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Well consider me curious, I'll keep an eye on this one from a player's angle, I know next to nothing about boats and the like as far as helping out goes.
@Lady SeluneMy sheet in as complete a form as I think it's going to get. Not sure I sold the anathema correctly but the general idea is it's more a tool that a weapon and it runs on loony tunes logic. I can change it no probs if it's too weird.

A Bit of a work in progress in terms of relationships and a little rambling at points but a trickster should be! Any and all feedback appreciated.


The Aedelfaari - Turn 6






Events were spiraling out of Eric's control with each passing moment. He only had short amount of time to take in the chaotic scene that was unfolding before him and to try and make sense of all of it. This would prove to be a challenge in its own right for this day would confront Eric with an array of things for him to discover for the first time. The most shocking among them possibly being the tree that walked. Over the past few days Eric had congratulated himself over taking the strange encounter with the Deerman in stride and turning it to the advantage of his kingdom, now he saw that there was so much more for him to learn about this forest and just how over his head he had found himself. He could only thank the angels above for granting him enough wisdom and humility to offer the hand of peace to these creatures and to make of them an ally.

It was a shame the same could not be so easily done for these new comers but perhaps that was for the best. For these were no windswept traders or explorers but self proclaimed reavers! Any pans of peace talks or desperate measures to deescalate this matter faded from Eric's mind. For one could never have peace with corsairs and raiders. As a man descended from such types himself Eric knew this better than anyone. To scavengers and honorless hounds such as these safety could only be bought through tribute, for to give a pirate and inch was to give them a mile.

This was not just luck, this was an act of divine providence proving to Eric yet again that the angels had guided them here to meet the lord of this forest who had wrecked these bandits of the waves so that the Aedels could meet them with an advantage before falling prey to their vile appetites. With his heart steeled for what was to come Eric could look upon the shifting battle lines with a calm eye and take in his foe and troops with a leader's eye. The Aedels outnumbered the pirates two-to-one and that was before he counted the writhing army of wolves and bears that was amassing by their side. He had no doubt these pirates were a hardy band but they would be hard pressed to beat such odds.

Yet these strange weapons they menaced at the tree line were reason for him to pause. Eric had never seen such strange inventions but they seemed to embolden the pirates more than simple clubs should. The worst of all being this tube of iron that was being shoved to the edge of the ship by the repulsive troll that was hailed as their leader. Eric had to assume there was some arcane magic at work within if they were confident that it would allow them to do battle with the oaken giant that had emerged from the woods to throw one of their crew as if he were a skipping stone on a pond. Ad still through all of this the lord of Woodhenge whose music had once acted in defence of the woods and had summoned the storms that had brought this about. Surely if he could be reached then the winds and storms could come to their aid again or something to that effect!

"So be it." Intones Eric in all solemnity as turned from the sailors gathered below him to swiftly rejoin the ranks of his men and animal allies.

It was with an agitated stride that he found the bear that had so often acted as a mediator between the two groups. "I know not if you can truly understand me, but you seem a knowledgeable fellow so I can only hope my point is clear enough. Send your birds! Send your birds and your fastest climbers to those on the ship. Their weapon will kill your champion, we must stop them until we can reach the ship." And like a mad man Eric went on to wave his hands back and forth between the trees and the beached ship, the red skinned troll in particular. Upon mentioning their champion he spared on wave of his hand for the walking oak tree but only once in case he confused the message.

There was only a short amount of time left to him to explain, as both forces were becoming impatient and readying themselves for the attack. The time for grand plans was done. Eric had time left for one last gambit. He had no doubt that the forest lord had heard the mighty roar of his tree champion and had still been silent but he could still hope that if he sounded off a war horn of his own then the deer would know that his ally had joined the battle and would respond with a stirring war song of their own.

And thus did Eric ap Edrin, King of Aedelfaar, raised his sword to the heavens and a horn to his lips.

AAAAAHHHHUUUU! AAAAHHHUU AAHHUU!

"CHAAAAARGE!" Rang out the cry of the king and a wordless battle cry rose up around him as the Aedel men waved their weapons with vigorous intent. "For Aedelfaar and the Angels!"

