music coming from the direction of the main plaza. A odd thing to be hearing on the day of the kings funeral. However it was not of Duncan's concern at this time. The carriage it'self wasn't of any grand design and looked more like something a lowly lord may have, not a high council member. Duncan decided that the less attention his carriage drew the better. Alenius opened the door of the carriage for Duncan to get in, she then waited for Aurelia to get in as well before finally getting in herself. Once she did she gave a sharp knock on the wall of the carriage signalling the carriage driver to start moving. Duncan made himself more comfortable before finally continuing his conversation with Aurelia.
"Now that we are out of earshot, what was it you wanted to talk about"?

"I wanted to ask you, what I should do next. Do I continue with the projects that his late royal highness had me working on, or is there something else you would rather have me do?" Aurelia shifted her dress about, smoothing out the front folds of her silken dress, clasping her hands neatly together afterwards.

The sun had been hot that day, and her forehead had begun to head along her brow line, yet she ignored by sliding open the little carriage window to let some air in. As of late, Aurelia had been working on how to use scrying from afar to include more people. She found the best way to do this was by having several people present on each of the sides, yet she was looking into specifically adding another person to the scrying loop.

"For the meantime any current projects that had been approved by King John are to be put on hold while we deal with the immediate problems facing Formaroth. Besides I am personally against spending any money on projects funded by the crown until we have dealt with a way to handle the kingdom's debt". Duncan breathed a heavy sigh, regularly he had warned the council about the millions of debt the crown was in and how they should save money instead of spend it, and now he was the one who had to deal with it. Moreover Duncan had a suspicion that the High council's economic advisor was funnelling part of the crowns profits to his own personal bank.
"What we need to focus on at the moment is getting a new king or queen on the throne, as soon as we do that; the sooner we can unify Formaroth again under one banner. As you know the Remonnet's no longer have any living relatives and the line of succession is officially dead" Duncan paused for a minute before continuing his sentence "Because of this I am putting myself forward as a candidate for the throne".

Aurelia listened to Duncan as he spoke, when he said that he would be putting a stop to the projects due to financial concerns from the Formaroth's ever growing debt, her heart sank to the bottom of her stomach, and she had to restrain a cry when she heard him listing himself as a candidate for the throne.
"Do you believe the people will readily accept you, Duncan? You're known to most within Nyhem as, The Snake. I would think the people would object to the idea of you becoming the next king, if you intend to do so, I would suggest winning the hearts and minds of the people. Make them believe you will take care of their problems, which mostly comes in the form of these exorbitant taxes the people pay. I think, then, they would accept you with open arms, and eager hearts and minds. Tell me then, when do you plan to allow the other candidates to stake their claims? On the morrow? Or the end of the week?" Her words were honest, she spoke no lies, Aurelia had become acquainted with the people of Nyhem more so than the court officials.
She would listen in the market to the gossip and hearsay that was exchanged between so many disgruntled citizens. People lost their homes, and struggled to even provide for their families; food was more expensive, and buying anything other than needed, would cost a fortune! A newly tailored dress, ran for at least fifteen gold pieces, years before, it only cost 10 silver pieces. A drink of ale cost on average 3 silver pieces.

"I am calling a meeting for all the kingdom's leaders here in Nyhem. Those who believe themselves to have a valid right to the throne will put forward their claim and the leaders of the other kingdoms can decide themselves who they wish to support" Though Duncan spoke calmly, he knew that if someone else had a strong claim to the throne like he did, it would likely result in another civil war.
"I will admit my reputation with the people certainly isn't something to be envious of, but it could be much worse. At the the very least people aren't throwing things at me as I walk down the street, which is more than can be said for most lords and ladies in this city" Duncan smirked. "Though I will agree with you, if I want the people to support my claim I will have to make sure they realise I am a competent ruler". Duncan went quiet for a minute as he reflected back on Aurelia's advice. When it came to matters about the common people she was something of an expert. Despite the snobbish remarks that Edward Du Paraquette kept making about her, her reputation was held in high esteem by most. It would be foolish for him to ignore her advise on such matters. Not to mention, now that Nyhem was getting financial support from Cawaport to pay off the crowns debt, reducing the citizen's taxes would now be possible.
"Do you believe that reducing the taxes would greatly improve my standing with the people of Nyhem"? Duncan said to Aurelia. As Duncan looked out of the window of the carriage he saw the entrance to Miserth Keep coming into view.

Sighing, Aurelia contemplated whether or not lowering the taxes would indeed boost citizen morale in Nyhem towards Duncan, it was a good idea and a natural one. She let her gaze venture out the window, and she spotted the keep coming into view as they neared their destination.
"I would like to think so. Though, I have to say, you would have to do something else for the people, something to really win them over. Who is the most hated person in all of Formaroth?" Aurelia knew where she was going with this. Not only would Duncan have to lower taxes, and not by much, but if he could rid a person the people despised, and replace them with someone more efficient, the people would applaud at the change. She wracked her mind, trying to think of someone, the constable perhaps? Mildred, from the church?
"Someone in the public eye that the people detest, if you will. I believe, you, yourself would be excluded from that circle." Here, she turned her gaze to him and smiled playfully.

Duncan went silent for a short while as he mulled over what she said. Someone the people hated. That definition fit a lot of people here in Nyhem. However he needed to be careful. If he removed someone too powerful it would have future ramifications on him. If he removed someone of low importance it would have next to no effect on his popularity of the people. Duncan's face suddenly lit up as an idea came to mind.
"I think I know just the person" Duncan said smugly "I believe you share my suspicions about Edward stealing money from the crowns finances? If we can find evidence of this then we can finally replace him with someone more competent".

"Despite how bold those accusations are, I do sincerely believe that Parquette does indeed delve his fingers into the royal honey pot on occasion. If there were a way to expose his misgivings to the public's eye, I believe that would satisfy the people, and make you look ever more justly in their eyes; and that of course, is what we want." A dark smile came across Aurelia's face as she considered on how to obtain such evidence.

"How do you propose we catch him? The best idea that comes to mind, is to have a hidden eye in the treasury when he goes into steal, though that may prove more difficult." She was very poignant in her words, and did not like to mince them. The truth never hurt anyone.

A small glimmer appeared in Duncan's eyes, such political scheming was his area of experience and he took great enjoyment in discussing it.
"I don't think the keeping watch of the treasury would help, as much as I hate to admit it, the man isn't an idiot. He wouldn't risk directly stealing from the kingdom's vault right under everyone's noses. What he does is far more dubious; he steals it before it even makes it to the keep. Instead of sending the coin straight to the crown's treasury he would have it redirected back to his own personal vault. What we need is someone to get a copy of his finance accounts". Duncan stopped talking as the carriage pulled up beside the entrance of the keep. However Duncan had no intention of getting out just yet.
"Not to mention, if I manage to get Edward and his wife arrested, I am sure his son would be most grateful and would likely throw the Du Parquette support behind me" Duncan said as he let a sly smile grow across his face.

Aurelia cocked an eyebrow at the last part he uttered, "Come now Duncan, don't you think that is a bit much? Arresting his wife as well, and making his child suffer the loss of both parents? I think that would turn out the over way, I would think the child would grow to despise you for imprisoning his father and mother. But alas, there is only so much we can do." She let her thoughts wander on how to obtain the records of Edward du Parquette's finance records.
"Parquette would have a financial ledger, you're right about that. Is there anyone close to Parquette that would allow us to offer them some money to retrieve the ledger for us, perhaps? A bribe can work wonders, if done properly." Aurelia added thoughtfully. She glanced out the window and noticed the carriage had pulled to a stop outside Miserth Keep.
"Shall we vacate the carriage? Unless you have other plans that is." The entire time they spoke, Aurelia had kept her eye upon Alenius, the woman hadn't said a word at all.

Duncan couldn't but laugh at the notion of Edward's son being upset about the loss of his father.
"Clearly you have never met his son. He has a great amount of resentment towards both his father and mother. Trust me he would have them removed from power as soon as he got the chance. As for Edward's wife, well, she herself is hated by the people for the incompetent and unfair way she rules the land, surely it would be for the greater good if she were to also be removed"? Duncan said innocently. "As for bribing the financial ledger, that shouldn't be too much trouble". As Duncan followed Aurelia's gaze he made eye contact with Alenius, she didn't care for politics and it was clear from the look on her face that this conversation bored her. For her sake he decided to continue this conversation later.
"I believe I am now ready to head back to the keep, I am calling a High council meeting sometime soon, do you believe you will be able to attend"? As Duncan existed the carriage a cool breeze blew past, the keep was much cooler than other area's in the city due to it's close proximity to the sea. Before he walked off he turned back to Aurelia.
"Considering the help you have given me I believe it only fair that I return the favour" Duncan said with a smile "I am sure I spare a bit of money to finance one or two of your projects"

She raised her hands in defense and chuckled, "I only know Edward through castle affairs, forgive me for not knowing of his marital life or that of his children, or at least not caring enough to know." Aurelia followed Duncan out of the carriage and stepped into the sunlight. She glanced at the keep, and gave an inward sigh; being at the keep depressed her, but the idea of retiring to her chambers raised her spirits.
"Yes of course, I will be there, as I always am. Send a pageboy for me before the meeting starts, and I will give my presence." She didn't mind the High Council, but she detested some of the members on the council, like Parquette. She treated all of the members cordially, and on occasion, did she have to raise her voice out of their blinded ignorance. When Duncan offered to finance one or two of her projects Aurelia only returned the smile, her bright, green-gold eyes sparkling with a mischevious, playful glint.
"I will decide which project will be most beneficial, I shall tell you after the meeting if there is time. I bid you farewell Duncan, or shall I say, my liege?" Aurelia gave a haughty laugh, she was only joking, but it would serve true if Duncan truly became king. "And to you Alenius, I bid you ado." With that, Aurelia set off on a brisk march into the keep, her silk gown shimmering like black ink in the sunlight before she disappeared within.

As Aurelia made her way back to the keep Duncan and Alenius followed closely behind. However before they could make it back past the gateway they were intercepted by one of the city guards
"Your grace, I must inform you of a situation that has caused a great deal of disruption in the city. The cause of this chaos appears to be a mercenary captain by the name of Claus Rotstein

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Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by TheDuncanMorgan
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As Alenius walked into the city center, she could already see the disruption that had been caused the night before. Several mercenaries were still passed out on the street and had it not been for the city guard, would have already of been robbed by the street urchins. Alenius was accompanied by twenty of Duncan's personal guard, all of which were fully trained Cawanor soldiers. Cawanor, with its extensive wealth, gives its soldiers the best training and armour available, making them the elite fighting force of Formaroth. And it certainly showed; the soldiers were wearing full plate armour and great helms. Over their armour they wore a cloth tunic with the Cawanor's crest colours dyed into it. They were armed with steel swords and had shields that had the De Reimer crest on it. Alenius had changed from her leather armour into the same attire as the rest of the soldiers, though she did not wear a great helmet. At her right side hung a flail and at her left was a sheathed dagger. As they made their way into the inn where the mercenary captain was sleeping, Alenius turned to face the soldiers under her command.

"You come with me" She said signalling to the man closest to her "The rest of you stay here and make sure none of his mercenaries try to interfere" With that she made her way up the creaking wooden stairs as she made her way to the room that Duncan's spy had said was currently occupied by Claus. As Alenius tried to open the door to the room, she found that it was locked. She briefly looked at the soldier who had come with her, giving him the signal to get ready, before kicking down the wooden door and charging into the room
"Claus Rotstein"! Alenius's voice spoke loudly and with a strong sense of authority "Under the order of Lord Duncan De Reimer you are under arrest"
-
Claus Rotstein was merrily dreaming away about some nice cottage with apple trees in full blossom and... his mother?... asking him come try the apple pie she made. Just when he was about to take a bite, one heavily armoured man kicked down the door. The young woman whom had joined him in the bed was screaming and hastily getting anything on to cover herself up before vacating the room with the blanket. The entire scene was rather chaotic and Claus didn't manage to get out much more than "What are you doing in my..." when he got hit in the face with a backhand strike from the soldier.

"That's enough!" Alenius barked at the soldier. Claus may be a problem for the moment, but that's no reason to bring him to his trial beaten up. As Claus was ordered to get dressed he put on his hoses and his gambeson which had his shoulder plates attached to it, then he was dragged out just as he managed to get his boots on. He could see some of his men in the hallway and in the hall watching the scene unfold, more soldiers were stationed to create a path to bring their captive along.

"Ey, Jones." Claus shouted as he was dragged along.

"Make sure everyone have some fun while I’m gone..... I’ll be back in a while..." He kept on, he was met with the gaze of one or two hateful soldiers and the wicked gaze of Alenius. Better see what these guys want, Claus thought. Perhaps someone took offense of the party last night.... hehe, suits them right. Claus was grinning, Alenius couldn't in the world guess what was so funny about being dragged out of bed early in the morning, beaten and dragged out of the house.

"So, are we off to a fun place?" Claus asked Alenius, blood running from his nose and with a bruise on his left cheek. He was simply met with disgust.

"If you call being dragged before the royal court to be tried for numerous offences fun" Alenius said as she looked at Claus with disgust "The greatest offence being marching your entire army into Nyhem, fully armed and without any permission from your superiors". Alenius signalled to the rest of the soldiers who proceeded to march out of the inn alongside Alenius. The soldier who was carrying Claus quickly pulled him sharply to his feet.

"I'm not carrying you all the way to the keep, use your own two legs" He hissed at Claus.

"Jeez, give me a break, I’ll walk I’ll walk." Claus told the soldier whom had so rudely awoken him earlier.

"Well miss... I see a problem with your accusation.... sure I walked the entire Steel fist into Nyhem, parade and everything. I hardly see that as illegal.... also, last time I checked, I was in command of the Steel fist.... making me the highest superior... anywhere, since we're not hired at the moment." Claus said with a few pauses mixed in, Alenius didn't say much directly, but was clearly not pleased with the claims.

"Can I have some water, the headache is killing me...." Claus asked, but was met with a hissing growl from the soldier.

"No." He then spat out. Met with a clear sigh from Claus Rotstein. This was going to be a long trip he thought.
"Your superiors are the lords and ladies who rule this city" Alenius explained "if you are staying in their city then you must obey their laws. As for the parade, while there may be no official law against it, if a random army shows up without making its intentions known then it could be viewed as a potential coup". Alenius spoke calmer than she had before. Alenius took pity on Claus when he was denied water by one of her soldiers. After all, she had had her fair share of hang overs in the past.

"Soldier give him some of your water, we don't want him passing out before he arrives at the keep" The soldier started to protest, but the withering look that Alenius gave him instantly silenced him as he begrudgingly handed his water skin over to Claus.

"Hm? Cheers!" Claus confusedly, followed by thankfully acknowledged after Alenius had allowed him water. Perhaps he had missed some compassion in this woman, or perhaps she was as blunt as she stated. Regardless of what, he now got water and was gulping away happily. Long years out in the field had gotten him the odd habit of drinking a lot when given the chance, since one never knew when water was available again. He actually noted this when half through the bottle, stopped and thankfully returned the bottle to the muttering guard. Claus knew how the guy felt, some fool who was stomping around feeling all important in their city. He recognized the look, he and his men had the same one when outsiders were stomping around on their turf.

