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Arkronia - Royal palace

Drokon-Al stared down the giant window of the cabinet meeting hall. The governmental meeting room offered an excellent view of the palace’s courtyard and the grand entrance gate. From his place up high he could see the first delegations enter the palace compound. From the small fox-like creatures of the Vulpin to the large Ruline from the Raethian Republic. The other delegations would soon arrive for the coronation ceremony too.

With the evening falling the old steward could not help to wonder if the kingdom of Arkron was seeing her last ray of lights as well. The grey death was spreading across her people and the once unchallenged superpower was heading towards her biggest crisis in history. Many of the Arkronian civilians lived in fear of the grey death while many of the Akronian leadership lived in fear of losing power. If Drokon-Al knew one thing, it was that fear offered bad council.

The old Arkronian finally turned around and walked towards his seat at the conference table. All ministers had gathered once again to discuss the most prominent matters during the evening session. He looked around the table and knew that all men gathered were thinking the same, that the crown prince is too sick to become the next king and yet that he is the last member of his bloodline.

Usually the Arkronian nobles would have fought over the topic of which house would deliver the queen for the wedding ceremony but they all knew that the crown prince would not be able to have physical contact with a member of the other sex. The risk of spreading the sickness was simply too great. No, all these men at the table were thinking of which house should become the next royal bloodline.

“Alan Arkronis”

The ministers responded with the same greeting. A formality that opened all conversations in Arkronian culture. The second formality was the establishment of the agenda for the meeting. Lots of topics were going to be discussed this night as the management of the kingdom of Arkron was a complicated and never ending task.

“Ministers of the great Arkronian nation. The first topic of this meeting is the end of the civil war in the Hegemony of Canthor. I will give the word to our minister of foreign affairs Horish-Namar” spoke the steward.

“Ministers of the great Akronian nation. The hegemon has conquered the last republican stronghold, the city of Irrida and declared the final victory. It is safe to assume that the hegemon has solid control over the territory of the hegemony of Canthor. The Arkonian nation has invested significant resources in securing the victory of the Hegemon faction and we should ensure that those investments are repaid in full.”

“It took them 50 years. Even after extensive military reforms with our guidance. If the civil war in Canthor shows us one thing, then it is that humans make poor soldiers.” Proclaimed Ekram-Rhas.

Ohrahm-Braz, minister of intelligence took the word. “It is unwise to underestimate any race, lord Ekram-Rhas. Informers have reported that the Hegemon’s forces have made significant improvements to the capabilities and organisation over the years. With our help of course. It will be wise to remind the Hegemon that our friendship and involvement made sure that he can now rule over all of Canthor. ”

“Hmmpf. Since when is the great Ohrahm-Braz such a fan of insignificant creatures created by the gods of chaos?” Responded the minister of the army annoyed.

“I am merely stating that we live in a hostile world and that we should not underestimate our vassals. Under our great leadership they can prosper and we should always make sure that out relations remain mutually beneficial, so that all they learn from us won’t be used against our own nation.”

Drokon-Al looked at both the minister of the army and minister of intelligence as they got into a rather pointless argument about the value of humans. The viewpoints of Ekram-Rhas greatly concerned the steward, he was too radical for his taste. A warmonger that longed for the glory his father earned during the 3th rebellion but could never gain due to the mostly peaceful times. At least the minister of the army did not really get along with Ohrahm-Braz well. It would be bad if those two men would unite their forces to present a unified radical front.

After forcing both arguming men to silence Drokon-Al took the word again. “There are still some elements we need to discuss concerning the situation in Canthor. First, there is an invitation to celebrate their victory. We will need to send a proper diplomatic mission. I propose that minister Horish-Namar of foreign relations and minister Ragid-Can of trade will attend the Canthorian celebrations and see to it that their end of the deals we’ve made.”

Both ministers bowed their heads in agreement.

The steward continued with the next topic regarding the civil war. “The hegemon has requested from all nations that any rogue elements be apprehended. Minister of intelligence, do we know where such rogue elements are currently located?”

“Yes, steward. We are keeping tabs on several of the republican leaders. Many have fled Canthor and are currently hiding in neighboring nations. I would like to make a suggestion on how to handle the situation. In my modest opinion we should seek them out and offer them refuge. We never know when the need arises to create a civil war in Canthor. Just see it as a little insurance policy.”

“Are you sure about that? If republican loyalists are spotted within our territory that will put a strain on our relationship with the Hegemony.” Responded the Horish-Namar.

“I am well aware of that minister. That is why we should hide them in various other countries. Maybe send them on a nice holiday to the Skekari beaches. I’ve heard they have beautiful beaches and a pleasant climate. Of course, we would not all send them to the same spot. Spread our investments wisely so that we can always insert some capable rogue agents when the need arises.”

The ministers nodded in agreement.

“Alright, then we will move on to the next topic of our meeting. The impact of the grey death on our nation.” Spoke the old steward as he commanded the room. He knew this was going to be a difficult topic. “We’ll start off with a status report from our armed forces. Minister Ekram-Rhas, you have the word.”

The minister of the army looked at the documents before him before he spoke. “First corps reports 10 deaths, and 122 sick. All assumed to have the grey death. All sick soldiers have been put in isolation and their regiments are put in isolation too. Second corps reports 18 deaths and 185 sick. Third corps reports 9 deaths and 98 sick.” After a long summary the Ekram-Rhas finally came to a conclusion. “The current death toll in the army is 289 and over 3000 soldiers and officers are reported sick. 57 regiments have been affected by the grey death placed in quarantine. The current policy is that if no new cases of grey death pop up for two weeks in a regiment will be available again for active service.”

Next was the minister of the navy Ridhouan-Tag. “ Seven more warships have been put to harbor due to cases of grey death among their crews. All affected crews have been put into isolation. So far 133 sailors and officers have died and over 900 are sick. 27 ships are currently unable to set sail due to crews being in isolation or short staffed.”