And like a stampeding horde the Aedels ran from the treeline, weapons held high and numbers mixed up with packs of wolves and charging bears. As they ran Eric let his voice roar until he was hoarse, all the while he waved with his short sword to usher his men on and to see them spread out where their greater numbers would show their worth. For if they were to range further to the sides (much like the wolves that ran at their sides) then any archers hidden among the pirates would have a harder time finding targets. Better yet, once the two groups met the Aedels who spread furthest could lap around the sides of the smaller line, leaving the brigands to fight on two fronts.

Eric could only hope his message for the birds had gotten through to the bear. Until then he ran among his men, raising the war call and readying his sword arm.

Back in Waebury


The people of Waebury were not deaf to the growing confrontation if nothing else. The roars of the unseen tree monster reached them in their humble huts and the shrill cry of Eric's horn soon followed it. All while the shouts of the assembled men and beasts carried across the small field like a distant rumble. The Aedel women and children were not strangers to the sights and sounds of war but these strange sounds that came out of the forest each day were enough to put even the sternest soul on edge.

As one of the learned men of the town and self made pillars of the community alongside Eric it was the place of Priest Ecgberht to find a way to busy the dread filled minds of his flock in this dark time. In rough-spun robes he walked out among the people, his shaved head and beak like nose making him look very much the stern servant of the angels.

"Come now, are we to be found cowering and mewling away when our men return? We have not been made so weak by the shrinking of our clan as to be made useless I think. Remember the words of the Elder Angel Sauriel; Dow hast given thee hands so that you might work, and Dow hast given thee a world rich with pieces to be turned to purpose. To lose ourselves to worry is to squander the tools given to us by Dow and their angels so that we might forge our freedoms through our own strengths. So I say to you brave Aedel women to remember your hands and to put yourselves and your children to work so that their victorious fathers might return to a proper welcome."

And so it was with a heavy hearted energy that the women of Waebury went to work. Fresh water was taken from the well and ragged clothing was torn into strips so that it might be washed as the water boiled to ready bandages for the wounded. There was some talk of fetching fresh supplies, since much of the medicines the wise women had brought had either been used or spoiled on the voyage over. In the end it was agreed that some of the women would brave the forest edge to gather tree barks and plants that would be of use in making poultices and mixtures that would ease the coming pain.

These brave mothers would bring their sons who had been too young to go with the king to battle so that their energy could be put to work and they might act as escorts as a man should. It was agreed by the village elders that such peoples would seem less threatening to the spirit of the forest and might be welcomed by it in this troubled time. Stories had spread how it had heard Eric's voice when he had spoken to it plainly from afar and had been pleased by their songs praising the angels. So they would go protected in faith it was said and would make sure to speak their intentions clear before entering the forest and to softly speak the prayers of their people so as not to disturb the woods while still garnering the favor of the all hearing divine.

Such it was that Waebury did not wait still in dread as her people hoped for the best.
A mist heavy dawn reigns over the fields of northern Claidor. The damp earth is slowly being trampled into a barren mess of mud as thousands of men and hundreds of horses make their way across the country and forage the fields clean. General Vadim Rogozin watches over the procession from horseback as blue and orange uniforms pass him by in an orderly fashion. As the highest ranking officer on hand he commands the respect of his Claidor counterparts, especially since their forces were put on the back foot before Rubrus entering the war. These fellows looked like they knew the business and there were enough of them to put on a mighty display for the Vendsyssels.

The general is a cavalry man, as all true sons of fine Rubrusi breeding are. He does not care for his coming task of liberating the city of Batko and the siege that awaits them. He would much rather face his foe in the open field but he cannot allow the enemy to gain a foothold in an allied nation, such are the orders from on high.

Rumors abound that The Empress is still in a rage over her brother in law allowing this conflict to happen, especially when their are talks of her attending new peace talks in Attolia and signing fresh agreements of alliance with other European powers. Provided that was successful he could go on a true offensive from there, earning himself some glory and - as his empress commanded - win them something that would make this war worth the effort.