"While the lords, kings or whomever happens to rule the city have influence over what I can do, I don't recall doing anything illegal. And if some of my men did they will of course be punished by the rules of the Steel fist." Claus began to explain, but was met with a silent grumble from another guard whom was flanking them.
"Hmpf,probably 'punished' with some more booze." The man was clearly not very respectful of the Steel fist, but Claus ignored him.

"Sure, we did cause a bit of a rumble, but you must understand our situation miss." Claus was not a diplomat, but he was smart enough not to start unnecessary fights. And trying to explain his motivations in simple terms to people had worked out unexpectedly well in the past on several occasions. Claus had found himself in the whole under arrest situation, and was calm and did not try any stupid moves. He saw one of his men some distance away following them, but he was sure he was only there to check the situation since he recognized him as one of his scouts.

"We've been out seven years. With only a few permissions for leave, i myself have been home... what? Twice in that time! We're humans and want some fun when we're finally back in a nice big wealthy city, not my fault old Roddy died." His nickname for the king while not glamorous, was spoken with simple indifference. It was clear Claus wasn't fond nor spiteful of the old king.

Alenius pondered over what Claus had just said. Perhaps she had misjudged him, he wasn't the typical brute that most mercenary captains were. At the very least he listened to reason.

"I understand your situation, truly I do, but it is not my decision to decide whether you are guilty or not. That responsibility lies with the court. Head advisor Duncan De Reimer will be overseeing your trial. As a hint of advice I wouldn't call King John 'Roddy' while on trial. It won't go down well" Alenius said with a slightly humorous tone in her voice. She signalled to her men to quicken the pace so they could get back to the keep before the steel fist company figured out what happened to their leader.

"Alright, I won't call him Roddy on trial." Claus answered with a smirk, and tried to straighten up a bit. His headache was getting a bit lighter, and he was rather the spectacle as the group was moving down the streets of Nyhem. Several people looked in wonder, and that meant Claus as a captain needed to at least try keep his image up. Even if being almost in his underwear and in custody sort of worked against him.

Soon Alenius and her patrol of soldiers arrived at Miserth Keep. Miserth Keep was a massive construct made entirely of slate and granite. The keep had numerous towers branching off from the main building and on top of many of them were ballistas and trebuchets. There was only one way into the keep and that was over the bridge that crossed over the moat, which separating the keep from the rest of the city. On the other side of the bridge was a heavily fortified gatehouse. As Alenius passed through the gatehouse she raised her hand causing the soldiers under her command to halt.

"Take him to the dungeons" She said to two of her soldiers before she then turned to Claus "When your trial takes place I am unsure, but I know it will be soon. I am sure you can survive the prisons dungeons till then" She finished with a smirk. With that said Alenius turned round and headed off to the keep to report back to Duncan.
-
Claus was far from happy with the recent turn of events. He looked back at the previous "conversation" he'd had with miss Alenius and realized that was one of the more pleasant people he'd met since coming back to the "civilized" world. He sat on top of a knocked out brute as he pondered with his fist to his chin. The man had tried to drunkenly clobber Claus, but was sidestepped and felled and hit the floor snoring. With the lack of good furniture in the dank smelly dark dungeon he'd ended up in, he used whatever he had at hand. Too bad one of the most pleasant women so far had put him in a dungeon... Claus was quickly thrown out of his pondering when a muffled scream echoed from below. It was not the first one, and not the last. Lovely, a torture dungeon, no extra sleep in the morning, no more good food, no songs, this was exactly how he had wanted to spend the first day home from campaigning.... he heard a grumble from his left side. The top layer of the dungeon was for simple crooks, they mostly shared a single large room before being shoved off to individual trials or simply let loose again. The lower levels, who know how many those were, was for more heinous crimes and interrogations. Slumped to a wall in the large room they all shared was one of the Steel fist mercenaries resting, he had his kettle helm over his eyes and was lying in a way that didn't seem possible to have a proper nights sleep in. It seems that this poor fella was caught rousing up the streets a bit too much, and probably the guardhouse was filled and he was brought here to sleep away the worst of the smell of alcohol. Claus recognized the man, crossbowman, didn't talk much, reliable in a fight.... drank his utmost when he could. He just shook his head thinking of his poor soldier, at least he was not alone in this dark cell. He had his unconscious soldier, the snoring brute, someone in the back constantly itching himself in his sleep and not to forget the fat guy by the waste bucket who burped and farted loudly at the most unexpected of moments. Claus shook his head again, he actually looked forward to the trial.


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Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by AndrewCooper
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AndrewCooper The Cooper Trooper

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It was the early morning. Andrew woke up and left his wife Diana who was still asleep in their bed. He walked out on the balcony and looked out at his kingdom. It was perfect there was peace and stability in the kingdom. The council had told him of how the people considered him as one of the greatest rulers of the kingdom. But Andrew knew that he was nothing but a man who was looking to protect his family and his people.

Suddenly one of the servants approached him. "Lord Andrew" said the servant. "I have message from Nyhem", the servant gave Andrew a letter bearing the royal seal. "Thank you my dear boy. You'd better get out of here or you'll face the wrath of my wife if she wakes up". "We've all had that before haven't we" the servant replied. Both of them laughed and the servant quickly left the room. Andrew opened the letter and read it. King John Remonnet is dead and the funeral was held a couple of days ago. Andrew looked out towards his kingdom he knew that this was a sign as the start of something that would change the land forever.

"Why are you up so early my dear husband", Andrew turned around to see his wife in the door using the bed cover to cover herself. "I have news Diana, King John is dead". "Then we must be swift we must declare your right to the throne". Andrew knew that Diana was right, he knew if he was king he could do so much to help all of Formaroth. "You are right. We will assemble the council to see what we must do. The people's opinion is as much as important as our own. We must be careful as well no doubt Duncan DeReimer has some scheme to secure his place as ruler." "I bet he and his family were the ones to kill John themselves" Diana replied. "I wouldn't be surprised" said Andrew "but we mustn't jump to conclusions. The people may call him The Snake but he is a resourceful man he will everything to his disposal to get what he wants."

"Let's not worry about it today we will mourn for John, Formaroth has lost a good ruler" said Andrew. Diana nodded and walked back to their bed. Andrew once again looked out to the kingdom he knew that the next few months or even years would be busy and he knew that he would have to protect his family and his kingdom once again.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago Post by Louis Dabout
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Louis Dabout

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The sun was breaking over the horizon, the sky ablaze with the fiery rays of its wrath. Underneath on the plains of Windermere a large encampment began to stir itself awake. The cooks beginning their morning fires and the duty of feeding 1,000 hungry knights and their retinues. This was the Henri's hastily assembled host, his guard while he traveled to Remonnet to have a say in the next High King and hopefully see himself elevated to that position.

Henri himself was lying half-awake under the sprawl of cushions and furs that made his bed in his lavishly appointed tent. Beside him the warm body of his companion was still, Henri's wife was still in Vine and the young maiden had caught his eye the night before, being a King was not to be refused what he desired. While these few moments of half-day slipped away Henri pondered as to what he would do to see himself on the throne.

---------------------

Further north a warhost thundered through the empty fields of golden grain, the wind sending their banners a whirl, snapping and fluttering taut. Above their heads a proud white dragon rampant roared on a red field. Lord Reynard Vywren, one of King Henri's most important vassals and the King's Seneschal as well. He was on his way to the Summer Isles as per his King's instructions, on the flank of his destrier a small chest bearing the letters his Liege charged him with the duty of carrying.

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Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by PhoenixWhite
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PhoenixWhite Debonair Bird

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"Send a messenger to Nyhem." The Old Man, Giles Blackwell, said in his hard voice. He was, at present, in meditation; he was not a man who sat on thrones, but a man who strode across battlefields, and the stagnation of the past few years following the Dragon War had left him with little to do with his time. Thus, the man meditated and honed his body further.

He was often found doing his meditations in the garden of Mercy, capital of Alenius; a sparse, empty, area that the Old Man had claimed as his personal area shortly after arriving. It was called a garden, but little grew there. Only the strongest of weeds penetrated the stone ground and brought life from the earth- and Giles never seemed to ever cultivate anything in the area.

Vivian Blackwell was never far from her uncle, and upon his sudden speech the woman rose from her seated position at his back.

"Sending your regards to the dead king, eh?" the woman's smirk was felt through her words, as if the concept was highly amusing to her.

"No, a message to the regent."

Vivian held very still for a few seconds, a wicked smile crossing her face, before walking briskly away from the meditating man. She liked where this was going, and was afraid that if she hesitated the Old Man might change his mind....

And as Vivian left, Giles rose up from the ground slowly. The Old Man turned from his 'garden' and walked steadily into his bedchamber, where a woman half his age lay slumbering in the early morning light. Rather than towards her, the man carefully moved across the stone floor to the wall adjacent the bed.

I've faced dragons and armies, yet my own wife's anger is to be more feared! he thought to himself dryly as he eyed the woman with a shake of his head. He lifted his hands up and grasped in them, from the wall where they had been hanging alone, the sheathes of two weapons; a long, thick bladed, dirk and the thick blade of a broadsword.

It was when he was grasping these iconic weapons of his in his hands that Vivian returned, with a uniformed man at her heels. Her grin widened as she saw The Old Man bearing his weaponry once more.

"Uncle, I have brought a messenger. Shall I prepare a host?" she asked in a hushed tone, anticipation thick in her voice.

"Your services will be needed once more Vivian, not a host. Naomi, Beatrice, and yourself are to head to Nyhem in my stead. Drevala and Eli are to remain here with me. I have jobs for them." He turned to face the cloaked woman. "I'll not have you whispering falseness into their ears, Vivian. You spoil for war, and I feel much the same, however there will be a time for us to strike; now we prepare ourselves."

Vivian nodded sharply, a military salute following the jarring shake of the head.

"Why are we taking the girl?"

"It's high time she felt the tremendous weight of a king's death."

---
Nyhem, the King's Funeral

Some time after the funeral precession was already under way, late to the point of having missed the actual service, an incredibly imposing figure entered the Grand Temple of Nyhem; Twas Beatrice Blackwell. The woman, despite her average stature, had an aura of power and strength that could be attested to by many of those present. Beatrice was a champion fighter, one who took part in tournaments and duels alike, and had traveled a great deal in order to uphold her reputation at the hands of those who challenged the famed Blackwell Champion.

On a much more materialistic note, the veritable mass of iron regarded as a 'Greatsword' that the woman bore on her back was, perhaps, a much more real source of intimidation. She was wearing armor, as she was always found to be doing, but it was simple in comparison to the dragon scale plate she wore for battle; it was simply a tarnished breastplate bearing the Blackwell crest, and her clothes beneath the minimalistic armor were those of respectful mourning of a soldier; darkened greys and blacks. Despite the respectful mourning attire, Beatrice stood straight-backed and hard gazed. She was not here to cry or mourn; she was here as acting Champion.

It was the girl behind her that was dressed in the true vestments of mourning; Naomi Blackwell, the youngest of the Blackwell family. She was grim faced, yet her youthful figure was hardly stooped and bent; she too was straight-backed, yet her gaze was soft and sympathetic rather than hard and daring.

The sisters, realizing their lateness to the event, quietly bowed their heads and allowed the event to continue on without their interjection, but Naomi did step forward to enter in with the precession- prompting Beatrice to stick close behind her. The young girl's actions during the funeral reflected the Blackwell family as a whole, and because of this she was cautious and reserved with her behavior.

When the small girl found it to be her turn to pay respects, she approached the casket slowly with her head bowed. She dropped to her knees and, in a manner most curious, prostrated herself before the casket as if asking it forgiveness. She held this position, in complete silence, for three long minutes, before lifting her head and planting a kiss on the wooden surface.

"We thank you, Remennot, for all you've done for us...Death shall know you as our friend, and will treat you as a guest. We will not forget you." the girl's voice intoned at barely a whisper to the coffin. She bowed her head once more and seemed to collapse in on herself all at once; the emotion of such an event was far too much for a girl as sheltered as she, and she broke into sobs as she concluded her small speech. She had not known the man personally, but she could feel the apprehension from all in the room, and the weight of such a death was far too great for her to comprehend.

Beatrice placed a hand on the small girl's shoulder and gently brought her to her feet. What Beatrice did next was a stark contrast to the girl's gentleness; The great warrior gently brought the girl back away from the coffin, and lifted a single hand to the hilt of the greatsword upon her back.

Drawing the blade was a single effortless thing for the woman, even singlehandedly. She brought the blade up into the air, then rotated it in her hand and, with a ferocious yell, drove the blade downward into the floor before the coffin- where the blade bit into the granite ground with a horrendous screech of stone on metal.

The woman had embedded her sword halfway along the blade into the ground, then rose up stiffly and grabbed Naomi by the shoulder. The two girls then turned and, without a word edgewise to anyone else, made their way to the back of the temple to await the event's true conclusion.

---
???
A missive, bearing the seal of the Blackwell Family and signed in the rough, skewed, lettering of Giles Blackwell had been delivered to the city of Nyhem, and was addressed to none other than the acting king regent; Duncan De Reimer.

Through official means this letter would find its way to Duncan.

The contents of the letter? Why, that was for his eyes only...
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Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by Cold Hands
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Cold Hands Guilds Resident White Walker

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-Bearnard and Sorcha-

The incense and smoke was filling the grand temple as the funeral procession went on, honor one of the few decent kings to have reigned. Bearnard and his family were one of the most recognised families in the temple, almost purely because of their lack of silks and finer clothes. Dressing more to their own style of fashion which seemed worlds away from half the realm, of course there was Cormag too who towered over everybody in the temple. Easily the most recognised man, purely because of height alone.

“It’s nice to see you dressed finely for once.” Sorcha’s tone playing on her husband lack of so called finer attire. Beneath the eyes though the woman could read that something was plaguing his mind, though it was only noticeably visible when they had viewed the corpse of the late King John. “What’s on your mind?” Her tone of voice lowered to wave away any unwanted attention, lowering a rose upon John’s cold body out of respect. It wasn’t the south’s custom but she felt obliged to do so seeing as other ladies of the realm were doing it.

“He was a healthy man, how he died doesn’t seem right.” Speaking in the same low tone as his wife, as he eyed the corpse. Scanning over it once before turning with Sorcha to resume a slow paced walked back to their seats. However in their approach back he spotted a man on the balcony above the funeral, but ignored his very presence seeing who it was. “You must try and tell Lily that she isn’t to get too comfortable here in the capital. We’re here only to see a king in his last moments and to settle the dispute of who is to become the next King or Queen.” Bearnard actually feared for the sake of his youngest daughter in this city of silver tongued jackels.

Sorcha didn’t say anything but had nodded in agreement, but she couldn’t help the desire to tour the market’s also. It had been a long time since she’d left Raeldar for anything, even longer since she’d been in the capital. She didn’t like the fact that Bearnard would make enemies and lash at the pride of others when it came to elect a successor to the late king or he cause a major splitting on the elective succession laws. “Just try and be nice with the others.” Speaking softly as the pair exited temple, waiting for their children.

-Lily and Cormag-
Standing besides her brother Lily seemed to be the shadow of an against the midday sun, it still amazed her on how talk Cormag had been. It was there time to look over the king, it was her first time looking over a dead body and it didn’t sit well with her. Feeling her stomach begin to churn, looking to her brother and pulled slightly on his leather jerkin. Shaking her head side to side, feeling like she was going heave. Her brother nodded leaving from the view to follow their parents. Who were waiting outside.