After the minister of the navy finished his report Ikra-sha, the minister of economic affairs took the word. “Commercial activities across the entire kingdom are in decline. Reports state that many citizens are decreasing their spending on everything except life’s necessities. However more alarming is the rapid increase in food prices. Wealthy merchants are buying up large quantities of grain and even go as far as buying future harvests. All in fear that the grey death will result in food shortages. For the small artisans, soldiers and other low to medium income families getting the daily required amount of food becomes an increasingly more difficult undertaking.”

“Yes, I am well aware of that development” Responded Bakhal-Amar, minister of the interior. “Reports from our police forces state an increase in feelings of discontent among the human underclass. There has been a slight increase in crime. However one event is concerning. Two days ago a grain caravan was assaulted by a band of human thiefs. Our officers have tracked the grain and believe it was distributed freely by the Forbidden tribe among the human underclass in the capital. It is safe to assume that the forbidden tribe will exploit this situation to strengthen their influence.”

“Of course they will! That is what you get when you allow such lowly creatures within our society.” Replied Ekram-Rhas. “Humans can’t be trusted”

“That is enough! We are aware of your point of view minister. However, we the Arkronian people were created by the gods to bring guidance to the other races. It is our divine duty to lead them to the path of light.” Spoke Cardinal Orign-Eltar, minister of religious affairs with a raised voice. “I suggest that you do not stray away from the path that Ak’ron, the god of order has given us! Otherwise you might risk falling out of favor.”

It was a clear warning from the highest religious leader in the kingdom. With the end of the royal bloodline on the horizon, falling out of favor with the gods was not something an ambitious man like Ekram-Rhas could afford. The minister of the army quickly toned down on his remarks regarding the other races for the remainder of the meeting.

Suddenly Ohrahm-Braz, minister of intelligence rose from his seat. “You will have to excuse me, ministers. I’ll have some urgent business to take care off.” And before any of the others were able to protest his sudden departure, the small Arkronian had left the conference room.

The rest of the evening the other ministers discussed the final topic of the meeting, the coronation ceremony of crown prince Rakon-Da. The festivities would open with an official banquet on the first evening. It would provide a setting to socialize with the various world leaders and would of course be an opportunity to impress the world with the excellent cuisine of the Royal Palace.

On the second day in the late morning the official coronation ceremony would take place followed by the pledge of fealty of the vassals to the new king. This was the moment where the delegations would also hand over the many gifts they had brought with them for the new king. This event would be followed by a military parade. The second day would end with another banquet, feast and fireworks.

Arkronia - The palm beach bath house

Personal hygiene is important within the Arkronian culture. Not only was bathing considered a social activity, it was also closely tied in with the Arkronian view on medicine and health care. Arkronian healers share the idea that washing yourself and relaxing can cure many ailments. Often bathing activities were complimented with various forms of massages that include medicinal oils. Needless to say that in a time of plague, bathing is seeing a surge in popularity.

Many large villa’s have their own private baths while the large cities also host a variety of public bath houses. Some of those are small and sober places that cater towards the lower classes while others are large luxurious buildings which offer a wide variety of bathing area’s. In general Arkronian bath houses consisted of a large hot bath, a smaller cold bath and an area where the bathers could get their various massages and skin treatments. Another important part of the typical Arkronian bathhouse was the courtyard. Every bath house offered a garden closed off by a high wall from viewers where the visitors could walk and relax on various types of benches.

The Arkronian bath house is strictly separated for the different sexes. Bathing is an activity that is done in nudity and being nude in the proximity of members of the other sex you’re not acquainted too is considered indecent and obscene behavior in the Arkronian society. The Arkronian state even went as far as to outlaw such indecent behavior in their extensive moral laws.

The Palm Beach Bath house is the most luxurious of bathhouses within the capital. All the others pale in comparison when it comes to the sheer beauty and size of this Bath House. Her exquisite mosaic floors and walls are unparalleled throughout the country. And yet that is not what the Palm Beach is famous for. Unlike any other, Palm Beach bath house offers more than just the regular bathing facilities. This specific place has raised the bar by integrating various other elements such as a steam bath and hot saunas.

However what truly makes Palm Beach remarkable was the fact that they offered private baths. These rooms could be booked by groups or individuals who wanted a more private experience. Often merchants would invite their business partners to discuss deals away from the ever listening ears of their competitors or the social elite would meet up to gossip. However there was also a dark side to these private baths. As the services that could be acquired in these private rooms went a little bit further than your average relaxing massage.

In Palm Beach the Arkronian elite could indulge in the pleasures that are frowned upon by society and prohibited by law. Drawn by the pretence of privacy, many of the most virtuous Arkronians would give in to their darkest of vices once the prying eyes of the public could not see them. However the truth about Palm Beach Bath house was that regardless of the amount of privacy the place offered, Peatyr Breathnach, the owner would always know what his clientele was doing. Some considered the Vulpin just an exploiter of brothels while others understood the value of the information he gathered.

In a society built around orderly and virtuous behavior, knowing the darkest secrets of the social elite made you a powerful man. Just the idea that your sinful behavior could become public gossip scared many of the Arkronians into doing his bidding. The Vulpin lured his victims in with the pleasures of their wildest dreams and then playfully reminded them that he knew what they had done. Knowledge is power and if you know the right kind of information you practically own people. Especially in a society where a public image of order and virtuous behavior is extremely important.

As usual Peatyr spend his evening in what he called his office. The only private bath room without secret spots to peek through. The room was relatively large and everything was centered around the round bath in the middle. Against the walls of the room were several sofa’s and tables where he and his guests could relax. Near the entrance door was a large wooden cabinet which holded a variety of alcoholic beverages from across the continent. The ceiling consisted of a large glass cupola to let the daylight in. However since the sun had set, the cupola provided an excellent view of the night sky.

The owner found himself gazing at the stars with a glass of fine Skekari wine in his hand. He recently had acquired some very interesting information about the selection procedure and criteria for if the crown prince would succumb to his disease and the cardinals would have to choose a new royal bloodline. Combine that with the fact that half of the cardinals are regular customers of Peatyr’s offered services and the Vulpin was in an excellent position to influence the decision making. However, he still had to find the right buyer for it.

His string of thoughts was suddenly interrupted by 3 short knocks on the door.