But before Rogozin and his hussars could have their day they would have to unleash their muskets and cannons on whoever was willing to die in the name of keeping Batko from its rightful owners.
The Aedelfaari - Turn 5





Slow and steady was the pace set by the Aedels of Waebury it would seem. Their shelter was basic and their food roughly won. With rugged work and blunt tools they plied the earth for easy water that would no longer see them spending half their day trekking to one stream or another just to quench the thirst brought on by the salty taste of smoked fish. This was not a glamorous way of living, nor could one say that these same people were showing a creative brand of thinking that would give them a unique effect on the world that would spawn stories and legends as of yet. The Aedelfaari were simple humans going about their simple lives as far as an outside observer would see.

Eric ap Edrin did not see things that way. Like many minor kings before him his ambition outreached his ability but his mind was still at work and it found itself hungrily awakened by the music of the forest that he had seen work impossible wonders of magic. Surely their landing here and his choosing of this landing spot was another sign of divine providence. The angels themselves had guided his eyes to this forest and the strange creature within. The lord of the forest might be a wild creature that lacked the civilized airs of men but it had heard the songs of praise in the name of the divine and welcomed them. Perhaps it had been forgotten by the faithful or raised up from beasthood by some angel of the wilds but their encounter had shown Eric that there was a chance for an alliance between them and even hope that the creature might be brought into the fold of the faithful.

Relations were already proving fruitful between the village and the forest. Quite literally as of some mornings when they would awake to offerings of fruits and nuts and rambling stories from their children claiming to have seen animals emerging from the treeline with gifts. Then the storm came. The bear that had first met them upon their arrival in the lands of Aedelfaar had become a regular sight around the outskirts of Waebury and the intelligence that lurked behind its eyes was something Eric had first seen when he had met it again in the forest. Its watching of the well's construction and the sudden arrival of the storm that had smote several trees to the ground were too close to be a coincidence. This creature was the messanger and possible right hand of the Deerman. Some were distrustful of its coming and going but for now Eric gave the animals the benefit of the doubt. They had mostly kept to themselves and behaved amicably to them since first meeting, he would not sour the waters between their peoples over a matter of paranoia.

In fact he was considering ways of making them feel more welcome. Perhaps in the form of carving plaques similar to the carvings they had seen in the trees that announced who was welcome in the forest. If their was a way for them to cement this bond properly then Eric could beseech the Deerman to share the magic he used to encourage such verdant growth so that the Aedels might use it for themselves. It made perfect sense to Eric. This way they would be able to tend their own crops and patches of forestry without the need for the forest to deplete its own holdings.

Eric was just thinking on what to do with the lumber they had gained and how best to approach this diplomatic issue when a loud issue arose in the heart of Waebury. A messenger had come running from the workmen that had been sent out to gather up the fallen trees, panting and ragged with breath.

"The bear and wolves were roaring as if for battle! They looked on us as they did to the king and bid to follow. My kinsmen did so but I do believe they head for a fight!"

This was absolutely perfect. The chance ahead of them was clear as day to Eric. If they could muster a force fast enough and join with the forces of the wild then they would have earned the respect of battle brothers. The way ahead was clear.

With his golden hair flowing in the breeze, Eric ap Edrin descended from the hilltop with his sword raised high and his voice bellowing in a demand to be heard. The Aedelfaari had come from a land that was forged in war and the Grass Dog clan from which they descended had earned its name not just for farming but for the hounds they had bred for generations to serve as companions in peace and war. Sadly none could be brought along with the immigrants that would name themselves Aedelfaar but these old loyalties would be honored this day Eric told them as the men of his kingdom would once again rally their blades to stand before the wolves that had welcomed them here and Eric himself vowed that he would display a strength that would rival a bear.

The forest of Woodhenge (as they had taken to calling it) had welcomed them into the new lands of Aedelfaar and had even fed them in these early days when their future was so uncertain. Honor demanded they offer their aid in facing whatever threat had riled up the warrior animals of the forest. "Lest we shame ourselves and our ancestors before the eyes of the angels. With blade in hand and faith in heart I shall step forward into this battle and call out to all men strong enough to raise arms to join me!" Cried Eric to those assembled.