“Do they all look like that when someone dies?” Would her father and mother look like that when they passed on? She thought with a slight curiosity. Lily had asked her brother solemnly, curious on the question but not so keen on staring at death so close.

“Yes sweet sister it is. But remember we have our own beliefs in the south. Our funeral’s are by fire to release the soul from the body. They do everything wrong here, even their religon.” Cormag letting out a small chuckle, ignoring the scowls of scorn and disrespect at him. Especially from the priests of the temple.

Nodding agreement with her brother as her stomach still felt uneasy as the siblings continued on outside but when the exited the temple a screech pierced the air. Cormag patted his sister as light as he could, adding a smile to the mix to put his baby sister at ease. However he did wonder on what the sound was.

-Iain and Anna-
Truth be told Iain was more than happy and take care of affairs of state. It might very well test his skills but if he had to be honest he held little hope of such notions, since things came to him easily. Going threw documentation as he sat across from Anna eating their fast. Slab of deer meat in its own broth, bread was simple of enough for him. Dunking the hard rye bread into the broth before biting the softened bread, filling his stomach with warm relief.

Anna however was indulging being gone for over five months now was missing the smaller things in life. Along with the meat and bread, she also added some fruits and cheese to her fast. Her lifestyle demanded sustenance and needless to say she could eat more than most men, but her figure never changed. By the time her brother Iain had eaten half, she had eaten enough that would’ve fed a small army.

“Who do you think is going to be the next king?” Iain starting a plain conversation with Anna since it had been so long since just the two of them had held a simple conversation. Signing a few documents as he spoke

“Honestly I don’t care. However there are a number of people that could fill that position and have legal claims. Including father and mother’s absolute claim to the throne but there is no way he’d push forward that claim.” Biting down upon a hard hunk of sharp white cheese, washing it down with several gulps of water

“Agreed but he might use those facts out to push towards a decent ruler instead of all these petty men with claims on the throne. I don’t think father and mother could be a king and queen much more than you and me being a prince and princess. What I don’t like is the De Reimer’s hold on that much power.” Both of the siblings could agree on that fact as they continued with their fast.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by MacabreFox
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MacabreFox Wee Witchy Woo

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Miserth Keep - The Council Chambers


The early morning sunlight filtered in through the gaps in the heavy, brocade curtains. Aurelia had risen hours ago, before dawn broke over the horizon, and had continued with her studies from last night. To her understanding, Duncan was willing to keep at least one, or even two of her most prized, or in her mind, most useful projects going. Dinner had been brought up to her in the course of the night, and now an empty plate, sat on the edge of her bedside table. Personally, Aurelia did not wish to give up any of her ongoing projects, yet could only obey Duncan with but a sorrowful sigh.
Now, as she sat in her high-backed chair, Aurelia shut her eyes, contemplating what to do now that morning had come. Sleep was evasive in most cases, as she suffered from insomnia. A cup of lavender and chamomile tea helped to calm her nerves, but not enough to lull her to sleep. That's where, the occasional bottle of wine made its way into her hands. Not that she was an alcoholic, but Aurelia understood full well how useful the liquid was; whether lifting, or dampening ones own spirits.

Staring blankly at the pages sprawled across her lacquered desk, Aurelia lazily shuffled through the papers, and began to organize what she had thought would be useful for Duncan to consider. She had selected three projects, enough options for one to be chosen. One, continued her study of the stars, and tracking of the celestial bodies, useful for when predicting events, and especially useful for knowing the personality of a person, just by knowing what time of year they were born into.
The second, focused on scrying, on how to converse with larger groups of people far away. Particularly meaningful in regulating other kingdoms, allowing anyone to perform a long distance scry, to be able to maintain control from so far away.
Lastly, one of a more magical nature, focused upon creating a lengthy fire-wall that would not spread outward, causing more damage, but rather, acted as a living barrier. If put to use, an entire army could be surrounded by a moving wall of flames that would follow them anywhere they travelled. More importantly, Aurelia was trying to construct the spell to be spring-loaded, or so to speak; so that if anyone with ill intentions dared entered the camp at night, the wall of flames would ignite, catching the culprit, and burning them to death, preferably.

Sighing in frustration, Aurelia bundled the papers up nicely, and proceeded to dress herself, changing from her nightly linens, to a fresh pair of undergarments, a clean corset, petticoat, and chemise, followed by an extravagant gown made of navy blue, silk, with silver trimmings. She splashed cold water upon her face from her wash basin that stood in the corner of her room, a silver framed mirror hanging above it.
Aurelia gazed at her reflection staring back at her, her eyes tracing every laugh line, few they were, to the heavy bags beneath her vibrant, piercing eyes.

"You're not old, Aurelia. You're more wise, than you have been in all your life. This is what life has given you." So saying, Aurelia drew away from the mirror and finished dressing.

Duncan was currently sitting in the council chambers along with Alice Rallar and Alex. Despite the importance the council's decisions had on Formaroth, the room in which they were made was somewhat unimpressive. It was a stone walled room with only two small glass windows to allow in some sunlight. Other than a rectangular wooden table with six finely crafted wooden chair around it, the room was bare of furniture. Duncan sat at the far end of the table; in the seat that the King would have sat in had he still been alive.
Now that he was regent his place at the head of the table was deserving. A fact that did not please Alice. Alice did not trust nor particularly like Duncan. Though she had never said it to him directly it was as clear as day to everyone and Duncan could feel her eyes of furry and envy burrowing into him. The council was currently waiting for both Aurelia and Edward to arrive. Though Duncan had faith that Aurelia would arrive soon her got the feeling that Edward would be late again as he usually was.

"My Lord" Alex said finally, breaking the silence "Should we get started with discussing the matters of state"?

"Not quite yet" Duncan said as he turned his head to face Alex "I'm sure Aurelia will be with us soon, I would much prefer to start the discussion with all the members of the council present".

It wasn't long after she had finished dressing before there was a knock upon her door. Curious as to who could be calling, Aurelia stepped into her heeled, black leather, boots, and called out to answer them.

"Yes, who is it?" So crying, Aurelia swept her tresses up into one hand and looked up in surprise to see a page boy.

"High Magister Aurelia, your presence is requested in the council chamber room, per Regent King Duncan's request." The boy, fairly young in age, perhaps no older than 11, opened her bedroom door.

"Why, for heaven's sake, boy, have you not told me sooner? Are the other council members already assembled?" Cried Aurelia, astounded that she was late, even if by mere seconds.

"Yes milady, the Regent King, Lady Alice Rallar and Alex have already arrived, they are awaiting you and Edward Du Parquette's arrival." The boy seemed terrified, unsure if he had vexed the high magister by not arriving sooner to fetch her.

"Dash it all! Well quickly now, let's go and hurry before Parquette gets there before we do." Laughed loud Aurelia, as she grabbed the child's hand in her own and raced down her tower steps to the council chambers. Aurelia had left her black hair unpinned, so it hung loose, like silken sheets. She and the pageboy, ran headlong down the long, stone, corridors before nearing the council chamber room. Letting go of the pageboy's hand, Aurelia pressed a single, silver coin into the palm of his hand before entering the chamber room.

Once inside, Aurelia did indeed see Duncan, Alice and Alex seated at the table. Smiling, Aurelia gave a polite curtsy to Duncan before taking her place at the table, sitting opposite and in the center of the table of the other members.

"I apologize for not arriving sooner. I presume we are still awaiting Edward's arrival?"

"You would assume right" Duncan said glumly. "Now that you are here I suppose we can start. I am unwilling to wait any longer for Edward, if we do, we may still be waiting an hour before he shows". Before Duncan lay various different scrolls and letters, from which Duncan pulled out a large piece of paper listing the names of the various lords and ladies of importance who had arrived in Nyhem.

"Though, firstly we should attend to the most pressing matter; preparing the meeting so the noble families of Nyhem can discuss who should be next in line to the throne. Now that most of the noble families are here in Nyhem to attend King John's funeral, it would be a good to organise it sooner rather than latter I think". Duncan said as he looked over the list. He took note that nobody from house Manshrew was currently here. This boded well for Duncan. House Manshrew commanded a lot of respect and authority across Formaroth and Duncan knew they greatly distrusted the De Reimer family and would never throw their support behind them. Even if they didn't put a claim towards the throne their choices and opinions would sway the minds of many. If he could call the meeting before they sent a representative then Duncan would have less of a challenge in the debate.

"The meeting will be in a fortnights time, and will take place in the keeps main hall. Edward will organise the funding for the various things needed for the meeting and Alice will be in charge of security". Duncan said as he gestured toward Alice.

"Indeed." Alice said, in comparison to the other council members, Alice spoke very little. However whenever she did speak her words always carried a strong sense of authority and wisdom. "With all the rulers of Formaroth in one room, it would be best to take extreme precautions when it come to security".

"Agreed" Duncan said as he avoided making eye contact with Alice "Does anyone have anything else to add"?

The more Duncan spoke, the more her brow became furrowed. Aurelia's head tipped to the side as she listened. She studied the documents, and other scrolls before her. When Duncan slid the list of names onto the table, Aurelia took the paper into her hands, carefully looking over each name on the list.

"You intend to gather all of the lords, and their ladies into the keep's main hall? You are right of course, we will need to have cautionary measures in place. Regent, you said that you intend for the meeting to take place in a fortnight, are we to host our guests in our own castle? Or will they be responsible for each their own? That would be an unnecessary amount of coin going to waste for the crown." Falling silently, Aurelia looked down at the table before continuing.

"It sounds like you have all of the general areas covered, is there anything you would have me do?" She raised her eyes, and noticed Duncan avoiding Alice's piercing gaze, and desperately struggled to restrain a grin from embracing her lips.

"The Miserth Keep's hall will be more than sufficient room to hold the meeting. In fact it's probably one of the few places in Nyhem capable of holding such a large number of people. In answer to your question, though we may have some of the more important guests staying here, most will be responsible for there own accommodation. Nyhem has plenty of high end inn's capable of keeping the nobles comfortable till the meeting". Duncan paused as he glaced towards the door, believing he heard someone outside the room. He slowly turned back to Aurelia as he continued.

"As a member of the high council I will need you to attend the meeting and help Alex to..." Duncan was interrupted as the door swung open and Edward Du Parquette entered the room. It was now clear who Duncan heard lurking outside the room.

"Forgive my lateness" He said in the formal manner he always spoke "I went at great haste to get here on time, but alas it was for naught" Duncan raised an eyebrow as he listened to Edward; the very idea that this glutton would hurry anywhere was laughable to say the least. Duncan gentured for Edward to sit down as he made his way to his seat.

Edward Du Parquette entered the council chamber room in a flurry of haughtiness. Aurelia's eyes landed on him immediately, forcing her to restrain a deep frown of distaste. The rotund man, balding ever so slightly, with a thin wispy moustache, and the appearance of perpetually sweating, along with an obtrusive personality, made Aurelia grimace. Edward, the economics advisor, and she, never got along; he seemed to always look down upon her, and Alex, the Advisor of Law. Alex was younger than Aurelia, tall, thin and gangly, with a mess of brown hair. She preferred his company, and Duncan's, over Edward's. As for Alice, the Advisor of War, she didn't mind the woman, though she was severe in her attitude at times.
As Edward excused his tardiness, Duncan simply gestured for him to take his place, which he willing did so. Once Edward had seated himself, on the left of Aurelia, she turned her gaze to Duncan. Cocking an eyebrow, Aurelia cleared her throat, as she folded her hands in her lap, before looking back at Edward.

"Now that you're finally here, Edward, shall we inform you of what you missed?" Her voice was not kind, nor was it malicious, simply cold, and unfeeling.

"Duncan was about to inform Alex and I of what help was needed. Isn't that right, Regent?" Queried Aurelia, as she turned her attention once more to Duncan.

"There is no need for that," Edward said "I'm sure I will be able to catch up with the details later." He continued, as he made himself comfortable in his seat. Though Duncan didn't say anything, it was clear from the look of exasperation that he was fed up with Edwards antics.

"As I was saying before," Duncan continued as he turned to face Aurelia "You and Alex will be responsible for checking the validity of the different house's claims. You will make sure that none of the nobles lie or uses falsehoods to try and secure their claim". Duncan then produced another piece of paper from the pile in front of him. "The next matter is not something of dire importance but it needs to be addressed soon all the same. The mercenary captain Claus Rotstein was arrested this week and his trial is due sometime tomorrow morning. If we delay for much longer it is unclear what his mercenaries may do without their captain and they may cause even more disruption then they did initially. Normally I would take care of this trial myself, however I have a very important mater I must attend to". Duncan said as he glanced to an unopened letter with House Blackwell's seal upon it. "As a result I will have to ask one of you to step in and take over the trial for me. Any volunteers?"

Listening still, to Duncan, and a roll of the eyes for Edward, Aurelia felt satisfied with the tasks assigned to her. Validating the candidates claim to the throne was not an awfully hard task; however, with a fight for the seat of all of Formaroth, there was a chance that if anyone disliked Aurelia, or Alex for that matter, they could easily have one of their various, henchmen take out the two, and have their dead body thrown in the river. Aurelia knew she would have to take care of herself, if she were not to fall into a trap. In truth, Aurelia was typically apprehensive in nature, and felt that any situation could be the trigger to her death.
However, when Duncan spoke of the mercenary captain by the name of Claus Rotstein, she couldn't help but feel worried. A large, mercenary group had come to Nyhem, perhaps to sway the political power of those that wished to obtain the seat of power for themselves. When he asked for volunteers to preside over the trial, Aurelia looked immediately to Alex, though he did not offer his hand up right away.

"Well, naturally I would suggest Alex to preside over it, as he is the Advisor of Law, however, if he is too busy to handle this case, I would be delighted to handle the case justly. If you'll have me of course." So saying, Aurelia smiled kindly at Duncan as she offered herself to look over the case. She understood justice fairly, and knew that in order to be fair, she could not have any bias when judging. However, there was the possibility, that she could pacify or even sway the mercenary captain to their side, if only she could decipher how to placate his men and him.

Alex spoke up. His voice, though clear, still held a certain level of nervousness and uncertainty. He was still relatively new to the council and still had a lot to learn.
"I would volunteer, but I unfortunately have several different trials I must preside over tomorrow morning as well" Alex said. Duncan nodded his head in agreement.

"Indeed. In which case I accept your offer Aurelia, I trust someone with your level of expertise and wisdom will be able to deal with this effectively". Once again Duncan reached towards the pile of paper before him, this time pulling out a large scroll.

"Now comes tedious part; The bank of Nyehm has called for the crown to pay back one tenth of the debt owned to them. With our current funds we can only pay back around half of what they ask..."

Finally, the council meeting had ended, after much deliberation, and talk, on how to repay the debt; Aurelia rose from her chair, lifting the hem of her gown ever so slightly, so as not to step on it.

"Duncan, before I depart, is there anything else you would need of me?" Her gold-green eyes twinkled splendidly as she spoke. Aurelia was truly a gentle-natured person, but she was more clever than most ordinary people, something that always made her look as if she were up to something mischievous.

"Not that I can think of right now" Duncan said as he rose from the table, many of the other council members were already making their way out the council chamber. "Though if I think of anything I'll be sure to let you know. Now if you will excuse me I have something important I must attend to." Duncan said as he quickly picked up the letter from House Blackwell, before he too left the room.