“Enter” commanded the Vulpin as he turned around, only to watch one of his human servants coming through the door.

“There is a man who would like to speak with you mister Breathnach. He is Arkronian sir.”

The Vulpin stared intrigued at his servant. It was unlikely for any of his important Arkronian clients to disturb him at this hour. “Does this Arkronian have a name?”

“He did not tell his name. He merely stated that he was looking for a merchant of knowledge and was willing to pay the gold price.” Responded the servant.

“Isn’t that interesting. A mystery guest that seeks me out. Well, make sure he’s undressed and pour the man a drink of his liking.”

“Yes, mister Breathnach” said the servant as he closed the door behind him.

Peatyr folded his arms on the side of the bath, resting his head on it. He wagged his tail slowly through the warm water creating circles through the movement. The Vulpin could not help to wonder who was looking for a business transaction this hour. His eyes tracked the movement of the door as it opened again as the servant let the guest in.

Through the door stepped a rather unremarkable Arkronian male. He was rather small for an Arkronian and did not possess the athletic physique that many Arkronians strive for. It was a rather disappointing sight to a connoisseur of the male body. Especially when you factor in the fact that the guest was lacking some distinctive male attributes. However Peatyr instantly knew who his guest was and that he could not treat him lightly.

“color=008000]“So, the stories I heard about you are true. You aren’t really king material. Offspring would be rather difficult to produce with your….condition, Ohrahm-Braz.” [/color] Peatyr paused a bit to judge his guest’s reaction but soon continued. “I’m afraid that even the healing properties of my bath house can’t cure your ailment.” Joked the Vulpin.

Ohrahm-Braz, the Arkronian minister of intelligence walked to the cabinet next to the door and went through the fine selection of wines. Purposely he opened up the most expensive bottle and calmly poured himself a glass. The jab about his lacking masculinity did not seem to get to him at all. Ohrahm-Braz seemed to be extremely confident with his own body.

Calmly he walked up to the Vulpin who was still resting his head on the side of the bath. Ohrahm-Braz only stopped inches before the owner and looked down upon Peatyr Breathnach before beginning to speak. “Of course those stories are true. I told everyone about my birth condition, everyone who wanted to listen and those who refused, well I shoved it in their face, visually. I paraded naked through the royal palace. Symbodically waving my piece in front of the king. You see Peatyr, everybody thinks that being born with a disfigured body is some sort of weakness. Something the likes of you can exploit. The truth is that you can’t change what you are. You can only try to hide it or embrace it. Those are the only options to choose from. I don’t need to tell you which choice I made.”

Peatyr looked up and stared in what seemed to be nothingness. He could barely lift his head high enough to look at the minister’s eyes while his jaw dropped as he listened to the words Ohrahm-Braz sproke. Instinctively the Vulpin moved backward just to regain eye contact with the Arkronian that towered above him. He could not help to notice that the minister possessed a limitless amount of confidence. Ohrahm-Braz’s presence was dominating like the pitch black clouds before a severe thunderstorm.

As Peatyr made way the Arkronian minister stepped into the bath and seated himself on the spot where the Vulpin sat just moments ago. For a moment he closed his eyes and enjoyed the hot water on his grey skin. Suddenly Ohrahm-Braz opened his eyes and looked Peatyr deeply in his eyes. “You are going to arrange the early passage to the afterlife of someone for me.”

With disbelief, the Vulpin looked at the minister. This was not the kind of request people would generally ask of him. Assasination wasn’t really Peatyr’s trade. After a moment the owner of the Palm Beach Bath house regained his composure and was capable of responding. “That sort of business is not really my area of expertise. I believe you have perfectly capable people in your employ….”

Before he could finish his sentence Ohram-Braz suddenly lunged forward and grabbed Peatyr by the head and pushed the unsuspecting Vulpin underwater. Desperately he tried to fight the powerful grip of an Arkronian but a small Vulpin was no match. The hot water filled his lungs and blood pounded behind his eyes as Peatyr desperately fought for survival.

Suddenly he was dragged through the water and thrown on the side of the bath. Disoriented Peatyr rolled on his back and couched heavily to get the water out of his lungs. For a moment, he was unaware of what had just happened, the Vulpin layed on the floor gasping for air.

As he regained some of his composure Peatyr stared at the Arkronian who towered above him. “I….I don’t fear death” Sputtered the Vulpin.

Ohrahm-Braz sat down upon his victim and grabbed him by the throat. Slowly he moved his head and whispered in Peatyr’s ear. “I know. You’re a devil and the only thing a devil fears is getting kicked back to hell.”

“You don’t know what my hell is.” protested the owner of the bath house.

“On the contrary. It is so obvious that even an Ascarian can figure it out after only a century of thinking about it. You’re a fucking Vulpin. Born in some muddy shithole spending your summers hunting rabbits and your winters hungry. You were born an insignificant nobody with nothing and look at you now. The owner of the largest bath house of the kingdom. The merchant of information. More coins in your pocket than you can spend in a lifetime and I can take it all away whenever I want. Don’t you ever forget who is keeping the authorities off your back. The minister of the Interior would love to shut your little pleasure palace down. Never forget who’s little pet you are!”

Peatyr knew the minister was right. His Establishment violated more Arkronian laws then could be written down in one book. The sad truth was that the only reason the Palm beach bath house could remain in business was as long as Peatyr Breathnach remained of value to the likes of Ohrahm-Braz.

“Who needs to die?”

“The crown prince, During the opening banquet.”

Arkronia - Bacchus Brew Tavern.

The light of torches casted shadows through the tavern hall of Bacchus Brew, hiding some of the patrons in the shadows while others basked in the light. The tavern got his name from an old god that was once worshipped by the humans who lived in this part of Mycoria. However those practices and beliefs were mostly left behind when the Arkronians arrived. There is however a small group of humans that still cling to these ancient ways. A secret society whose name is only whispered when no Arkronian ears are around to hear it. The forbidden tribe.

“We did good.” Proclaimed a man to his companions when he raised his pull of ale.

“For humanity!” Proclaimed the others.