A Mighty cheer went up in Waebury as a militia was hastily assembled. The newly name Huscarls that had followed their king into the woods were quick to join, as was their station in life now. After them followed strong armed workmen and youthful lads who thirsted for their first taste of adventure and glory. Hunting spears were taken up, along with hammers and axes, any tool that could serve as a weapon was swept up in the mad rush to meet whatever this unknown threat might be. By the time the militia was assembled and was marching for the forest it looked as if some iron hungry specter had swept through Waebury with the storm and stolen off with all that it could carry.

Arriving at the forest

The path made for them was easy enough to follow and the Aedels marched up the coastal path as swiftly as their legs would allow. When they finally found the place where their lumberjacks had followed to they did not find what Eric had expected. He had thought to find some massive animal that had stepped out of line or another animal person that was seeking to lay claim to the current lord's seat... perhaps a wolfman of some kind.

He did not expect to find the animals forming battle lines against a windswept group of angry looking sailors. Suddenly the picture was becoming clear to him. The storm the deer had summoned to knock down the gift of trees must have caught this ship unawares and wrecked them here on the shore. Eric couldn't honestly say that he might not have drawn his sword and rallied his troops as well if he found himself shipwrecked and surrounded by wolves.

Growls and howls to one side of him and battle cries and rattling sabers to the other. Yet the gutted giant of a ship that lay beyond. Once again his sense of avarice was awakened with the knowledge that today he could solidify his alliance with the forest lord and claim the remains of this ship and whatever else these sailors had in their hold for his own. Or he could have even more. These sailors were stranded here and would owe him their lives if Eric could get them out of this mess they found themselves in and his future legacy as a wise and noble king would be even further secured.

With a wave of his hand Eric set his men to forming their own battle lines mixed in with the assembled packs and lone beasts of the forest, ready should battle be joined. Yet as he stepped forward he found the noble bear and since language was beyond them he could only ask with hand movements and with his eyes for it to stay its rage for now. With their force assembled Eric stepped forward, down the slope in order to separate himself from the crowd but not so far as to be beyond their help.

Striking his most kingly pose Eric shouted across the divide between the two groups, calling to the new arrivals. "I am Eric ap Edrin! King of Aedelfaar and neighbor to these lands! It seems you have found yourselves stranded here and the lord of this forest fears you to be reavers. I bid thee, lower your weapons and speak the words of peace. Blood need not win out this day and you have my word of honor, before the watching angels of the divine that if you lay down your steel and you may yet repair your ship and find friends in our lands. Should you refuse and choose violence then know that you will found yourselves outnumbered and swept into the unforgiving sea."

The Aedelfaari - Turn 4





The tranquility of this glen was like nothing the Aedel men had ever known before and was no doubt the key reason that none of them reached for their spears or ran for their lives in the face of the giant that seemed to rule over the forest. Indeed Eric had no doubt that there was some kind of magic afoot here that made him so calm yet found himself unable to shake its warm embrace, it was as if his head was muddled with the same warm smothering brought on by a flagon of mead.

A greater surprise would follow as the songs of Waebury actually managed to find their way to Eric and his ragged band, much to the approval of this forest giant. It was in quiet awe the Aedel men watched as the berry that had seemingly cast aside in disdain became one with the earth bloomed into a fully grown bush before their very eyes. Even though it was clear that words would never serve between these two groups there was something primal and unspoken that passed between the two groups this day. A simple understanding of each other so to speak. Eric and his brave huscarls sat upon the earth as a polite audience for the musical exchange between the stagman and the distant choir. Each time the winds shifted and the voices of his people rose to find him in glorious songs of worship Eric's heart lifted in kind. Yet he could not lose himself in this artistic exchange fully for he had seen what this strange creature was capable of and marveled at the work of this magic.

And like all men Eric wondered if it would be possible for him to claim such power for himself. If he could claim the power this creature used to will the forest to his will and to grow and weave trees together as they were here he could claim an unending supply of lumber and grow as many crops as the angels would allow. It would not do for him to take this power by force - if such a thing were even possible - the deerman had opened his house to them now and they had made peace together in a strange way. A king who wished to be remembered fondly did not turn on his allies like a barbarian and Eric would see this forest made an ally to him in this new world.

Eventually it was seen that the sun was beginning to set and all knew they would have to return before night fell. Offering a bow and words of civil thanks Eric took his leave of the strange lord of the forest and joined the bear that would lead them all out of the woods.