With that final assurance of her needed services, Aurelia departed back to her chamber room; she pondered on how to handle this given case to her properly. Somewhere in the back of her mind told her that she had some type of tome or scroll, stowed away in her bedroom, tucked in the many bookcases that lined her walls. As she made her way down the stone corridor, Aurelia wondered just how dangerous the next fortnight would become. Of all the Houses to join them in the keep, to be ever so cautious, and to prevent tempers from flaring; Aurelia knew that in the next two weeks, it would be a very stressful place in Miserth Keep.

{Collab Credits - @TheDuncanMorgan @MacabreFox }

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Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by PhoenixWhite
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PhoenixWhite Debonair Bird

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Mercy, capital of Alenius

"Projected allies." The Old Man's voice was harsh, drilling for an answer.

"Minimal; There is a distinct lack of amicable relations between our house and the other nobles of the land. Remonnet was, by far, the best relation we had and he's dead. Our neighbors are our largest threats, which serves a dual purpose; the best allies are those whose needs do not overlap nor interfere with our own, and whose ambition lies elsewhere. This leads me to name Staghain and Sutharlan as the two most beneficial allies due to their positioning across the sea from our nation's borders." Eli Blackwell studied the map before him with a near disinterest; he had the map memorized in more ways than one. Geographic boundaries, political boundaries, cultural boundaries... There were a great number of ways to identify those living in Formaroth. Political boundaries were, decidedly, the most important. ""Mazeltof would ordinarily be a good choice, but our people have warred in the past and relations would be difficult to maintain."

The Old Man nodded. "Good. Biggest threats?" He was testing his son; he already had these answers, but it was critical that his head tactician and diplomat was aware and cognoscente of the state affairs. To Eli, this felt much like a chore- something he experienced daily and with great ease.

"The largest threats lie in Akki and Telmarion. The peoples of Akki are carefree and wild- most see them as lawless and criminals. While they were allies during the Civil War, they do pose the largest threat due to possessing the ability to split our forces along multiple fronts should the war spring up and they prove to be enemies. Telmarion is the most near of kingdoms, and thus the largest threat of direct invasion. Barring these two, we would have far more than enough time to prepare defenses and gather information to launch an offensive front rather than stagnate with a defensive war. Our troops are some of the greatest in Formaroth, but a defensive war always leads to attrition on both fronts and we cannot risk losing resources and manpower on objectives that do not produce beneficial additions to the nation." Eli was studied, and had gone over these exact same calculations hundreds of times in his head. He had his war effort planned out, but as he looked to his Father- finally glancing up from the map- he knew the Old Man was already three steps ahead of himself. It infuriated him and made him respect his father all at once; he needed to impress this man, yet he was able to stay ahead of Eli's young mind every step of the way. When their gazes met, it was as if The Old Man's plans leapt through the air and implanted themselves into Eli's mind.

Eli couldn't help but smirk.

"You just caught on to what my plan is. That's good, you're starting to think beyond how to win a fight and how to win a war. Humor me, son; What should we do with Akki? What should we do about Telmarion? What should we do about the throne?" The Old Man was gruff, and his face was stoic, but his demeanor carried an energy that echoed of battles long fought and won. He leaned down upon the table with his hands, as if encompassing the map of Formaroth within himself.

"It's simple. I'll take Drevala and a legion of our military to go make nice with Akki- they'll make far superior allies to enemies should the Telmarion front turn hostile. If you're right, the negotiations of Nyhem will conclude with an unsuccessful designation of a successor and the kingdoms will fragment- but we'll already have a tightly woven net of allies to work with. Akki, Sutharlan, and Staghain." Eli said the names; Akki's was foreign and he said it with a lilting laugh, as if it was amusing for him to say it, but the other two bore a respect.

"I'm glad you and I are in agreement. I shall send messengers to Staghain and Sutharlan while you go to Akki. I expect you to be gone by the end of the week. Send Drevala to me when you leave, and prepare the men for war- but do not draw a blade until you get word of the failed account of succession."

.....

Mercy, midnight; Giles Blackwell's Garden

Giles was kneeling down in the center of the barren, stone, terrace. His simplistic clothing was discarded and in its stead he was wearing a curious outfit of distinctive purpose; A breastplate, with half plate greaves, and arms of dragon's scale- his old mercenary's armor had been maintained and refitted through the years to accent the Old Man's agility and lack of shield, and it still carried the rustic efficiency of a mercenary captain while simultaneously containing the masterful work of the Alenius blacksmith. Armor fit for a king born in war.

He was kneeling here, the moon clouded high above, with head bowed and arms extended out to his sides. He had begun this meditation of his hours ago, and deep into the night he continued. He did not sleep, nor did he eat, nor did he move. His stoic vigilance was eerie to behold was curious to observe. This meditation of his was a ritual he always performed when he anticipated battle, and served to also reacclimatize the man to his armor after the peace following the Dragon War. When the moon reached its zenith, the man lifted his head and, bringing a hand to his face to pull his long silver hair back and out of his vision, stared upward to the moon.

"This will be my last war. I can feel it in my bones, Drevala. Your brother will be a damn fine leader, but don't let him forget we're no nobles; Blackwells started as farmers and mercenaries, not kings and scholars. I know that lad fancies himself a king, and if he gets himself onto the throne of Formaroth after I'm gone I won't be surprised one bit." He rose up and stood rigid, a stark military stance. He lifted a hand to his forehead and, with two fingers, drew a line across his face- casting his hand aside as if discarding a hand of cards. This was an old salute of the man's, back when he was a young mercenary. It served to bring him back to his roots.

"I've grown melancholy. I've fought damn hard to get us here, and I can feel war coming in my bones." The man seemed to express some vague emotion on his face- a fleeting smile, perhaps- and turn to stare at the small mouse sitting beneath a small patch of weeds. "Never falter, never fall. Keep your siblings safe, Drevala. We'll have a war on our hands again and we'll make it the best damn war anybody's ever seen."

This last statement carried nothing but the honest conviction of a soldier tasked with something evil and dirty. The Mouse was silent in response, and after watching the man return to his chambers to sleep, dashed away into the night...

.....
Mercy, early morning

"What if there is no war, brother?" Drevala's voice was soft spoken and calm; inquisitive and inviting. Her brother, however, had naught but a scowl upon his face. Drevala had only just woken him up with a violent shaking in the pre-dawn morning. Adding to Eli's dismay was the fact his sister was shameless and wore one of his robes over her bare body. He assumed she had just flown in his window and thrown on the first clothing she found before waking him, but it was still annoying to be woken up.

"There will be. There is no direct successor and a half dozen pretenders. The crown is deeply indebted, and the bank is as brutal as father is. If the nobles don't fight over the crown, the bank will claim it in return for bankruptcy. Ha!" The man snorted at this statement as if the idea of the bank seizing the throne was incredibly amusing to him. He brushed his sister off and sat up, rubbing his face and looking aside from the woman. He peered through his fingers and out of his chamber door, onto the open-air balcony he enjoyed as a private luxury. His father had his garden, Eli had his balcony. He rose up, brushing roughly past his silent sister, and swaggered out into the air- grabbing up a leather glove in passing and sliding it onto his arm.

Upon emerging outside his mouth emitted a shrill whistle into the air and he extended his arm outward- a few moments later a great falcon alighting upon his arm.

"Good morning Mary." Drevala cooed as she followed Eli onto the balcony. "Answer me this; what if there is no war? What will you and father do? I will not judge nor resist any plan you say or course of action you wish to take, as I love you and father dearly, but I just wish to know what you will do if there is no war to be had."

Eli was silent for a moment, gently stroking the bird's feathers. He lowered his head and cast the bird into the air, before setting his gaze onto Drevala. What the woman saw chilled her deeply; his eyes were identical to her father's.

"If there is no war, Drevala, we will incite one."

"If we make war, father will die."

The two seemed to have mutually stunned one another into silence, but neither wavered in their gaze. At last they spoke as one;

"I'm with you, (Brother/Sister).

"...If there is no war, I will not drive father to his death by agreeing to incite one."

"If there is a war, I will keep you and our sisters alive to see its end."

The two made these promises to one another as the sun dawned and turned the sky a crimson hue above them- red battling black for dominance. Drevala looked to the sky- Eli slowly following her gaze upward. A few seconds later, his robe fell t the ground and a second falcon took flight into the sky.

It was at this moment he realized his sister had contradicted herself and gotten him to double-think his intentions. He clicked his tongue and shook his head, grabbing up the fallen robe as he returned into his room to prepare for the day.
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Hidden 4 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by MacabreFox
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MacabreFox Wee Witchy Woo

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Miserth Keep - Castle Dungeons


It was on her way back to her chamber room when Aurelia decided to visit Claus Rotstein, where he awaited judgement in the castle dungeons. She turned about on the heel of her boot, and proceeded down the main hall, and took a left turn, heading into a smaller stone room, that had a winding, spiral staircase leading below to the dungeons. As she descended into the underground world beneath Miserth Keep, Aurelia wondered truly what this man, and his mercenary company was about.

Once reaching the landing below, Aurelia entered the jailers room, where a great, iron wrought gate stood, the jailer himself seated at a desk in front of the gate.

"Hello milady, how can I help you?" The jailer sat up immediately, he had been caught dozing off on the job, though Aurelia said nothing.

"Hello jailer, I wish to visit one of the prisoners. A Claus Rotstein, he was brought in yesterday I believe?" Replied Aurelia, with an air of officiality in her voice.

"Ah yes, right you are, he's in the second level, last cell on the right. Would you like for me to escort you?" Offered the jailer, trying his best to be helpful.

"I would appreciate it if you would, I wouldn't want to lose my way down there." Aurelia graciously accepted the offer, and waited for him to open the iron gate. She watched as he rose from his chair, and selected a key off his key ring, and let the gate swing open with a giant creak.

"Follow me please." The jailer grabbed a torch, already aflame, and proceeded into the depths of the dungeons. They wandered down past several blocks of cells before ascending to the second level of the dungeons.
Occasionally, Aurelia peered into a few cells, looking at the miscreants locked away inside. It didn't take long for them to reach the cell Claus was in. The jailer stood before the cell, holding the torchlight for her.

Aurelia neared the cell and called out into the darkness, "Claus Rotstein?"

Claus was surprised to hear a voice call out to him, even more so for it to be a woman's voice.

He quickly sat up from his brutish seat and walked into the torchlight at the cell door.
Claus rubbed his eyes, not used to the light and studied his visitors, the jailer and a finely dressed woman, probably a noble he decided.

"Greetings milady and sir jailer, I'd offer you a seat and some drinks, but I seem to have run out." Claus' humor was as dry as ever, yet the jailer just met his gaze with a disappointed look.

The mercenary captain stepped forward from the darkness and into the torchlight. Aurelia could see that he was a tall man, with a large scar across his face, with dark hair, she couldn't tell the distinct colour, be it black or brown, and as she peered at him through the iron bars, she could tell that he had blue eyes.

"Allow me to introduce myself, I am Aurelia Vyncetta, High Magister of the royal court. I am to preside over your trial, come next morn. Normally, this would fall under Alexander's jurisdiction as he is the Advisor of Law here; however, he already has several cases to deal with tomorrow, and I am expected to give you a fair trial. I wanted to hear the words from your very mouth. Claus Rotstein, I know that you are captain of a mercenary group of men, known as the Steel Fist. Can you please tell me as to why your men and you, have come to Nyhem?" She stood inches away from the iron bars that separated Claus and her, her hands clasped in front of her navy blue and silver-trimmed gown. She was not intimidated by any man, by any means.

Claus eyed the woman before him, trying to make sense of her before returning to a more regular conversation.

"You wonder why we have come to Nyhem? It's rather simple really, we have returned from a long contract working for the elves, specifics are not necessary, and now we have after seven years finally returned home. Why Nyhem in particular? Most of my men hail from here or the surrounding lands. I myself was born in the neighboring lands to the east." Claus response was direct, and without fuss, and it was like he was sighing.

"The important people in this town seem to be completely unbeknownst to the fact that soldiers like to get home and have a massive party. If we were here to do some unsavory act the city of Nyhem would at the moment see siege towers being built outside effective archery range and sappers would begin the task of undermining the walls. True, the city's harbor makes it very resilient to sieges, therefore we would need to work fast since starving you out is not an option."
Claus stare was blank, it had lost its humor, and he was simply stating what he saw as facts. The jailer was visibly getting a bit tense. Claus held an almost unblinking eye contact with Aurelia.

Aurelia listened respectfully to the man behind the iron bars, her face only changing when she caught note of the tone of his voice, he sounded as if he had had to explain himself before. Yet, she only felt relief that he did not badger her with taunts or insults for having him thrown in the dungeons.

"I understand. You'll have to forgive us, as we only lost our King but days ago. We are very tense here within in the city, as we are not sure who will be the next King or Queen. Seeing such fanfare would make the citizens feel unease at your company's unexplained presence. The people of Nyhem have already come with questions as to why there is such a large group of militaristic men assembling in our town square. We presumed that you were an ally to one of the other Houses, that was declaring an act of war." She paused and continued her gaze, unwavering, as she collected her thoughts before speaking again.

"I will still have to bring you to trial in the morning, Claus. There is one question I do have before I go. We will need to increase castle security within the next two weeks, a fortnight or so, for all of the arriving lords and ladies. Your company has come at a time, where we may need your services, if you had a price...what would it be?"

Aurelia knew she was taking a chance by asking him such a question, but she needed him to cooperate, especially since he had a large group of men under his command. If anything were to go awry in the coming days when the other House lords and ladies arrived, Claus and his men would be beneficial to have around. Of course she would still have to ask Duncan for permission since he was now acting Regent King. She waited for his response, the tension hung between them, as Aurelia refused to look away.

"You want to employ the Steel Fist?" Claus was genuinely surprised and half laughed the next sentence.

"Typical lords, always paranoid..." Claus shook his head and then met Aurelia's gaze.

"Since I am in charge of a rather large band of very skilled troops, I happen to be able to name their prize as I see fit, and seeing that you miss are my prosecutor in my upcoming trial...." It seemed that Claus would come up with some completely unreasonable proposal after his smug statement.

"The typical fee will be needed, men who work expect payment, so 50 gold, or 5000 silver is only fair, but seeing that I want to make a good impression, we can knock of 100 silver, then of course I'd much prefer a trial in my favor, especially since I can't lead my men in protecting all the good lords if I'm locked up in a dungeon." He was grinning now.

"Oh, and he gets set free." Claus pointed at his trooper in the corner, now toppled over in an even more impressively uncomfortable looking posture.

A loud fart was heard from the rear of the cell.

"Excuse my company, there are more reasons than the obvious that I want to leave this cell." Claus stated, he seemed in a joking mood, perhaps he enjoyed grim humor?

She listened all the while without a word escaping her lips, the captain of the Steel Fist appeared to be very certain of himself, though she said nothing. She considered his words but could only smile in response.