Carl Jacobson, a large build human with short black hair, looked at the three others who were with him in Bacchus Brew. They were the core members of The forbidden tribe in the capital of the kingdom of Arkron and some would consider them a more radical element. Just a few days ago they had robbed a grain transport and distributed the food for free among the human underclass of the city.

The humans might not get sick from the plague but they were suffering many of the negative backlashes from it. Rising food prices, prejudice from the Arkronian population who rumoured that the grey death was of human origin and much more.

“We need to grow bigger. We can’t help our brothers and sisters with just the four of us.” Continued Carl.

“We don’t have enough weapons. Getting them on the black market is extremely difficult with Arkronian police all over the place.”

Carl turned towards the only female companion in his small group. He valued the bright youngster who was always quick to give her opinion and never afraid of asking the difficult questions. The black haired human often viewed her as the daughter he never had.

“I’m aware of that Lisa. However with the coronation ceremony drawing in close, the city will be filled with delegations from all over Mycoria. Not every vassal likes the throne. With this plague running rampant among the Arkronians I am sure there will be parties interested in throwing some more fuel on the fire”

Lisa took a large gulp from her pull and looked the leader of her group in the eyes. She knew all too well the the Arkronians weren’t loved by everyone but would there be any country stupid enough to start mingling in their internal affairs? If the Arkronians would find out there could be dire consequences for the parties involved.

“Who are you going to ask for aid?” Asked Lisa.

“I am going to dispatch messengers to the Yuravians, The Dominion of Epha and the Saa’Kaleed Abiat. One of our friends works as a gardner in the Royal palace and he will deliver the invitations to meet us here.”

“How do you know they won’t betray us?” Asked Lisa.

“I don’t invite the Vulpin.”

@Datadogie @Yam I Am @Gowia

Arkronia - Royal palace - Start of the festivities

It was his big day and yet it didn’t feel like it. In fact Rakon-Da felt terrible. Not only because he was sick but also because his coronation would be rather pointless. The healers hadn’t much hope about him recovering from the grey death and even if he did, he would be king in nothing except name. A figurehead, forced to ascend a throne by the law he could never do justice. Those who survived this plague were often crippled psychically and mentally for life.

As the many palace servants raced around him to do the final preparations for the opening banquet Rakon-Da just stared at the throne as it loomed over him. At best his reign would be short, at worst his reign would be the one that would go down in the history books as the most pointless that ever existed. The crown prince could not help but wonder why the gods have given him such a cruel fate.

”Your Highness, please remain in your quarters until the evening starts. You will need your strength for when the grand hall is filled with the rulers and nobility from all across our realm.” Spoke Drokon-Al, the steward of Arkron.

Rakon-Da turned his head and looked at the one man who was leading their glorious nation in the absence of a king. The crown prince could not help but to give the old man a faint smile. Not because he valued his concern or compassion but for the absurd fate that the gods had chosen for the great Arkronian nation. His father had passed away, Rakon-Da himself was too sick and the steward was in his final days before retirement. Who would be left by the end of this year to lead their nation through this crisis?

“I am alright. The healers are preparing an extract of several plants to help me get through the evening. It will ease my pain and give me energy. Just live through the coming days and the great kingdom of Arkron can pretend to have a king.” Said the crown prince with sadness in his voice.

”That is what our laws command us to do. The next one in line must ascend the throne, regardless of the question if he is fit to rule.” Spoke the Stewart.

”I wonder if those laws are any good when they put a sick man on a throne when the nation is standing before it’s greatest crisis.”

”Still i’d rather have a sick man as the leader of our glorious nation than Ekram-Rhas. responded Drokon-Al.

”Yes, that man will run the kingdom quicker into the ground than any plague can do. You better make sure that he will never ascend the throne. Only bloodshed and chaos can come from his reign. I’ll be off to my chambers now. I’ll heed your advice and take some rest before the banquet will start.”

The old Arkronian steward looked as the crown prince left the grand hall. He knew Rakon-Da’s rule won’t be long. After he passes away, a new royal bloodline would be chosen and there weren’t many Arkronian noble families who he deemed capable and desirable for such a task. Drokon-Al could only hope that the gods would not choose house Rhaskozikan for the new royal bloodline.

As the many palace servants cleared the hall after completing the final preparations Drokon-Al looked around. In front of the stairs to the throne was the large table of the crown prince. Two seats were placed at it with appropriate distance to each other as a measure to prevent spreading the grey death further. At the other side of the crown prince’s table were the seats for the delegation of the Aegire Oligarchy. A nation the crown wishes to strengthen her relationship with.

To the sides of the crown prince's table where the tables of the ministers and the Cardinals. Arguably the most powerful men in the kingdom of Arkron. Close to the tables of the Arkronian leadership the delegations of the vassals were seated. Some were held in high regard while others were distrusted. However all were members of the realm and subjects of the crown. Their attendance was demanded and they must be placed according to their statue within the grand hall.

The grand hall was filled with neatly decorated tables. Endless rows of expensive porcelain plates, silverware and crystal wine glasses filled the tables. Servants took their places and the musicians did the final tuning of their instruments. With all set in place, the banque could be opened as planned.

At the sign of the master ceremony the musicians started to play. The steward, Arkronian ministers and cardinals all took their seats before the guards opened the elegantly decorated doors that gave entrance to the grand hall. First the Arkronian aristocracy would enter. Every high born that entered through the door was announced by name and taken to their seats by a servant.

The entry was as methodically planned as anything in the Arkronian nation. First the Aristocracy would be seated, followed by the delegations of the vassal states. Next up would be the lower aristocracy, military leaders and members of the clergy. The last guest to enter would be the few low born who were invited. Many of the most successful merchants were of humble birth but had acquired vast amounts of wealth and influence in the Arkronian state. When all guests were finely seated, the arrival of the crown prince would be announced.

The official ceremony had finally begun.

Vulpinia - The travel too Arkronia

“Why do I have to carry the king's banner, it’s really heavy?” complained a Vulpin warrior. He had been carrying the king’s banner ever since leaving the Vulpin capital five hours ago. His small statue, large ears and boyish face betrayed that this warrior from clan Longear had barely seen enough winters to be called a man and yet, he was one of the warriors escorting the old Vulpin king to Arkronia.