Back in Waebury


There was much rejoicing upon the return of the adventurous king and his band returned to Waebury and not just because Eric announced their arrival with a mighty roar of his own as he jumped for joy and grasped the hands of those he passed with a great hurrah! Behind his followed his new huscarls, each sporting a great wide grin as they embraced their families and womenfolk in the joy of returning from such a strange place with their lives.

Odder things yet would follow though. All they passed were eager to hear what had happened and kings are the kind to crave public attention, so it was not long before Eric declared a gathering on the hill he had claimed for his town center and future castle site. There he embraced their elderly priest as if they were kin and much to the shock of all around him he bowed to the old cleric, and with a bizarre mixture of energy and humility he turned and bowed upon bended knees to the gathered Aedelfaari below the hilltop.

"It was thanks to you, my brave subjects! We return triumphant because of you! It was just as I had thought, your voices flew upon the breeze as guided by the angels whose praises you sang. They found us in that lonely hour as well as the mage that claims dominion over the forest beyond our town and your voices did fill their heart with the light of Dow and the angels who watch over creation. We have made peace with our native neighbors and shall find friends in these wild places here. Each man and woman may call themselves a hero this day for each stood by their king's side as if in an army of faith this day. The better life you were promised is yours to be had!"

And a cheer went up around Waebury that night as each Aedel that called that place home would hold their head high for they had aided their king in a heroic act and the founding of their town. Though they did not have stores overflowing with food and their fine drinks were left far behind in the lands of their birth the people of Waebury made do and held a feast as only the Aedels could. One filled with raucous revelries and raised voices. Indeed the Aedelfaari did sing their songs late into the night, not just the songs of the angels that glorified their distant watchers but the sagas that glorified the heroes passed and the deeds of the Aedels they hoped to exemplify.

Then as inevitably as the tide came the morning after... and Waebury nursed its collective hangover. Except for the king of course who insisted that he would not be able to leave the longhouse, for he was busy collecting his thoughts and planning the future of their kingdom as one of his station should. Apparently Eric's thoughts required water to help their easy flow so he demanded that a well be dug.

Clearly thing king was wise, for many had noted a thirst hanging upon them after a hearty meal of smoked fish and the dwindling barrels of ale and mead after the night of frivolity. As ample as it was, no man could quench himself on sea water. So shovels were gathered and the earth was stuck in search of fresh water while idle hands were sent down to the bay to gather stones once again to form a lip for the future well and the few pieces of the long ships that had not been cannibalized for building materials were taken to make a rope so that any mother of the town might lower a bucket for water to drink, cook or clean with.

It was noted that these simple supplies were running low and it would not be long before the Aedels would have to range beyond their new home to find fresh resources.
The Aedelfarri - Turn 3




A tense silence descended on the clearing in the forest as Eric and his companions watched in rapt attention as the bear that had lead them in here worked an art of carving that would have made many of the young craftsmen among the Aedels envious. Much like the carvings they had seen before the antlered Deermen were the most prominent. Then the rest began to become clear. Deer, wolf, bear, tree, man. Their message was clear enough in Eric's eyes. The Aedels would be welcome enough to exist in these woods but they were considered the lowest of the low, beneath even the trees!

Emotions fought each other in Eric's chest. As a king and a man of the Aedelfarri he was conflicted... should he be insulted by being considered so low by these damnable fey or to relish the challenge of proving them wrong and placing his carving at the top of this totem.

"They're letting us go. The light grows dim, we should return to Waebury, Sire." Came the voice of one of his warriors, breaking Eric from his thoughts.

That would have been the safe thing to do but as had already been established, Eric did not consider the safe path to be the one that lead to glory. He would not return to Waebury with no prize to speak of but a carving that proved his existence! He would find this hidden musician and at the very least speak with them as one ruler to another and make this creature's intentions clear. At the very best he might be able to gain an ally or trade partner to help bolster the fledgling state of Waebury. If they would not allow him to leave... then he would make his ancestors and the angels proud.