"I will consider your proposal. However, your trial shall be a fair and just one, I will promise you that. I will not be deceitful in the eyes of the law, so I will not change any decision I make, unless of course, we find nothing to charge you with. If you are not hiding some secret, or something more dire, which I hope that you're not for your sake, then we would be more than happy to pay your men for their work. We would employ our own, trusted guardsmen, but most have been gathered and redistributed for more useful purposes at this time. And it's much easier to employ a group of well trained mercenaries for a brief period of time. I will consult with the Regent King after your trial tomorrow morn, and we will decide as a whole if we will hire your men, or if we'll cast your entire company into the depths that are these dungeons." So saying, Aurelia gave a pitiful sigh and brushed back a strand of hair that had fallen out of place.

"I hope you have nothing to hide for your sake Claus Rotstein, is there anything else you wish to say, or ask, before I return upstairs?" She wrapped one hand around the iron bar of his cell and peered in at him closer, studying him very closely, as if trying to discover all of his secrets now.

Claus Rotstein grasped a bar with his left hand, close to Aurelia's, and leaned in. Studying the woman before him.

"Oh I have many things that are hidden, but none that should keep me in a dungeon." He smiled wryly, in an untrustworthy kinda way.

"The only thing I'd like to ask for really at the moment is that I and my man here be kept in a guarded room instead of this dungeon, I promise I won't try anything stupid, and I have my men under control." Claus said seriously, he seemed to change his outward mood all the time.

Her brows furrowed at the captain's attempt to intimidate her. She let it run off her back like cool water, as she remained where she stood.

"We shall see when tomorrow comes. For the time being, I will have you transferred to one of our upper cells. Your man can stay here for another night, I'm certain that won't be a problem, especially if you are innocent as you say." With that Aurelia took a step back from his cell and motioned for the jailer to follow her.

As she started down the dungeon corridor, Aurelia called out,
"I will see you in the morning Claus! Don't worry, we'll have you moved to your new cell shortly." Her voice echoed off the stone walls, the torchlight held by the jailer growing ever faint as they moved up the spiral staircase.

Claus waved to Aurelia by wiggling his fingers and smiling happily, watching the swaying motions of Aurelia's clothing disappear around a corner, he then leaned against the barred door for a while.

That was all the fun he would have in a long while, at least he would have a nice bed. He looked over at the crossbowman from his company.

Too bad he would be here with this brute and.... his thinking was interrupted by a loud fart, followed by a burp and the unmistakable sound of the scratching of a man's arse. Claus shook his head.

Claus went over to his man and kicked his knee, not hard, just to wake him up.

"Ey, no sleeping on the job." Claus muttered, the man hastily got up after a bit of grunting.

"I wasn't sleeping... sir...." Claus looked at the worst lie he had ever heard was priceless, and the man in front of him knew full well that Claus, not in the tiniest sense, believed him.

"You need to drink less, also, you were not actually sleeping on the job... since we're in prison. So you get away this time." Claus tried to tell him seriously, but a hidden smirk betrayed his thoughts.

"I need someone with more brains than a snoring pillow or a fat fart to speak to, I'm going stir crazy. Care to help me out with that?" Claus gestured to the other cellmates while speaking his mind.

"Sure boss, I can help ya out." The man smiled and did a half assed salute.

The time was spent bantering and trying to hit the brute's ear with tiny pebbles, tragically Claus realised he'd spent days in far less enjoyable recreation than this.

{Collab by ~ @Klomster@MacabreFox}
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Hidden 4 yrs ago 4 yrs ago Post by TheDuncanMorgan
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TheDuncanMorgan The One True King

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“Well, that was an unfortunate outcome” Duncan said to himself glumly as he read a report from one of his scouts. Earlier in the week he had gotten a message that a young girl located in the isolated village of Mayhill, had exhibited magical abilities. Unfortunately the residents of the village, being both uneducated and ignorant to the arcane arts reacted as one would expect; violently. Duncan had sent soldiers to pacify the villagers and take the girl to the safety of the mages circle. However the soldiers were unable to arrive in time and as a result, the girl was burnt at the stake. Duncan let out a heavy sigh and he sat back in his chair. The head advisors chambers was a reasonably sized stone room located right next to the High council room. There was various furniture within the room, all of which of high quality. This included a large wooden bed with red cotton sheets, and a rectangular table which Duncan was currently sitting at. The room also had a balcony which looked out onto the city of Nyhem. A knock on the door made Duncan sit back up before replying.

“Come in”. The door slowly opened as Alenius made her way into the room.

“As you requested, Lord Charles Du Paraquette is here to see you”

“Very good please send him in” Duncan said before lowering his voice “and guard the door until the meeting is over, I don’t want anyone eavesdropping on this”. Alenius nodded before heading back out through the door. Shortly after she left Charles Du Paraquette walked in. Charles was a thin man with short brown hair and a well-trimmed beard; he often carried a serious expression on his face and now was no exception.

“Lord-regent” Charles said as he greeted Duncan. He spoke in a formal manner with little emotion in his voice. Yet even with the lack of emotion there was still a slight sense of severity in his voice.

“Greetings Lord Charles. Please take a seat” Duncan said as he signalled to the chair on the other side of the table. As Charles made his way over to the seat Duncan reach over to a bottle of wine that was already on the desk “Could I offer you some wine? It has just arrived in from Orog” Duncan offered. Charles looked at the wine bottle, before looking back to Duncan to reply.

“No, if this meeting is as important as I think it is, then I choose to do it with a clear head”.

“And exactly how important do you think this meeting is exactly”? Duncan asked while pouring the wine into a glass goblet for himself. Duncan spoke in a polite and formal manner, but there was also a certain slyness in his voice.

“Let’s not waste time with the political formalities; I know why you have invited me here. You have invited me because you want the Du Paraquette’s to support your claim to the throne”. Charles said harshly. “Am I correct”? Despite the harshness of Charles voice, Duncan’s face remained as calm and confident as it was before.
“That would be one of the reasons”. Duncan said as he took a sip from his goblet.

“And what would be the other reason”? Charles said, though his voice was still severe, he seemed less confident than before; it was clear from Duncan’s smug demeanour that he had some kind of leverage to use against him.

“This is the other reason” Duncan said as he picked up a scroll from the table. “You see, I started to notice that large sums of money that was originally meant to go to the royal treasury was going missing. So I had several of my agents investigate the matter. Sure enough they found the source of the corruption; it appears that your father is diverting funds meant for the crown into his own private bank. If this information were to get out then he would be arrested and the Du Paraquette’s name would be greatly sullied”. Charles eyes filled with fury as he venomously stared at Duncan.

“So this is your plan then” He spat “blackmail us for our support” Even now Duncan’s face and tone did not change.

“Certainly not. This is not blackmail, this is an offer” Duncan smiled. Charles raised an eyebrow and relaxed, his eyes, which only a moment ago were filled with anger and rage, were now filled with curiosity.

“I’m listening”

“It is no secret that you do not see eye to eye with your parents. You believe them to be incompetent and I am in full agreement with you. Therefore I offer you these documents that evident your father’s guilt, so you can present them to the royal court. With a few alterations made to these your mother could also be implemented in this as well. As a result they will both be arrested and tried for treason and you will be the new ruler of Sypius Plains. Also considering that you will be the one to reveal these documents, you will be loved by the common people of Sypius Plains for removing the rulers they despite, and respected by the nobles for your loyalty to the crown”. Duncan paused for a moment before continuing. “In exchange for these documents I get the full support of the Du Paraquette’s and a competent ally”. Charles was silent for a while as he considered the proposal made. The silence continued for a full five minutes before Charles finally answered.

“I have made my decision” Charles said with a smile as he placed out his hand, to which Duncan handed the scroll to.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Klomster
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Klomster The man, the myth, the legend.

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After some time in the dungeon with both throwing rocks, followed by overpowering of an angry brute with a hangover to some more rock throwing at said brute. Three people were heard entering the corridor, one was regular footsteps but two were unmistakably heavily armoured.

The jailer were seen behind two of the Cawanor guards whom stopped side by side in front of the barred jail door.
Shortly after Claus and his man met them at the door, Claus hung his arms between the bars in a really laid back manner and smiled at the guards.

-"We have come to escort three prisoners." The soldier checked his papers, while at times raising his sight at those inside the cells. Claus curiously looked at his man, who met with a confused motion of his hands.

-"You two!" The guard yelled at the mercenaries. He kept going.
-"You will follow me, and Bartholomew.... get your sorry ass up!" To Claus and his mans great surprise the farting and snoring man was the third one and he suddenly stood up and seemed to have been awake all day, smiling wryly with an ugly yellow smile.

-"Hehe, you know me too well." Bartholomew said while the jailer opened the door. Claus was just shocked, he was awake all along? He was only released from this confusion when a guard snapped his fingers in front of his face and loudly got Claus attention.
-"Ey, get moving."

The procession went slowly, with all three properly cuffed while in transport. Claus couldn't help wondering so he asked.
-"So, where are we headed?"
-"You are being escorted to a room higher up in the actual castle awaiting your trial, your man is being set free since he was to be held here just for the night." A slight pause then he kept going.
-"And you Bartholomew, you are bailed again....." A great discontent was audible in the sighing sound of the guards voice. Bartholomew just smiled broadly.

-"You should drink less." The second guard told the Steel fist crossbowman. But was met with a smug smile and a.
-"Yeah sure, will do."

His smug attitude was cut short when he noted his captains gaze upon him, Claus Rotsteins gaze seemed able to kill rodents and his captain was clearly not amused.
-"I mean, YES SIR!!!" The man changed his attitude, and seemingly saluted both the guard and Claus, but ultimately butted his head against his steel handcuffs. Followed by an Ow.

Close to the main entrance Claus companions left him, along with one guard. Claus saw them being escorted over the drawbridge before being released.
Claus was escorted up a spiral staircase and led to a room with no outward difference to the other rooms in the corridor.
The guard opened the door and pointed at the different things inside, with short almost barking orders.
-"This is a servants quarter currently not in use, there's a bed, a table and a stool. Some clean clothes and some book to read. If you can read that is." The man seemed to half insult Claus with the last sentence, it was then he realized this was the same man who got him here in the first place.

Claus entered and heard the door slam behind him, not the friendly type this guy he thought.
But then Claus simply saw the nice clothes and undressed to his braies. It was just a simple uncolored tunic and some simple leggings with a simple cloth belt with a woven pattern, decent clothes but nothing fancy,what it wasn't was a gambeson with pauldrons and it wasn't damp and smelly so Claus got dressed.

Seeing he'd be here a while he checked the book while falling on top of the bed. A luxury compared to stone floor.
After reading a few lines, he realized this was a poetry book, not a good one at that as well. But it beat throwing rocks so he was fine with that.

Rethinking what had happened the last few days, Claus realized that considering circumstances, he could be far worse off than this. This was pure vacation compared to some of the army camps working for the elves, and it could even had gotten real bad when entering the city.

"Your eyes are like honey in the moonlight. Its fragrance magical and light. You cheeks are like the colour of sand, of roses coloured."
Wow, this was some special literature. Claus read aloud a few times to mess with the guard outside.

During the day a servant came and silently took his clothes for washing, and he was later served a simple meal, but with beef, which was much delightful.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by AndrewCooper
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AndrewCooper The Cooper Trooper

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It had been many hours. Andrew sat in his throne listening to the council of Uzgob opinions on matter of the new ruler of Formaroth. Once the final council member had finished, Andrew stood "Thank you my friends, through the years of my reign you have all given me your advice and I have treasure each and everyone. But on this day lies one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make not since I made the decision to wage war with the Remmonet. So what we do today could alter both Uzgob's and Farmaroth's history so we must act carefully. I would hear from our most esteemed council members again before I make my final decision."

Andrew sat back in his throne whilst the eldest council member stood ready to give his opinion. "Back in my day we would have summoned the army and took the throne of Formaroth ourselves. All of Formaroth know the strength of our army thanks to the war. I say we show it again". "Yes and we would show the land that we are no better than Helyot" replied Andrew. "We must show Nyhem that we have the peoples best interest at heart not our own". "The DeReimers and the other houses could use that to their advantage" said the Elder. "That is true councilman and if they do they will only expose themselves to the people, Thank you councilman but I that is not my way." said Andrew.

The elder sat feeling rather stupid about his offer. As this happened the second councilman stood ready to give his opinion."Thank you Lord Andrew, I believe that we should send one our best ambassadors to Nyhem to discuss and put forward your claim to the throne. It is the best and safest idea". "Thank you Councilman" said Andrew. The councilman sat down in his seat. Now it was time for Andrew to make his decision he knew that whatever he said would get criticism from any of the council members but he had made his decision.

"Council members I have made my decision" said Andrew "I will personally go to Nyhem to discuss with the other houses our claims to the throne of Formaroth". "My lord this is madness you will be a clear target in Nyhem, some still believe that you are nothing but a king slayer" said a council member. "That is true but I must show them that I am not afraid and it will give me a chance to talk to those who do see me as that, but I will take a small number of my elite bodyguard just in case" replied Andrew. "I thank you council members but this meeting is adjourned I will for Nyhem first thing in the morning". As Andrew left the council chamber he could hear the whispers from the council members he knew that the room was mixed with whether the decision would lead to Uzgob's glory or its ruination.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Cold Hands
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Cold Hands Guilds Resident White Walker

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-Iain & Anna-

Looking at the rider, both Iain and Anna had expected visitors from the other houses but from the Blackwell’s it was intriguing but not entirely unexpected. Seeing as they had been a house made in war, but they still respected them for the prowess and dragon hunting. Rubbing the slight stubble at the end of his chin as he read the contents of the letter. A curious proposition to say the least. “Give the man some hot food and drink he’s earned it. On the morrow I will have a letter for your lord, for now please enjoy our hospitality.” Motioning his hand as a few servants follow in tow to give the messenger what comforts they had.

Anna reread the letter again. She hadn’t met any of the Blackwell’s but from the letters contents seemed inclined to believe that they should act according to GIles suggestion. Sitting down in what would’ve been her mother seat as a platter of burnt bacon and silverback fish, with a side of brown beer. “Thralreth will most likely go along with father’s decision since he and the Staghain’s are close. However with the king dead it complicates many things.” Biting into a handful of the blackened bacon, forgetting the formalities of eating at home.

Looking back at her brother who looked to have a difficult decision to make for once, it was an uneasy feeling seeing her brother which was considered to be one the realms greatest minds struggle with a decision. “Father trusts you.” Saying only after she’d swallowed her food.

“Parchment and ink.” Iain ordered. “True but taking the whole of things into perspective it is a troubling decision to make. Father knew that such a proposition would come and was testing me, I am smarter but the wisdom he has will surpass anything that I can ever come up with.” Taking the ink and parchment and had begun writing two letters. One back to Lord Blackwell and the other to his lord father.

-Bearnard, Cormag, & Anabla-

Bearnard and his middle children sat in the galley of the ship ‘Second Wind’, only the three of them and the most trusted of his guard sat down as their discussion wouldn’t leave the ship. “We’re out of place in the capital, all of you know it and I don’t like being here as much as any of you. It’s too hot.” Musing a slight smile that made a few of the other have a small chuckle, with small smiles on Cormag and Anabla.

“With Duncan De Reimer acting as king in these times he will try to take the throne. By cohersion at first, bending the other’s to his will. Legally it will take time, but he will try to wipe any threat from obtaining this goal.”