“Quit yer yappin and keep the banner straight, Callumn! It’s the king’s banner, treat it with the respect it deserves!” Scolded one of the older warriors. The man seemed particularly displeased with the fact that there was such a young and unaccomplished warrior among the king’s own warband.

Quickly Callumn straightened his back, tightened his grip on the heavy wooden pole and raised the banner once more. The young warrior knew that his companion was right. Even though he could feel his soar arms struggling with the weight he was carrying but knew he could not let his king down. To carry the banner of the nine tails, the symbol of the unity of the Vulpin clans was a position of great honor the older warriors had told him. So he had to accomplish this task no matter how much his arms would hurt.

And yet, there was this trace of doubt in his mind. At times he struggled with the weight it was like he could feel the smirks of his companions as knives that stabbed his back. As if some were enjoying his struggles. Maybe they were just jealous that this task of great honor was bestowed upon him. Or was it just a chore that was forced upon him because the other warriors believed he had no right to be in the king’s warband?

Warriors in the king’s own warband were always selected because of their battlefield prowess. Even though the times were mostly peaceful, many had distinguished themselves fighting Ephan’s in the mountains while or had found their way to the battlefields of the civil war in Canthor. Others had shown their prowess during the yearly Vulpin games. Callumn Dubhgail Longear had none of that. He was only part of the king’s own warband because his father was the sovereign of Clan Longear and had a close relationship with king Aidar.

The young Vulpin knew that he had to work hard in order to receive the respect of his fellow warriors. No matter what he had to endure the young Vulpin warrior had sworn an oath to serve and protect the King of the 9 clans. If that meant to carry his banner all the way to Arkronia through the muddy roads Callumn would do it.

With renewed vigor the young Vulpin warrior marched on through the hills and fields of Vulpinia and into the forests of Akron. Everyday Callumn carried the banner with pride, eager to prove that he could do it and earn the respect he longed for.

If the Vulpin were known for one other thing except their legendary betrayal it was their ability to walk. The anthropomorphic foxes just looked like they could march forever at a quick pace. Needless to say that walking has been their prefered method of transportation. However for their old king Aidar, walking all the way from the Vulpin capital to Arkronia was just too much for someone who had nearly seen 80 winters.

The king of the Vulpin sat comfortably in his moose drawn carriage. The high quality of construction and intricate carvings revealed that the carriage was not of Vulpin origine. The fact was that the carriage of the king was a gift from the Arkronian overlords for their service during the 3th rebellion. For some it was a symbol of victory, for others a reminder of the Vulpin’s shifty nature. For king Aidar the carriage meant another agonizing trip to a far off destination that he should not visit in his old age.

However a coronation ceremony for the next Akronian king was not something that could be handled by some noble or servant. The Arkronians had expectations to be met and as long as they were the dominant power in Mycoria, you’d better be on their good side.

King Aidar Fir Shadowfax stared out of the window of his carriage. He hated traveling by carriage as every bump in the road would send an agonizing pain through his back. For a moment he longed for the days that he was younger, fitter and could have walked the entire route to Akronia with the rest of his entourage. But deep down inside the old king knew that such thoughts were the signs that his reign was overdue.

The king turned his head towards his two guests in the carriage and dropped the question he had been dropping way too many times already. “Cael, how much days before we arrive at the capital of Arkron?”

The prime servant was slightly annoyed and yet gave his king a friendly smile. When you spend weeks in a carriage’s confined space together the topics you can talk about run dry. “The same amount of days I told you the last time…. Minus three hours. We should arrive at Akronia’s grand gate late noon tomorrow. ”

“But I’ll have to excuse myself now. I need to stretch my legs a bit before I get as stiff as the old man” Spoke the prime servant as he opened the door of the carriage and gracefully jumped down in a way that was totally unnecessary and yet only someone who still possessed a strong and youthful body could do as a jest towards his old king.

Cael looked around and quickly founded the person he wanted to talk to. The 5 ft 8 hulking giant of a Vulpin could hardly be missed, as long as he was in a crowd of Vulpin. The various patches of white fur on his arms and across his cheek highlighted the many battle scars this man had suffered throughout his years and were a testimony of his prowess as a warrior.

The king’s prime servant quickly approached the man and sarcastically spoke “Isn’t it a little bit cruel? To let that young man carry the banner for nearly two weeks? Chief Finlay ”

“What a pleasant moment for the king behind the throne to grace me with his presence. How is the old king?” Nodded the chief of the king’s warband.

“Still breathing.”

“So we’re stuck with your rule a little longer....” Remarked Finlay sarcastically.

“But you’re not here to do small talk Cael. Get to business because I have better then to listen to your attempts at scheming.”

Prime servant Cael Drumain gave the highest ranking warrior in the kingdom a friendly smile and scratched the back of head and spoke. “Don’t be so negative. Just see me as supporting our king in the best way I can.“

Cael paused a bit and pointed his finger at the young warrior who was carrying the king’s banner since the start of the journey. “I need to borrow him for the first night we arrive in Arkronia,”

Finlay quickly turned his head and gave the prima servant of the king an inquisitive stare. If he wanted to borrow Callumn then Cael must have had some hand in him joining the king’s warband. “What’s yer business with Callumn?”

“Nothing too special really. I just want to visit an old acquaintance in his bathhouse in Arkronia and need an escort. The streets of Arkronia can be dangerous.”

The request shocked Finlay. He knew that the streets of Arkronia were the safest in the realm. An escort would not be needed. As the war chief had been on multiple occasions in the Arkronian capital with his king. Based on the request, Finlay was fully aware about whom Cael was talking. “No, I will not cooperate in this request of yours. Even though he has no business in being in the warband, he still is my responsibility!”

“It would be such a shame if the old king learns that his war chief refused to provide adequate protection for his entourage, don’t you think?” Whispered Cael in the ear of the warrior.