"I am going forward. Those without the courage to follow their king may return, but the expect no share of the glory in what may follow. Those who stay I would proudly call brothers in my house and may call themselves Huscarls of the king." That was when an idea came to him and he took one of the youngest among them by the shoulders. "Except you lad, you shall be my messenger. Return to our people and tell them this from me,"

Back in Waebury


The earthen settlement of Waebury was abuzz with the return of Eric's messenger. The king had been gone for some time and he had sent word that he would still not be returning. Instead he had sent word back asking that the Aedel's of Waebury stand with him as he descended into the lair of the forest master. That was something that took a lot of the Aedels by surprise and put a fright into many of them who were too old or too young to pick up a spear and run into a strange forest of magics.

But that was not what Eric had asked for... he sent word asking that his people pray for him. It sounded so strange to them, as if Eric had accepted defeat and asked that they beseech the angels to guard his soul. Joyous indeed were they when they were told that it was quite the opposite. Their king asked them to assemble on the site of his future hall at the top of the small hill and sing to the heavens. To sing their joy at finding their new home, to sing their pride in being children of Aedelfarr and most importantly, to sing the praises of the angels so that they might take heed and rain their blessings down on Waebury and her king.

The words that would survive history were said to be something like: "Let your voices rise to the heavens my people! Let the angels themselves hear your praise and let them be so enamored of our choir that they are no less than compelled to descend from their clouds and join us. And as to these spirits of the woods that would see us bow in their shadows... let us answer them in kind. As they greet us with musics then let us do the same! Let the music of the Aedelfarri soar over their tree tops and answer their own. As I walk through the glades to be your voice, let your voice be my strength! You are with me, my people! With each note you shall walk by my side and these lands shall know that they are not dealing with some mere scavengers washed up by the sea. So says Eric, so say the Aedelfarri!"

So went his message and so did the people answer. Old master Ecgberht, the last remaining philosopher and priest of Dow's church that was left to the diminished clan of the Grass Dogs took up his beloved tome of the divine and lead the people in prayer. Song had been a long used way of the Aedels to preserve their history in sagas and festivals, it was only natural that when the priests of Dow came from the East they would adapt their oral tradition into their own worship. The entire town of Waebury walked up the hill that afternoon in the orange glow of coming dusk. Young and old, man and woman would join in this act of support and display of spiritual power.

Eric and his small band continued to walk into the forest heart and it fell to the winds to carry the sounds of worship with them as each clutched their talismans to their hearts as each asked his angel to watch over him.

Whatever came of this, the people of Waebury at least would remember the first time their choir formed and would tell stories of the day they came together to form 'The shield wall of faith' was formed.
The Aedelfarri - Turn 2





"Hold fast to your courage, men! We are sons of new Aedelfarr and warriors true." Eric shouted to the thanes around him. It wouldn't do for them to return to Waebury with their tails between their legs and unable to defend their homes.

Yet Eric would have been a fool to deny that they had good reason to be afraid. There were eyes upon them in this forest. It felt as if the trees themselves acted as spies and sentries for whatever was making this strange music. The way the vines and branches came together to turn them about and how the music seemed to change to show displeasure... yes there was magic at work here that was far beyond their ability to face down.

There was still hope though and it rested in Eric's left hand. These creatures from the carvings - if they were the ones behind this - had not attacked yet, perhaps they were as nervous about the idea of invaders living near their home as well. There was only one way to find out.

So Eric called out to the forest in the hopes that their unseen watcher would hear him. "Hail to thee noble wardens of the forest! This is a fine sort of magic you work here across your green realm! Finer still is the music you play... when it greeted us into these lands many among my people thought it a blessing from the choir divine. Why to have it fill the air for the rest of one's days would be a blessing indeed."

Shouting at trees and begging them for friendship was not how Eric had thought he would begin his reign but only a fool would pick a fight they were not ready for. Luckily for him the legends were also full of heroes who won their names through cunning and wise words. Right now he could only send a silent prayer to the angels above that they might bless his tongue with the gift of silver that he might win the hearts of these mysterious and powerful seeming creature. If he was able to win an ally today then things would be easier indeed. And better yet... he could win the name of 'Eric the Wise' or 'Eric the Peacemaker'. that would be a pretty prize indeed.