Looking to his gargantuan of a son, before speaking again. “Cormag and five men will be with me among the deliberations. His size should help deter any of the lords from acting out of line. But it will not be enough for the snake to rethink his actions. Cold Heart will not be taken out of this ship. I will not have our beloved heirloom in the hands of a traitorous rat.” Staring at his son, with beast like intensity.”If anything should go sour you all know what will happen.”

Bearnard turned his gaze to Anabla. “You and the guards will protect your mother and Lily. If anything should happen to me or Cormag you set sail with and without delay. This ship is swift and by far faster than these northerners can conjurer.” Staring at his daughter with the same intensity as he’d given Cormag.

“If something does happen? What would you tell Iain and Anna?” Anabla didn’t like the thought it but best to be prepared incase such a tragedy was to occur.

“Iain and Anna are to bring our winter to the north and burn all of Cawanor to the ground. Remember our words. ‘Sharp as winter winds.’ “ The rest had all murmured the same.

“Lastly.” Looking towards Thomas. “You are not a boy and consider you my son like any of my children. This will be your last trip as my squire. You will stay here with Anabla and protect my family and if need be pursuade your father and mother to up rid ourselves of ‘The Snake’.

-Sorcha & Lily-

With a contingent of her husband’s men, Sorcha and her daughter leisurely strolled among the merchant selling their wares. Most of which Sorcha could were barely making it by. While most of the other ladies and lord that she could see sat too high, looking down upon those less fortunate than others. Saddening as it was looking at them she couldn’t do much since Bearnard had only give them a certain allowance. But seeing Lily in awe of the market it did bring a smile to her lips.

Lily looking about, saddened by the fact she didn’t have much to spend but had been delighted about being in a new market regardless of her limited spending limit. Taking in all the new sights and smells that had been so foreign from what she was so used. Her high was stolen away at the sight of a small unkempt church trying to feed those that were starving. Looking once more at the market and then the church again, her heart couldn’t take it.

“Mother.” Lily looked at her mother. “May I?” Sorcha nodded and the two ladies turned to their entourage of guards. Handing over the money that Bearnard had given them. “Please bring back what food you can please.” All of which nodded in unison as they took the coins. Two of the men however stayed with the ladies to ensure their protection.

They waited though before entering the church, it just to keep themselves from being bombarded from the peasantry Sorcha was disgusted though, it was never this bad or at least the last time she’d been in the capital. Disgusting to let the that snake worm his way to power while the building block of the realm was starving beneath his feet.

With the guards and the food in tow both mother and daughter proceeded with their gifts to the needy. Bringing vegetables along with various types of meat and fruit, it wasn’t much but it would give some of the starving a little sustenance. One guard though was nearly attacked at the door having to drop what he had, the populace nearly started attacking one another was they scurried like rats for the food. The others had barely managed to make it to the tables dropping it there for the rest of the starving people to help sate their hunger at least a little.

“I’m sorry Father we didn’t announce ourselves but we saw your need and wanted to help, even if it isn’t much.” Sorcha proceeded to talk with the priest, Lilly on the the other hand was helping out giving out the food out to those that couldn’t walk. Inadvertently the youngest of the Sutharlan’s had created a cloak of generosity to help shield her family while the discussion of a crown was debated.

“It is good to still see some that still care about those of us on the bottom. I cannot possible repay this gratitude.” The priest an elderly man his beard, nearly white as snow. His age clearly apparent but his personality gleamed was he spoke with Sorcha. “Thank you, most don’t even care about us anymore. It gives me hope that we can endure.” Sitting down, resting as he looked onward as people ate.

Sitting down next to the priest Sorcha watched as Lily kept giving out to those in need. “Father should you need more help, send someone to Raeldar. I will see to it I will give you something even if it's from my own savings.” Exhaling a sigh, wondering how bad it would get in the future.

“I will my lady.” The priests smile grew wider out of the random act of generosity that Sorcha and Lily had brought him.
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Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by MacabreFox
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MacabreFox Wee Witchy Woo

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Head Advisor's Chamber, Aurelia Vyncetta and Duncan De Reimer


After visiting the mercenary captain in the castle dungeons below, Aurelia decided to pay Duncan a visit, and inform him of what was to be expected. She proceeded down the stone corridor, returning to the hall of where the council chamber room was, the soles of her slippers padded quietly against the stone flooring. She headed for the heavy wooden door next, that was the Head Advisor's Chamber, without delay, she took note of Alenius standing guard outside his room.

"Hello Alenius," Began Aurelia in a calm fashion, "I came to tell Duncan that I've finished speaking to our new prisoner." The woman stood aside for her without a word, allowing her entry.

Without hesitating, Aurelia proceeded to enter by pushing the door open, to which she spotted Duncan at his desk. The look upon his face troubled her, he appeared...content? Or perhaps he was busy thinking of some devious plan? She cleared her throat immediately, and announced her presence.

"I must apologize for barging in like this, but I wanted to tell you that I finished speaking with our new prisoner, the mercenary captain of the Steel Fist." She would say more once he acknowledged her. Aurelia stole glances of the room, as she always did when awaiting for a reply. The exquisitely crafted furniture bore marks of King John's insignia, a gift from the King to make Duncan's chambers more comely. A fire kindled in the hearth of the room to keep the cold from creeping. Her eyes travelled back to Duncan's desk, where she took note of a bottle of wine that sat uncorked. An eyebrow raised in surprise, was he drinking, then? Yet there were two cups? With someone else perhaps?

Duncan looked up to face Aurelia, "No need to apologize, your not interrupting anything after all. So what did our mercenary friend have to say for himself?" As Duncan spoke he refilled his goblet.

"Would you like a drink? It's just arrived in from Orog."

A softened smile appeared on her face as she realized that Duncan was in a rather, pleasant mood. She took a seat upon a high-backed chair positioned across from Duncan, and motioned for him to fill her goblet as well.

"Well, I have some good news, and some bad news. The man is a very confusing person, he tried to intimidate me, though I believe he doesn't particularly understand my position here, yet. I told him, that if I find nothing faulty with his case in the morning, that he would be free to go. However..."

Aurelia hesitated to utter the next words. She appeared rather cross with her teeth biting worriedly upon her lower lip, as if she had to make an uncomfortable decision, and feared the coming results.

"I also told Claus, that..." Again she paused in her speech, "That we may desire to hire his men for when the other noblemen and women arrive, and he even gave us a price, if we wished to do so."

In truth, she worried that she had over-stepped her boundaries. Aurelia hoped that Duncan wouldn't see it that way. Though she had to give him credit for expanding her power, especially redirecting her to more important matters, than studying the stars.

Duncan raised an eyebrow, and was silent for a while. As he poured wine into Aurelia's goblet he considered the proposal made to him. This certainly wasn't something he had thought of previously. However the more he thought into it, the more it seemed like a good idea.

"This could work to our advantage. With the Steel Fist's mercenaries under our employment it will prevent the risk of them causing any further disruption in the city. Also having extra soldiers on hand to guard both the city and castle would certainly help secure the keep as well as keeping order in the city. Of course it will all depend on how much he ask for?"

Before Aurelia answered Duncan, she reached forward and grasped the goblet in her hand, and raised the goblet to her mouth, drinking with a thirst. She set the cup down before her, and turned her attention back to him.

"Wine from Orog, eh? It has a rather fragrant taste, no? Thank you for sharing." She started, "The price, isn't as much as I feared. He asks for 50 gold, or 5,000 silver."

"To be blatant, I did not originally intend to hire him, and his men. But yes, that was the very same conclusion I came to as well. With the Steel Fist, we would bolster our defenses in case anything goes awry, and a mercenary group such as theirs, is best placed under control, instead of running rampant through the streets of Nyhem."

Aurelia reached for the goblet again, and cradled it tenderly in her hands. She didn't mind the benefits of drinking beverages such as wine, mead, or ale. Though, wine was her favorite. She could already feel the warmth rising to her cheeks, flushing as red as a rose, it always happened when she drank.

"Indeed. If House Greensworth can at least do one right, it's wine. Though, I guess even then they're not the ones making it. Which reminds me, Jullon Greensworth has arrived for the meeting, which means I'm going to have to talk to him at some point." Duncan groaned. The very idea of having to deal with that man was tiring to say the least.

"Fifty gold seems a more than reasonable amount for that many mercenaries. What do we know about the man himself"? Duncan said as he once again refilled his goblet.

Standing beside a tall candelabra, Aurelia had drank more from the bottle of Orog wine with Duncan. The two of them became carried away in their conversation, until Aurelia had risen from her chair, and began strolling about the room, wine goblet in hand.

With one hand wrapped around the candelabra, Aurelia pointed a finger at Duncan in which her hand held the goblet, and could only laugh loudly before collecting her composure. Aurelia's black hair hung about her like ebony sheets, cascading over her shoulders and down her back; her face red, from liquor, and her eyes shining with tears.

"I dare say now! Duncan, you are rather something else!"

She went to hide her eyes in the crook of her elbow, but instead, stumbled. Aurelia lost her balance, tripping over her feet, and came close to knocking over the candelabra, had it not been for a quick swipe of her hand. Spilled candle wax on the stone floor cooled as she stared at the wax, as if she had been stabbed. Glancing up in astonishment at Duncan, Aurelia began laughing even louder. She covered her mouth, managing to shake her head at her own clumsy behavior.

"That's how you know you've had too much, when you almost set the Regent King on fire, eh?" Bellowed Aurelia.

Normally, the High Magister didn't partake much in wine, but it had been some time since she had tasted a drop. However, Aurelia felt to be in good company with Duncan.

"You know, Duncan, I don't drink. Not much, really. Yet when I'm with you, I always find myself accepting a glass." Complimented the woman before him. She moved over to his desk, and sat upon the edge of it. A drunken smile appeared on her lips as she sat, gazing at Duncan steadily.

"Tell me one thing... How do you really feel about your nickname, Duncan? The Snake doesn't sound so ambicable to me." Lifting her hand, she made a gesture, as if to reach out and caress his cheek, like that of a loved one, but her hand fell away, resting in her lap.

Duncan knew that he had greatly underestimated the potency of the wine, the fact that he was struggling to hold up his goblet was a obvious sign of this. However, after observing Aurelia nearly knocking over the candelabra it was clear that he was handling the alcohol better than she was. Yet Duncan couldn't help but smile, and even laughed at her comment about setting him on fire. Considering that she always seemed so serious, it was nice to see her loosen up. Duncan was slightly surprised as Aurelia reached out towards Duncan's cheek, however he did not pull away.

"Well, compared to the nicknames of some of the nobles in this city I suppose I should be grateful" Duncan said jokingly.

"Besides, I should not concern myself with mere rumours while there are far more important things to focus on". Duncan went quiet for a little while after finishing his sentence.

"But suppose it does make me feel..." Duncan paused, though he tried to hid it there was a clear look of upset in his eyes. "Well lets just say it's not the nickname I would have chosen for myself" Duncan said as he faked a smile.

"Makes you feel what, Duncan? What nickname would you rather choose to be known as, if you had a choice?"

Aurelia suddenly questioned him with a curious notion in her head, despite her inebriated exterior. She rose from the desk's edge, and moved to the velvet chair, in front of his desk once more. There she sank into the chair with a heavy sigh as if she had worn herself out, finally, for her own sake. Aurelia's eyes sparkled with a glossy look about them as she turned her head about to gaze into the firelight.

It seemed as though the heat of the flame warmed her body, for she again rose from her chair, and dragged it across the floor, and placed it at an angle so that she may be warmed by its flames, but not overwhelmingly hot. With a long, slow blink of her eyes, Aurelia addressed him in a delicate voice.

"Won't you come and join me by the fire here? Drag your chair over here, I've got an awful headache, and a chill in my heart. Your words will do me well over here?"

The high magister appeared restless in her state, as if the wine had made her feel heady, and unbalanced.

Duncan slowly dragged his chair along the floor over to the fire place. Once the chair was in place Duncan fell back clumsily into his chair and he bashed his head against the back of the chair. Duncan let out a groan of pain before he re adjusted himself back in his chair and stared into the fire place.

"How do you think it makes me feel? Unappreciated, disrespected, untrustworthy, everything you would associate with someone who goes by the name 'snake'" Duncan took a sigh before continuing, "When I was offered to be a member of the High Council all those years ago I dreamed of becoming someone who was loved by the people and respected by the nobles. How foolish and Naive I was back then" Duncan said with a spiteful laugh, "It doesn't matter what I do now, I will forever be known as 'the snake', take my advise Aurelia; if you ever get labelled with a title or nickname, make sure it is a good one, because it may as well be branded into you forehead".

Duncan soon realised his tone had become increasingly hostile, "I'm sorry, I didn't meant to take it out on you" Duncan said in a far smoother voice than he had been speaking with formally.

Despite the fact that Aurelia possessed an awful, dizzying headache, and the fact that she couldn't feel her face due to the potency of the Orog wine, she managed not only to listen to Duncan, but understood his words and the meaning behind them. She felt his pain vividly, and reached out hastily, grabbing his hand in hers, and gave it a tight, comforting squeeze.

"Oh my liege, I know of the very pain with which you speak. I have kept to myself for my own reasons, all of which comes from the Isles wherein I learned magic. Whilst I was there, the older, more superior pupils taunted me relentlessly. They called me names, and taunted me like the pathetic school boys they were. They pulled horrible pranks on me, and said I was a Mountain Sheep Herder, implying that I was but a simpleton, and smelled of dung solely because I hailed from a reclusive mountain village in Raeldar."

Aurelia stopped in her tracks, and mournfully gazed into the fire place. As if she recalled something trivial, if one were to look close enough, they would see tears in the eyes of the high magister.

"You mustn't apologize, Duncan, you were simply being honest." Breaking softly, even her voice hinted to the sadness she felt for the two of them.

"You are no snake to me Duncan De Reimer."

"Thank you Aurelia. That really does mean something, truly. And if it's any consolation, you are far more than a mere 'Mountain Sheep Herder'. You are Aurelia Vyncetta, High Magister and member of the High Council". Duncan smiled once he finished. He returned a comforting hand squeeze to Aurelia.

Though the firelight cast a glow upon her face, Aurelia couldn't help but to blush at Duncan's kind words, slowly she drew her hand away from his and let out a small sob, covering her face with her hands.

"I'm so afraid Duncan. I'm terrified at what could become of us. We could all be murdered if someone else rises to the throne." She stifled a cry as she buried her face further into velvet sleeve of her dress.

"I'm afraid of dying." Aurelia whispered mournfully.

I'm afraid of dying The words were all to familiar. They had been the very same words he had spoken to his brother after their parents had been killed. Duncan turned to Aurelia and repeated what his brother had told him all those years ago.

"Do not fear death. For it is the one thing in life that is certain. Everyone dies sooner or later so don't worry about your death, worry about your life and living it the best you can. Besides I always viewed death to be nothing more than another path in the journey that is life."Duncan let out a loud sigh before continuing, "However I have no interest in taking that path quite yet, hence why I aim to win this inevitable war."

Aurelia could only lift her face, now wet with tears, from the crook of her elbow, and gazed upon Duncan with a peculiar smile.

"Oh Duncan, you always know what to say."

She wiped the tears that had spilled from her cheeks delicately, with the back of her hand. Suddenly, a small hiccup escaped from between her lips.

"Would you be so kind as to walk me back to my room, Duncan? My head is heavy with sleep from that cursed wine, despite how much I quite enjoyed it, I think it would be a damning look for me if they found me asleep in the halls." With pursed lips, Aurelia's face pleading with brows furrowed together turned to look upon Duncan.