Finlay growled and clutched his spear even stronger. Angered he stared in the eyes of one of the most influential men in the Vulpin kingdom. Part of him wanted to rip Cael’s head clean off because he knew what the servant was planning and yet he was in no position to refuse his request. As he finally calmed down Finlay spoke. “And then you’re calling me the cruel one.”

By the end of noon the Vulpin delegation finally reached the grand gate of Akronia. Her large white walls, enormous towers and iron gates dwarfed anything the Vulpin had ever constructed. Those who were visiting the Arkronian capital for the first time stared in awe at the magnificent creations the overlords had constructed over time. In the face of these creations of sheer beauty and size the Vulpin looked like insignificant forest critters.

“Alan Arkronis” Spoke Finlay as he approached one of the Arkronian guards. The chief of the warband was considered large by Vulpin standards but the Arkronians towered above him. “I present King Aidar Fir Shadowfax of the kingdom of Vulpina and his entourage.”

The Arkronian guard looked down at the small fox like creatures and spoke the proper greeting. “Alan Arkronis”. It wasn’t hard to miss that the grey man didn’t hold these visitors in very high regard. However they were still representatives of one of the vassals and should be treated accordingly.

He called all members of the delegation to form up in front of him so that he could do a headcount, record every member of the delegation and explain the laws of the city to the Vulpin delegation.

“Welcome to Akronia, capital of the realm. Residence of the King of the Arkronian nation and supreme overlord of the realm. Before entering the city I must first inform you of the most common laws. The carrying of weapons within the city walls that are longer than 16 inches is prohibited. Violating this law will result in disarmament and arrest by Arkronian police. All weapons that are prohibited must be left at the gate. These will be administered and stored upon leaving the city walls, these belongings can be repatriated by request in compliance with Akronian weapon laws as stated in the book of weapon laws, chapter 8, section 17, appendix A.”

The guard paused a bit before he continued. “The drawing and usage of weapons is considered a violation of the law until proven otherwise in front of an Arkronian court. Weapons should remain sheeted in public at all times. Being caught with unsheeted weapons by Arkronian police will result in disarmament and imprisonment. In accordance with the laws as written down in the book of weapon laws, chapter 12, section 4. The carrying of weapons within the walls of the royal palace is only allowed in the guest quarters assigned to the diplomatic mission.”

The guard continued to state a long list of laws. With an ever increasing amazement Callumn the young warrior listened to the guard as he told about laws that controlled on what side of the street you are allowed to walk, the prohibition of urinating in public, what parts of the body must remain covered by clothing, how to properly behave and many more topics. If it existed, the Arkronians would have a law for it.

Other members of the delegation who had traveled to Akronia before had been through this chore already and the old king struggled to remain awake during this tedious endeavour. King Aidar had been in the Arkron capital on various occasions and knew the laws all too well. Yet every time he had been at the grand gate he had to go through this boring law speech.

However after almost 20 minutes of law reciting and weapons collecting the old king and his entourage were picked up by an Arkronian host and made their way onto the marble lane. This famous lane is two miles long and runs from the grand gate of Arkronia straight to the royal palace. When foreign delegations arrive the sidewalks generally fill up with curious Arkronians to watch the parade of strange people making their way to the royal palace. But not today, the lane seemed to be mostly deserted with only some scattered people who came to look at the delegations entering the city

The old Vulpin king looked out of the window and the scene was nothing like he remembered from last time he visited an Arkronian coronation. The lane was still as methodically cleaned and taken care of but unlike 30 years ago the sidewalks remained mostly empty. Even those few Arkronians who came to look at all those strange creatures from foreign lands seemed to keep a distance from each other. As if they had become afraid of their own kind.

“Hmm, they did put out all the flags, garlands, flowers and other decorations but forgot to invite their people” Remarked Railin Loinsigh, the female sovereign of clan Palebrush sarcastically.

“There might be some truth about the rumors we have heard about a plague that is spreading through the Arkronian people. Maybe that is why they haven’t come out en mass to uhm... greet us.” Responded Cael.

It was clear that something was going on in the capital of the realm. What and to what extent remained a mystery for the prime servant. However he had the contacts within the city to shed some more light on the situation and prior to departure Cael Drumain made sure that the right currency for the exchange was added to the king’s entourage.

The Arkronian host escorted his guests through Marble lane towards the center of the City of Arkronia. Many regarded Akronia as a place of beauty and wonder but the truth was that it was more a city of walls and secrets. The city was organized into strict districts all protected by their own inner walls. There were special human districts, the dockyards at the great river, residential areas based upon social status and wealth and at the heart of the city lies the Royal palace.

The Royal Arkronian Palace was more than just a single building. Many would regard it as a district in its own right. The palace was in essence a large walled complex with many buildings inside. At the heart was what most would call the palace. The gigantic white granite structure was modeled in an octagon shaped outer structure with eight towers. The octagon is the part of the palace where the ministers of the kingdom of Arkron have their offices. Inside the octagon is the second part of the structure known as the Royal residence.

However the Vulpin delegation would not yet be taken that deep into the Royal Palace. For official diplomatic missions the Akronian Palace had many guesthouses near the outer walls. These were large villa-like buildings which holded all the facilities a king and his entourage would need during their stay in the capital. From luxurious large suites for high ranking guests to dormitories for servants and guards. The dining hall of these guesthouses are lavishly decorated and the kitchen well stocked. The Arkronians have a habit of spending huge amounts of coin to impress their guests.

With the evening approaching the Vulpin delegation settled into their guesthouse in the Royal Palace. King Aidar sat near the fireplace and felt the warmth as if the flames were surrounding him. Even though the old king had resided on multiple occasions in such a guesthouse it never ceased to amaze the Vulpin. Where his wooden keep in Vulpinia was a drafty place and a nightmare to heat, the Arkronian guest quarters were a marvel of engineering that always seemed to have the right temperature.

King Aidar looked up as one of the servants approached him.

“My liege, you have an unopened message from Canthor” spoke the servant.

Curiously the old king studied his servant. Usually it was Cael who would barge in with such messages. He quickly took the parchment that had been sent to him from by the Hegemon and noticed that it had arrived before their departure. He quickly read through the message.