"My name is Eric ap Edrin, first king of Waebury and the Aedel people that call it home. My people have traveled far to find a home where all our days will not be filled with war and strife. To find a place we might call our own. It seems you and we are of a similar taste! Yet I hope this will prove to be but one of many things that we might agree on! For we are weary of war and blood. I have mothers under my care who wish to see their children grow up not bent under the weight of the shield and I would be loathe to disappoint them. You have not met us with spear or sword in hand so I am left to think that perhaps we are yet again of one mind. Prithee good masters of the wood, may you not show yourselves so we might speak properly within your house? My gifts are small but to one in my state they are a fortune to be given. So let us offer these words, and each be called friend and in time let there be music of two peoples flying over these woods."

And so Eric places his sack of food offerings in the curving embrace of a trees roots and sheathed his sword at his side as he motioned for his thanes to lower their own weapons in kind. Now he could only wait to see if he had been heard. It never occured to him that these creatures would not be able to understand him, obviously they were creations of Dow and the angels and it would be by the grace of the divine that they would get through this meeting somehow.

Back in Waebury


A smokehouse sounded like just what they needed. It would certainly help add some flavor and save them the trouble of having to place a watch just for seagulls. The younger working hands were sent out to roam the nearby bay and bring back the largest stones they could manage. Once enough were gathered they were placed in a small circular foundation that would form the lower part of the smokehouse. Until Eric returned and they could safely take their axes to the nearby trees then the Aedels would have to improvise with what building materials were available. What few leftover planks were left of the longboats could form the thinnest skeleton for the little round house as the walls were filled in with yet more earthen works. Shattered pieces of slate were driven into the floor around the small fire pit and a thatched roof was put up and many were thankful that it was to be left partially done so that a chimney could let the smoke flow freely because putting together enough of the reeds needed. The Aedelfarri could only hop that their new king would return soon with a way to gain fresh supplies delivered to them.

Irena heaved yet again. She had been bent over the edge of the ship railing for the past day it seemed. Most of that time had been spent staring into the thrashing waves that had buffeted them all the way through their journey which only made things worse. Worse yet, when she wasn't feeling seasick and looking miserably into the water she was keeping a nervous eye on the coast of Aontas. She was being ridiculous, there was no way the fighting that was going on right now would come for them in their little diplomatic ship but she couldn't help but worrying.

This was an amazing way to start the new year at least. Irena was still just an apprentice in the Royal Academy's new education program, one that would see her with a guaranteed place of work once she graduated but that was several years off. Still, right now she was the top of her class and was among those chosen to be a part of this blasted trip to Attolia. Even if her inclusion was just a way of showing off the new open policy on the academy and a fresh generation of women students this was still a fantastic opportunity. She'd be the first daughter of her family to see a new country and she could find a whole range of future connections at this stock exchange place.

Now she just had to get there without smelling of sick. Maybe some light reading would help distract her from job the rolling deck was doing to her stomach. They didn't have much with them in the way of light literature, but access to such a tier of literature was still so new to her and Irena was willing to devour any form of writing that crossed her path. The latest piece she was going through was a series of essays on military tactics. It was by an anonymous author but there were plenty of rumors claiming it had come from a general by the name of Rogozin. Irena had never heard of the man but he had some interesting ideas on cavalry and infantry tactics, and a writing style that liked to wax poetical about the warrior spirit of the ancients and looking to the past for inspiration.

Looking to the past was not something Irena was a fan of. To her the past was the former Dean of the Royal academy, the man that had put his foot in his mouth and talked about how the inferior minds of women could never understand the academic arts... right when the Empress was visiting. What followed was an imperial edict to open the academy and all other institutes of higher learning across the empire to female students! People were still debating as to whether this was a wise move on the part of the empress or if her motivation was even valid.

As far as Irena was concerned the empress had won herself at least one supporter for life. After all, how could a woman be deemed capable of ruling an empire but too weak to go to school? Such ways of thinking were maddeningly outdated and belonged left in the past. And Irena for her part would dive into her studies and show people just why. She would start by amazing all those who met her in Attolia, perhaps she'd even find a young officer and start a whirlwind romance while she was there, all while rising through the academic ranks and publishing a new generation of scientific papers and making a name for herself.

But for now she needed to be sick for the hundredth time.
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