"Very well, I will help you." Duncan said as he rose from his seat, Duncan staggered a bit before regaining his footing. He walked over to Aurelia before offering a hand to her. As Duncan helped her up, he let out an internal groan as he remembered that Aurelia's room was in the west wing, at the top of a very tall tower.

A Drunken Adventure through the West Wing, and up the Tower Stairs


With Duncan's arm about her waist to support her, the two exited the chamber room with much struggle. Though Aurelia was no heavy woman, the volume of her dress with the many folds prohibited her from walking with ease, for she frequently stepped on the hem of her dress, causing the high magister to trip, and stumble as she went. On several occasions she almost succeeded in bringing down Duncan with her.

The castle itself slept in peace through the night, not a soul stirred throughout the entire stone fortress, even the candelabras that lined the corridors had extinguished themselves, leaving the regent King and the high magister to wander through the darkness.

Much sooner than later as luck would have it, the stone archway to the steps of the tower appeared before them. Aurelia groaned outwardly upon the sight of the steps, for she knew they were numerous, and would be troublesome. With an exasperated sigh, she leaned against the wall, and put her foot forward, taking the first step of many.

"Oh why did I ever desire to have my chambers at the top of these blasted stairs!"

She grabbed Duncan's hand and pulled him up the stairs with her. Aurelia had only taken a few more steps before she almost lost her balance again, which would have sent her backwards down the stairs, giving her a nasty concussion. She gave a loud cry as she startled herself, her arms flailing over head, until her fingers caught Duncan's coat sleeve.

However, she did not fall, and regained her balance once more. Already, her forehead began to bead with drops of sweat.

"Oh that cursed wine, promise me that I shan't have another drop of it."

Aurelia mumbled more to herself than to Duncan. In the recess of her mind, she felt a sense of sheer gratitude for him agreeing to go with her. She would thank him some way for his act of kindness later, Aurelia would be certain of it.

"I could promise you that, but I get the feeling that it's a promise I can't keep." Duncan laughed.

The trip up the tower had been harder than Duncan had originally expected, the fact that Aurelia had almost pulled him down the stairs by accident was evident of this. However he didn't regret helping her; after all he didn't want her to end up killing herself just trying to get to her room. As Duncan approached Aurelia's door he let out a sigh of relief. Duncan opened the door before gently letting go of Aurelia, this had been the first time he had been in Aurelia's room and he couldn't help but look around in curiosity. The room was not at all what he had expected; he expected something filled with tomes and strange ingredients. Instead the room was rather simple and normal. Though Duncan could not deny that the view from the balcony was phenomenal.

Then I shall be forever doomed!” Laughed Aurelia at Duncan for his joke, in truth, that would indeed be a hard promise to keep.

She had left her room in an immaculate state, with her tomes, scrolls and journals stowed away upon her bookcase that sat adjacent to the door and her desk. Her bed was simple, with a waxed, wooden frame, and a canopy of black silk hung above her bed suspended to the wall with an iron frame. Her sheets were simple in design, made of wool, and green in colour, with two feather-down pillows. She had a bedside table, upon which a silver-handled mirror, and a candleholder sat with a short stub of a candle yet to be finished. There was a large armoire in which her dresses, and other vestments hung inside. The armoire depicted an artisanal, hand-carved, scene of a unicorn alongside a river bank; this piece of furniture was the most notable item in her room that was not simple in appearance. There was also a woven, changing screen in one corner, next to a water basin and mirror mounted to the wall. Last but not least, she had her desk overlooking the castle garden’s below, and a small, stone fireplace with two, velvet chairs surrounding it.

Aurelia released Duncan from her clutches, and strode over to a floor-length window, and opened it, revealing a balcony just outside. However, she chose not to venture out onto the stone edifice. Then, the high magister wandered over to the hearth in her room, and placed three logs from a metal holder, within the fireplace. She held out a hand above the logs and whispered an inaudible word. Instantly, fire leapt from her fingertips, and the wood ignited with ease. With a fire now heating her room, she proceeded to her bed, where she kicked off her shoes, flinging them halfway across her chambers as she went. She fell backwards onto her bed, and gave an exasperated sigh, and closed her eyes willingly.

Blast it all,” Aurelia began with a mumble, “I still have to rid myself of this forsaken dress.

She struggled to push herself up into a seated position again, until she succeeded, and remained leaning over her knees with her head bowed. She reached back with one hand, and tried to unfasten the knot she had tied at the nape of her neck to hold her stays in place, though she failed mightily.

Once more she turned to look upon Duncan, and with another pleading gaze, she elicited his help again.

I am sorry that I’ve tasked you with bringing me all the way here. But will you help me one more time?” Here, Aurelia rose on wobbly legs from her bed, and strode over to him.

Will you untie this damned knot? I can’t reach it.

Duncan hesitated slightly before replying, "Oh...um of course" He said nervously.

"I am not someone to deny a lady in need of assistance." He continued with a slight blush. It certainly wasn't something that Duncan thought Aurelia would ever ask for help with. Despite the effects of the wine, Duncan managed to untie the knot through a rather fumbling attempt.

"Do you require any further assistance? If not then I will take my leave and will not intrude on your privacy further."

She could feel the brush of his fingers against her skin as he fumbled to untie the knot, once she felt her stays loosen, she turned about on weak legs to face him. Aurelia eyed the Regent King with glassy eyes, and she offered him a tired smile.

"Aye, that will be all. Thank you so much for your help, milord. I am sorry if I've been a bother to you tonight. I still have to over see that court trial in the morning. I shall retire to bed now."

With haste, Aurelia embraced Duncan, wrapping her arms tightly about him, and then released him just as quickly. Her cheeks were flushed a deep shade of pink from the action, as hugging wasn't something she normally did.

Duncan returned the hug that Aurelia gave him, though it was just as awkward; like her, he had little experience with such an action.

"No bother at all, it was nice to have the company for the evening." Duncan said as he made his way towards the door. Once he was outside he quietly closed the door behind him before very carefully making his way down the tower stairs, trying his best not to slip; he didn't want to go down in history as the first De Reimer to be killed by a flight of stairs.

After Duncan departed, Aurelia was left alone with her thoughts, and her head pounded like that of a war drum. She reached for a pitcher of water on her bedside table, and filled a small, silver cup, to which she brought to her lips and drank readily.

Within moments, Aurelia had fallen asleep on her bed, still wearing her dress, as it was too much of a hassle to slip out of it. She would take care of it in the morning. And with heavy eyes, the High Magister drifted off to sleep for the coming day.

{A collab by @TheDuncanMorgan and @MacabreFox}
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Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by MacabreFox
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Miserth Keep, Trial of Claus Rotstein


The door to Claus’ cell suddenly opened, it was one of the royal guards with a servant carrying a book. Claus was at the moment holding his book with his left hand, standing atop the bed with his left foot perched atop the small table. Citing his book. As the two entered he simply motioned them to be silent, and cited a verse.

"Heart and soul, most delinquent in their simplitude, do not avert your gaze though, for to deny their importance is to cast oneself into a ceaseless pit of sadness and loss." It was visible Claus was going all out with his drama knowledge, it was also obvious his audience was not impressed. He kept going.

“I guess it was not good enough, should I put more emphasis on the second part?"

"Oh do shut up!" Was heard from outside, clearly the guard whom disliked Claus. The servant simply cleared his throat and spoke.

"Mr. Rotstein, we are here to take you to your trial. Please let this guard put these handcuffs upon you." He motioned to the guard, and the guard motioned Claus to step down from the bed, and turn around. He did as they wanted simply because he knew that he was innocent, at least that was what he was convinced about.

Claus was led out of the room, and was escorted by the pair, he was pleasantly surprised that the cuffs wasn't as uncomfortable as the other times he'd been led around. But he also remembered it was that other guard the other times so that did explain a lot.
Claus was taken to a small room, and ordered to wait; he could hear some motion and a few words spoken in the other room, so he assumed it was the room of the trial. Claus Rotstein was dutifully sitting on the simple wooden bench awaiting his trial.

A frigid breeze blew through the High Magister's bedroom, rousing her from her peaceful slumber. Upon opening her green-gold eyes, Aurelia duly noted that she had left her window ajar. As she pushed herself into a seated position at the edge of her bed, the immediate after-effects of the Orog wine, came crashing down around her with a pounding headache. Her tongue felt as if it were full of sand, and all she could think about was quenching her parched mouth. Thankfully, a water pitcher on her night-stand proved to carry enough water to fill her silver cup next to it, and she eagerly filled her cup, finishing the refreshment within seconds. There she remained on the edge of her mattress, her eyes squeezed tightly shut with pain, her hangover would have to wait, as she suddenly remembered that today was the court hearing for the mercenary captain of the Steel Fist, Claus Rotstein. She groaned inwardly with despair, wishing she hadn't drunk so much wine. And that was another matter. Aurelia's face grew hot at the recollection of the night before, how could she have been so open and wanton like with Duncan? Placing her hands over her eyes, Aurelia could only feel regret, and she hoped that she hadn't made a fool of herself in front of the Regent King.

Without further ado, Aurelia forced herself from the warmth of her bed, and moved to her armoire, where she then opened it, seeking a new dress for the day. There, she chose a dress the color of violets, a dark, royal purple, with trimmings in white, and a black, velveteen set of robes to cover herself. She combed her hair free of knots, and carefully braided it into a single plait that hung down her back. With that, the High Magister departed from her room, and headed for the East Wing of the keep, where the court room for insignificant trials were held. Her heeled shoes made clicking noises against the grey cobble stone floors as she made her way across the keep.

Aurelia arrived in a timely fashion, as she found the holding room to be empty, as well as the court room. As she took her seat at the head of a raised dais behind a wooden podium, a servant entered the room.

"High Magister, shall I send for the jailer to bring up the prisoner for today's case? The Mr. Claus Rotstein?" Inquired the youth.

"Yes. Send for him, and we shall begin his trial when he gets here." Aurelia answered in return. "Before you go..."

"Milady?"

"Bring me a pitcher of water as well, would you?" Aurelia begged, her headache hadn't gone away, and she still felt ever thirsty.

"Yes of course." With that, the servant boy disappeared to fetch the prisoner.

As Aurelia waited for Claus to arrive, she cradled her head in her hands woefully, and was surprised to see the servant boy return with the requested pitch of water. He set it before her, and spoke plainly as she filled her pitcher.

"The prisoner has been brought up from the dungeons, and he waits for your admittance. Are you ready to begin the trial now, High Magister?" He asked patiently as she finished off her goblet before refilling it once more.

"Aye, send him in." Aurelia replied.

When Claus would enter, he would find, Aurelia seated at the podium, and then a solitary table with a single chair.

A servant boy passed through the door to the waiting room.

“You may enter now." He spoke, gesturing for Claus to enter, which he did.

Claus was rather surprised, he had expected... and truthfully hoped for a rather large and imposing trial, in front of the king or something. He suddenly recalled that he was dead, which would make him a rather unfit judge in the matter.

Claus realized he was staring silently unmoving at the table in the middle of the room. He began to silently walk to his seat, give a short simple bow to Aurelia before seating. Claus might not be a master of empathy, but he'd been recklessly drunk many a times in his life and woken up with all sorts of people whom for varying reasons have been found in several positions within the same place he had slept. He clearly recognized the aftermath of a rigid evening of drinking and smiled at Aurelia when he noted her strained eyes and troubled demeanor.

"Good morning miss, I see you have had an.... enlightening evening yesterday." Claus used to poke fun at people whom probably not find it amusing, which made the mischievous side of himself giggle with glee. Alas, he just smiled broadly at the magister’s situation.

Aurelia watched Claus with a steady gaze, he appeared a bit stunned by perhaps the lack of people present in the room. The servant boy moved to the side of the dais, where there sat a wooden table, adorned with an inkwell, a quill, and several loose leaf papers upon which to write. As it turned out, the servant boy wasn't any typical servant, he was actually an apprentice scribe, still a somewhat lowly rank, as he had to endure being told what to do instead of giving orders. When the mercenary captain made a suggestive remark about her having a wild night, she could only but muster a grin.

"If you ever have the chance to drink wine made from Orog, watch how much you drink. A little goes a long way. I normally do not partake so easily in such refreshments, but everyone is allowed to enjoy themselves in the right occasion."

With a slight cough, she cleared her throat and began again.

"Well enough small talk, let us start the trial. You may begin recording the contents of our trial now, Adon."

Aurelia turned in her chair to address the apprentice scribe. He looked no younger than 20 perhaps, for he barely had a hair upon his youthful face. Underneath a crown of brown locks, Adon had a slightly hooked nose, giving him a hawkish appearance. He wore a pair of white robes with a purple girdle tied about his waist.

"The prisoner brought here before us today is Captain of the Steel Fist, a mercenary company. His name is Claus Rotstein."

Aurelia paused in her speech to allow the scribe to catch up to her words. A faint scratching noise could be heard as the scribe's quill moved across the loose paper.

"For the sake of the court, and all of Nyhem, please state your full birth name, and any aliases or nicknames you have gone by, that others would know you as. Please also state the place of your birth, for the record."

It would seem as an odd request, however, for the sake of the court's documents, it made it easier for classifying the case, and being able to properly locate the papers if need be at a later date, in the castle archives. After all, it would be hard to say how many Claus Rotstein's there are in the massive archives, as the records have been kept even before Heylot's reign. Stating his birth place, and his full name with any aliases, clarified as to who the person was, and not someone that lived two centuries ago.

"Orog wine? I'll have to remember that." Claus smiled and then cleared his throat a bit.

"My full name is Claus Rotstein, second son of the family of Rotstein whom reside in south-west Scassia. My family have for generations tended to the welfare of that rural area and own a lot of the local land." He spoke in a more serious clear manner. He went on.

"As far as nicknames go I don't know of any big ones, 'Cap' and 'Boss' are hardly nicknames of mention, the captain of the company is often referred to as the 'Steel head' by the troops, but that only applies when leading the company. As the companies former captain for example is not called that anymore." Claus witnessed the scribe work, he kept good pace he thought. Wasn't an awful lot younger than himself.

"I hope that is enough, if you know a nickname I’ve gotten, please... do tell." The last words Claus spoke with a smirk.

In a way Claus felt he knew Aurelia better now, perhaps it was that she didn't appear "perfect" anymore. Showing up as judge in a court after a heavy nights drinking. Something Claus admitted he would probably end up doing as well in a similar position. He smiled to himself at the thought.

He was glad it was actually a low key trial, it felt more personal and less like he'd done something wrong. Like the time he was in court in the elven kingdom... and that time he was just a witness. And he had felt like the accused somehow. He regained himself and looked into Aurelia’s green-gold eyes, odd he thought, not a common colour. Claus was freed from his petrification when Aurelia spoke once more.

As Claus spoke of where he grew up, Aurelia raised her brows in surprise that he hailed from the Scassia region, which was located in the Sypius Plains. She knew the Scassia area to be a fertile part of the plains. Once Adon caught up with Claus’ words, Aurelia proceeded with another question.

Have you ever travelled outside of Formaroth, such as to the Elven Imperium of Beilokias? If so, what were the reasons that took you there? If not, what is the farthest you have travelled, either alone or with your company? And, do you hold any warrants for your rest, or for any of your men?