“It seems that they are done fighting each other in Canthor. As expected the Hegemon has won the civil war. He’s throwing a party to celebrate his victory after the coronation ceremony. What is that man thinking? I’m getting too old to travel all across the continent. Cael, arrange that the Hegemon is invited to a drink in our temporary residence to celebrate his victory. ” said the king a bit annoyed.

“My liege, Cael isn’t here.”

“What do you mean by isn’t here? He’s always at my side”

King Aidar looked around the room and now only noticed that it was just him and the servant. He could not help but to feel that he was getting too old for his job as he did not notice that his prime servant had left his side.

“I think he has left the royal palace sire. I saw him leaving the guesthouse with one of the new warriors in your warband.”

The king sighed as he heard the news. Once more he turned towards the fire and looked at the flames. “He took Callumn Dubhghaill with him, right?”

“Yes sire, the young one with the large ears.”

The king closed his eyes. If Cael had taken the youngest son of clan longear with him then he knew exactly where his prime servant was going. “Nothing good can come from dealing with that man.” murmured the old Vulpin as he watched how the flames engulfed a piece of wood in the fireplace.

@Conrad Looks good but there is one elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.

Since the formation of the Hegemony, the military has now been reformed. Armies are now semi-professional, centered around geographical regions of the realm. In times of war, each region will provide a regional army composed of no more than 8.000 soldiers, as agreed with the arkronite crown. In total, Canthor is legally allowed up to 24.000 soldiers, split along three main regions: Western Canthor, Middle Canthor and Eastern Canthor. One army is composed of 5.000 soldiers, 2.000 cavalry and 1.000 auxiliary (engineers, siege experts and miscellaneous). In reality, Canthor's manpower can effectively raise up to 50.000 military personnel altogether. The traditional light marine infantry used for centuries in riveranian warfare has been steadily replaced, due to the hegemonic campaigns against the republicans, with a modern elite heavy infantry units composed of pikemen, halberdiers and bowmen, with an elite corps of heavy cataphract cavalries. However, levied peasants remain an integral part of the armies, and are the main bulk of the mobilized armies. The only remaining separate military unit is the Shanna's Chosen, a religiously fanatic sect of military trained soliders specifically chosen to guard the capital and the hegemon.

Some guidelines about nation creation:
* I don't care about numbers, avoid using them. Rather write about how your society functions and what the effects of the terrain and climate are on their culture. <------------
* Work together with your fellow roleplayers to write some shared history. Prior to the arrival of the Men from Beyond the sea most nations where at eachother throat and old wounds might still exist.
* Players can create their own races as long as they follow the following guidelines; The general guidelines are that the races must resemble humans in their capabilities and how they live. In short, they must live on land, eat food, drink water, breath air walk on two legs and be in a decent size range compared to humans. Avoid races that are warped demons, that fly, live underwater or live in total hellscapes that are inaccessible to others.

The military part is not really in line with the guidelines for nation creation. Can you rewrite that section without using numbers? I like the splitup between regions. Something along the lines of "Each army consists primarily of infantry supported by some cavalry and specialist auxilliary forces." will do.

There is also another question I have. You've said you wanted to extend your territory but never posted a new map. Can you do that so that I can adjust the map?
The grand Library - Arkronia

The royal palace might be the most important government center of the Akronian nation but the Grand Library of Arkronia is considered the eternal memory of an entire race. In this grand complex, all knowledge and data is gathered from across the realm and beyond the great seas. Ancient tomes written in times before the Arkronians conquered the waves are stored within the buildings of this metropolis of books. The grand library is more than just a collection of books. In its fast halls, all the data that is written down is methodically stored. From the taxes paid by the Akronian citizens to the tributes paid by the crown’s vassals. Every grain produced within the realm is administered within the library.

Books from all across the realm are collected and translated in the many languages by the thousands of scribes who work in this place. If a government meeting would take place, scribes from the Grand Library would attend the meeting and methodically write down every word spoken. Everything that ever was put to paper can be found within the grand library. For some, this place of knowledge was far more valuable than the Royal palace.

Peatyr Breathnach was such a man. His lavendish and expensive clothing betrayed that this Vulpin had left his homeland many winters ago and made a fortune in the Arkronian capital. He generally calls himself an entrepreneur in exotic leisure activities while Vulpin would just say that he runs whorehouses. In truth Peatyr was much more, a merchant of information. He was a man who knows about the vices that lay hidden behind the facade of virtues of the Arkronian upper class. As it was Peatyr himself who facilitated his clientele into giving in to their darkest desires.

The Vulpin straightened his expensive silk tunic as he made his way through the entrance of the grand library. Just like all other men and women who wanted access to the library he waited patiently in one of the lines to ask for access to a certain part of the library. But unlike most, he chose his waiting line based on the librarian that was behind the desk. The Arkronian that was handling the request belonged to Peatyr’s clientele. The man who had dedicated his life to serving the written word had a rather peculiar way of unwinding his stress.

The Vulpin gave a smirk as he noticed that the poor librarian had recognized him as he approached the desk. “Alan Arkronis”

“A..A..Alan Arkr.o.nis” Stuttered the librarian as he stared in disbelief at the anthropomorphic fox in front of him. He knew who this Vupin was and more importantly, he knew what this Vulpin knew about him. “How can I be of service?”

“What a pleasure of meeting you here Ramon-Raz. Usually we only meet in a different kind of establishment. It must be a total coincidence” Said the Vulpin with a smile. That last part was of course a blatant lie as Peatyr had chosen to be here because he knew that Ramon-Raz would have customer service shift. “Now you mention, there is something you can help me with. I would like access to the hall of the six gods”

The hall of the six gods was the building dedicated to all religious tomes and books. Only the highest members of the Arkronian clergy have access to this hall. Even the Arkronian king was prevented by divine law from entering this building without one of the six kardinals of the gods accompanying him.

The face of the librarian turned pale as he was utterly shocked about the request this lowlife Vulpin was making. And yet, he could feel where this conversation was going. “I’m afraid I have to decline your request mister Breathnach. Only members of the clergy are allowed to study the religious tomes that are gathered in the hall of the six gods.”