The questions Aurelia intended to ask Claus were rather simple in nature, but it depended on his answers, obviously if he committed a massacre somewhere unbeknownst to them, that would change the course of the trial. Yet, she had her doubts, that the captain was that type of man. If anything, he seemed fair minded, with a unique sense of humor. Aurelia tried not to trust first impressions she developed of people, as not all first impressions were accurate.

“Outside of Formaroth? The elven kingdom. We've been there a lot, we just returned from there after a seven-year campaign with but a few of us getting a leave from time to time."

It seemed obvious Claus expected to be freed, the scribe gave him a look not unlike disappointment.

"And miss... Aurelia was it?"

“I don't quite understand your last question. I'm not used to complicated terms used by finer people." Claus said with a smirk.

"Yes, my name is Aurelia Vyncetta, High Magister of Nyhem. You may address me as such. Allow me to clarify further. I ask if any of your men, or yourself have committed a known crime. If so, I would need to know if there is a warrant out for your arrest, or any of your men."

Aurelia addressed Claus plainly, unperturbed by his question. It came from her upbringing on the Summer Isles where she learned magic, a learned trait that she could not help. Then again, a woman in her position of such power would be expected to speak so eloquently.

"I see. To my knowledge, me and my men have not committed any serious crimes outside of war. In war I am more doubtful, mostly since the laws of war are not set in stone and one person will think we are war criminals, and others will think we are useful allies. Those are often our enemies and our contractors in that order." Claus spoke calmly, like this was normal.

"Perhaps the answer you seek is that the Steel fist does not slaughter civilians unless necessary, and it mostly never is, and I as a captain work to keep looting to a minimum." Claus was seeming almost a bit bored now, like this was all normal days’ work.

She listened quietly to Claus after clarifying her question. At this point, the High Magister, wanted to end the trial, but she knew that there were a few more questions to ask before she could officially end it.

"That answers the next question I was going to ask about your company, and the moral conduct. However, since you answered that question, I will ask this. Who originally formed the Steel Fist? Have you always led the Steel Fist, or are you a successor to a previous captain? How long has the Steel Fist existed? I recall you saying that you were away on a campaign for the last seven years. Can you also explain the nature of this campaign? Or in other words, can you explain to me why you were on a campaign during those years, and if you were under your own control, or were you contracted by someone else?"

As she spoke, Adon continued writing, and not once did he look up from his scroll, for his head was bent, and his ears transcribed what he heard between the two.

“The Steel Fist was formed by Captain James Formery in 412, a man who worked for the Tulza family and was rewarded for his service with funds in exchange for creating a mercenary force loyal to them... the company helped fight their dirty fights and did so as long as they paid. Which they stopped. So the Steel fist abandoned them. The Tuzla’s hoped for a loyal puppet, but they got Mr. Formery, who was only loyal to his purse." Claus smiled broadly at the last part.

"The Tuzla’s waned into nothingness over the years. The company was given over to Captain Doroka Hawk, whom led us over to the elves to fight the good fight there. There I was promoted some six or so years ago when Hawk decided to retire. And here I am." At the last part, Claus tried to hold out his hands and leaned back, remembered the handcuffs and just gestures some with them instead.

"Was all of that true you might ask? I'm not sure, but that's how the old story goes. There's probably someone before old Doroka, but the joke that he was older than the Remonnet’s sort of stuck." Claus told with a smirk.

"There's probably some tomes or something that mentions the Steel Fist more in detail, but the company itself goes a lot on simple word by mouth. I left out the juicy betrayal stories, but those are not important, and better kept for a dinner." He said with a suggestive tone, he didn't expect any kind of success but it was worth trying he thought.

The room filled with silence after Claus' response, save for the faint sound of a quill moving across parchment paper. When Adon looked up from his work, his hand stilled, he nodded at Aurelia to proceed. She had waited patiently for him to finish, and during this time, she merely stared at her hands clasped before her.

Now she lifted her eyes up from the podium, and addressed Claus once more.

"Claus Rotstein, this determines the end of our trial here today. Based on your answers you have provided and upon careful listening, I have found you, Captain Claus Rotstein, and your men of the Steel Fist Company, to be not guilty. You pose no conceivable threat to the city of Nyhem, or its inhabitants. You and your men are free to go about the city as you please."

She waited for the scribe to finish recording her words. With a careful eye, she watched Adon write, and then waited for the ink to dry, and the spoke quietly to him.

"Adon you may depart from the room now. Thank you for your time and being helpful to the service of the court."

Adon smiled brightly at the High Magister, his eyes full of pride, and so saying, "Thank you milady, please if you need my help, feel free to send for me again."

With that, Adon departed from the room, leaving Aurelia and Claus alone in the small courtroom. Stepping away from the podium and off the dais, she approached Claus, and posed a question for him in a concerned tone, "Have the guards removed your hand cuffs?"

"Great miss Aurelia, I shall try to have my men more behaved from now on. They should have gotten the heavy partying done anyway by now." Claus spoke as a guard came in and carefully removed his cuffs.

"Oh, miss. I did recall you mentioning something about work in the dungeons. Is that still an offer?" He said while standing up and massaging his wrists. Looking like a child anticipating a treat.

Before she could offer to remove the cuffs from his wrists, a guard came in from the outside, and removed from the hand cuffs from his wrists. Adon most likely informed the guard that Claus would have to be freed. She waited for him to leave before she nodded her in response to Claus' question.

"Yes. We'll have to draw up the documents for it in the meantime. Allow me to meet with the Regent King once more, and I shall send someone for you, so that you may sign the contract. In other words, you are now free to do as you like. You may return to the jailer and retrieve any of your belongings they have taken from you. The man you requested to be set free with you, is most likely released from the cells, so you may rejoin him as well. You are free to explore the castle as you wish."

Here, Aurelia extended her hand for him to shake

Claus gave her a firm handshake, his whole life spent with "manly men" so to speak left him giving Aurelia, a perhaps, unnecessarily firm handshake.

“Thank you, I shall do so." Claus spoke with a pleased look.
Claus' firm handshake was met with a handshake just as firm, Aurelia didn't believe in giving weak handshakes, gender mattered not. Aurelia gestured for Claus to follow her as she opened the door to leave the courtroom.

"You are quite welcome. Tell any of the servants you come across that you are to have a room prepared, say that Aurelia Vyncetta wishes it to be so. I shall see how many of your men we can accommodate here without having to put them in the inn. Though I have to discuss that further with the Regent King."

"Living in the castle? Now that sounds luxurious." Although accommodating 1500 armed men in the castle on top of its normal personnel seemed far flung, Claus had decided to not underestimate what this woman said. He had taken a sort of interest in her, seemed more real than all the other more noble people he'd met.

"I think I shall return to the room I was stationed in, and get my things, then go to my men and show myself so that they don't begin to plan on breaking me out or something." At the end, there was a hint of actual concern in Claus voice. He made a rather unimpressive bow then walked towards "his" room.

He saw someone who just had to be a servant.

"Ey, you. Would you, or someone of your mates help me get my things in order before I leave.... Oh, and miss Aurelia Vyncetta informed that a fitting room be readied for the captain of the Steel Fist." When Claus mentioned Aurelia, the man visibly took the matter more seriously. Throwing around the names of important people seemed to have that effect.

{A collab by @Klomster and @MacabreFox}
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Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by TheDuncanMorgan
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TheDuncanMorgan The One True King

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“When will Edward’s trial take place” Duncan said as he hurried through one of Miserth Keep’s many stone corridors. It was the day before the ‘meeting of succession’ and Miserth keep was filling with nobles from all around Formaroth.

“Unsure my lord” Alex said as he followed closely behind, struggling slightly to keep up “Something as serious as this would require a king or queen to preside over as judge. Given that there is no monarch at the moment it is difficult to make a judgement on when we can try him. Not to mention we would have to assemble a jury of trusted nobles and find enough time to try Alise Du Paraquette as well. For the mean time we have placed them in a cell on the first level of the Miserth keep’s dungeons. I must confess I didn’t think very highly of Edward, but I never suspected him of such treachery” Alex said, it was clear that he had been somewhat shaken by the revelation about Edward.

“Well I must confess, I was certainly suspicious that he was stealing money from the treasury. However I had no idea he was stealing that much” Duncan replied with a slight hint of shock in his voice. Even he had been surprised by how much money Edward had stolen. “Honestly I think we actually ended up losing more money through him then we actually gained. Fortunately I have been able to use this to our advantage. With the funds we have reclaimed from Edward’s private bank we can pay back the money that the bank of Nyhem has asked for this month. And with that issue no long looming over our shoulders we can finally cut the taxes for the people of Nyhem”. Duncan stopped right outside his room as he turned to face Alex. Alex looked at Duncan with a questioning look.

“Are you sure that is wise? Afterall we still have to pay back the rest of the debt owed to the Ironbanks. And without an economic advisor on the high council it may become difficult to find the funds”.

“Trust me; the support of the people of Nyhem is more important at the moment. Particularly given that the High Council’s current reputation isn’t exactly the best” Duncan said grimly “Also don’t worry about the economic advisor. I have a good idea for a replacement”.

“I pray that they do a better job than Edward. Now if you would excuse me my lord I have to meet with Charles Du Paraquette so I can instate him as the new ruler of Sypius Plains”. Alex said as continued on his way. Just before Duncan could open his door he heard someone call his name.

“My Lord Regent” As Duncan turned to face whoever had called his name he saw Alenius walking towards him with great haste. There was a look of urgency on her face and Duncan instantly knew that something important had happened.

“What is it Alenius” Duncan replied

“Lord Andrew of house Manshrew has arrived”

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The main entrance to the Miserth Keep was certainly something to behold. The ceiling was around thirty meters high and it was clear that the stone masons that had made it were masters at their craft. Several great stone pillars rose from the floor to the celling and the floor had a beautiful mosaic design to it. The entrance was filled with nobles who had come to attend the meeting. Andrew could feel the eyes of the nobles staring at him as he walked in through the main entrance. He could not tell if they viewed him as a hero, or a traitor. Afterall he was far from home and he was aware that many people in Nyhem viewed him as a traitor to the crown. Andrew was accompanied by a dozen of his elite bodyguard, these soldiers were considered to be the best trained and the best armed in all of Uzbog, and they would die before letting something happen to their king. As Andrew made his way through the entrance hallway he looked around for a servant to show him to his chambers. It had been a long day and he had no interest in mingling with the nobles of Nyhem.

“Lord Andrew” Said a voice that spoke from the crowd. The voice, though sounding polite, could also be interpreted to sound somewhat spiteful. As Andrew turned round he saw Duncan De Reimer approaching him, his bodyguard Alenius accompanied him at his side. Andrew remained quiet as Duncan continued “A pleasure to see you here, I must admit I was somewhat unsure if you would arrive for these meetings” Duncan extended his hand, to which Andrew shook in response. While Andrew gave a strong handshake, Duncan’s seemed weak and uncaring.

“Well it takes time to talk to the council members over decisions that will affect the fate of the entire kingdom, but I am sure you listen to the opinions of your subjects”. Said Andrew, though the words were pleasant enough they could easily be interpreted to have a hidden meaning. Andrew admired Duncan’s skill at politics; he did not trust him of a second. Though he might have some good intentions, Andrew could not shake the feeling that he always had some kind of hidden, selfish motive.

“I certainly do, I am sure you did the same when you decided to remove the tyrannical Helyot from power”. Duncan said with sly smirk.

“Well kings come and go, I am sure you are very aware of this”. Andrew spoke with firmness. It was clear that he was indicating towards John’s death. Like Diana he was not so certain that he had died from natural causes like Duncan claimed.

Duncan smiled. “Indeed, kings and queens pass away and pass into nothingness. However the family legacy lives on, the Remonnets are evident of this, a family legacy that spanned for nearly five hundred years. These next few decades could define everything for the great houses of Formaroth, they could either create a legacy that could last for centuries as the Remonnets did, or it could disappear into nothingness like House Heize did”.

“Only time will tell on how we are remembered” Andrew spoke with calmness. He would not be swayed by the threats of a snake.

“It certainly will, won’t it. Anyway it has been a pleasure to meet with you again but I am afraid there are many matters that require my attention” Duncan said with a sly smiled as he turned and walked away with Alenius following behind.

“Surely the host of such important meetings would show his guest his chambers” Andrew said with a smile. Duncan halted before signalling to two servants who quickly made their way over to him.

“Of course where are my manners, you have ridden far and must be exhausted. These two will show you the way to your chambers. It is in the western wing guest room…the same room your brother stayed in the last time he was here” Duncan finished as he finally walked away with a clear smirk on his face. For a split second the calm on Andrew’s face was replaced with anger, how dare he insult his brother’s memory in such a way. However Andrew’s common sense soon got him under control. If he were to lose his temper here it would reflect badly not just on him, but on all of house Manshrew. Though one thing was for certain, he now knew for certain that he would have to be careful. Andrew beckoned his guards before following the servants to his chambers.


Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Klomster
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Claus squinted his eyes and rubbed them as he went outside, it was sunny and a mild breeze, lovely weather in fact.

-"I've been in there far to long." He stated bluntly, and began walking towards the center of the town.
He wore his now cleaned up gambeson which didn't smell for a change.
Claus was strolling through the streets of Nyhem, they were more populated than when he had arrived a few days ago. The normal order of things quickly return apparently, sure the people didn't look happy or anything. But to be honest, the weather is far to nice to be groveling over dead monarchs.

Claus was in no hurry, casually getting a good look at the city where he walked.
After some time he saw some of his men in a cluster talking to each other, he smirked and tried to get as close as possible to see how long it would take them to notice him. Which wasn't very long at all, since one of them quickly spotted him and cheered his name, making the entire group jog over to him.

-"Ey cap! Where ya been?" One of the men shouted, almost embracing his captain.

-"I've been on trial in the keep, apparently important people... OOOF" claus began explaining, but was hastily and vigorously embraced by a trooper which didn't have the same restraint as the first one. Claus carried on with a slight strain to his voice.
-"My man, if you don't release me i will have you reprimanded." A sigh of release followed by a smile showed that Claus didn't really mean the last claim.

-"As i said, the important people apparently don't appreciate a small army marching into their city, guess it rubs them the wrong way." He carried on, his men laughed and two of them bumped fists.
-"So now i need to talk to the officers of the Steel fist to make sure non of you crazies planned to bust me out or something." Followed by a much smaller cheer, almost sounding guilty. Claus knew his men too well.

-"So now, you will go around and get this word around, i need to..." Claus began commanding, but was interrupted by a cough which made him turn around.
It was a man in a nice yellow jacket, with a green beret with a red feather fastened with a silver brooch. He was holding a letter.

-"Claus Rotstein?" He spoke. Returned with a.
-"Yes?" From Claus.
-"I carry a message from the lord regent to you and the Steel fist mercenaries." He said and handed over the letter. Claus made a rather surprised but exited expression and looked at his men before reading the letter.

-"What does it say cap?" One of the men nervously questioned.
Claus kept reading for a while longer, then closed the letter and faced his men.

-"Seems we got work to do!" He excitedly announced. Followed by excited looks from his men.
He then began barking orders, with a smirk on his lips and as the men had all scattered, he went back to the inn where he had stayed and quickly gathered his clothing and put it on.

Guarding the keep with the fancy people, now that's important business.
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