The Vulpin gestured the librarian to come closer. As the Arkronian bowed down Peatyr started to whisper in his ear. “Being a librarian at the grand library of Arkronia is an absolute honor. A position only granted to some of the best university students that the kingdom has to offer. The pedestal you're standing on is extremely high. Just think about how deep the fall would be if the Grand master of the library would learn of your taste for Arvan boys. Just write down the name of the minister of religious affairs. Then your administration will be in compliance with Arkronian and religious laws.”

No Arkronian face would ever come as close to the color white again as the face of Ramon-Raz, the librarian. Caught between a rock and a hard place he knew that the only way to keep his honor and statue was to comply with the request. He wrote down the name as requested by the Vulpin and handed him the access keys to the hall of the six gods.

The hall of the six gods was one of the smaller buildings on the complex. It was dedicated to storing all the religious tomes and books. If you ever wanted to learn about the religious laws the Arkronian state was founded on, the hall of the six gods was the place to be. With all that was happening in the kingdom, the tomes that remained here mostly untouched would become relevant again. The value of its content would definitely be on the rise.

The Vulpin walked past the shelves filled with books and tomes. All neatly organised in various categories. What Peatyr was looking for were the books of divine law. Arkronian rulers were granted the right to rule based upon divine selection of their bloodline. Now with the king dead and the only heir to the throne sick, there was a good chance that the six cardinals would have to gather to select a new bloodline. That selection procedure was based upon the divine laws that were written down ages ago.

It didn’t take the merchant of knowledge long to find the shelves filled with books and tomes on religious laws. He grabbed some fine silk gloves from his pocket before picking up the first few books. These works have been put to paper many centuries ago and preserving their condition was important. The Vulpin placed the first stack of books on the study table in the center of the hall. As a beam of light from a strategically placed window illuminated the table he started to read. Page after page, book after book. Taking in the contents and procedures that the cardinals would have to take in order to grant a new bloodline the right to rule.

Peatyr Breathnach was in such a deep focus that he did not realize he was reading out loud. “The six cardinals will congregate in prayer until the gods present then with a noble bloodline of their creation.” For a moment those words resonated within his head. A noble bloodline of their creation. The Vulpin knew the Arkronian creation myth well. The Arkronians were created by the gods of order while the rest was created by the gods of chaos. However all races are a creation of the gods in Arkronian mythology. The books on divine law only mention ‘the gods’ and never a specific god or subset. With a smirk on his face the Vulpin closed the books and put them back. “Only six keys to the kingdom and I already own three of them. Now that the market was far bigger than anticipated, I can fetch an incredible price.” The merchant murmured to himself as he put the books back on their shelves and made his way out.

Arkronia - Ministry of the army

Ekram-Rhas, the Arkronian minister of the army sipped from his wine as he went through the various documents on his desk. Most contained status updates on the various armies and regiments of the great Arkronian nation. Most of them contained messages about soldiers and officers getting sick. The grey dead was spreading and the army was getting affected. If it was up to the minister of defense, he would have started a war of extermination against the more rebellious nations yesterday. The longer they waited, the less soldiers they would have. However such a war could only be started by the king. Something that seemed to be extremely unlikely to happen with a sick heir.

The sound of knocks on his office door made the minister look up from the paperwork. Before he could say anything the door opened and Ohrahm-Braz, minister of intelligence entered the room. With a meager length of only 201 centimeters and a slender build, the man looked as unimposing as an Arkronian could be. His clothes were as average as they come and after meeting Ohrahm-Braz, it would be extremely hard to describe his looks. However it was his cunning that made him feared and respected across the realm.

“Alan Arkronis. Let's skip the formalities and move on to talk business” Spoke Ohrahm-Braz.

“As you are aware the crown prince has contracted the grey death. The reports of his healers suggest that he might live for many months but will eventually die. His health will soon have deteriorated to the point that he can no longer lead the kingdom and our great nation will be kingdom without king. A position of considerable weakness. Especially in these dire plague stricken times.”

Ekram-Rhas sipped his wine as he listened to his colleague from the ministry of intelligence, wondering what he was scheming. “So? What is the business that you wanted to talk about? Get to your point.”

“The crown prince needs to die. Preferably during the coronation ceremony.” replied Ohrahm-Braz. He waited a bit to see how the minister of the army would respond but could not read his reaction.

After a moment of silence Ekram-Rhas put down his glass of wine and smiled. “So you have come here to talk about regicide. You are well aware that we Arkronians are bound by divine law to do such acts against our own brethren. No Arkronian assassin would be willing to commit such an act and risk his place in the afterlife. So I assume that you’ve only let me in on a small part of your scheming.”

The minister of Intelligence smiled. He knew he had peaked the interest of his collegue. “I am well aware of that fact. That’s why we must find a willing culprit to commit the act. During the coronation of the crown prince the capital is filled with the low-lifes from the various vassal states. I assume there will be people around who are more than willing to commit such an act for the right incentive.”

The minister of the army stood up from his chair, walked to a cabinet on the side of his office and poured in some wine for his guest. He knew that minister Ohrahm-Braz was right. The crown prince was unfit to rule and needed to be removed for someone else to take his place. Ekram-Rhas himself had solid papers when it came to the Cardinals selecting the new royal bloodline, most likely the best from all the nobles who were involved in the current administration. But that would still be a gamble. You’d never know what the gods decide through their avatars on Mycoria. He had to look for a way to increase his chances with the gods and Cardinals if they would remove the crown prince from this life. Not to mention that there were still some loose ends. Someone needed to take the fall for the act.

“So, even if you can find someone who’s willing to kill the crown prince. People will start to ask questions if there isn’t any culprit caught. Someone needs to take the blame” Spoke the Minister of the Army.

“I am well aware of that. That’s why I have come to you.” said Ohrahm-Braz as he reached inside his clothes and grabbed a dagger that was native to the Yuravian people and put it on the desk. “Or do you prefer the Saa’kaleed Abiat?”

A smirk came upon Ekram-Rhas face. If the crown prince would be found dead with a Yuravian dagger in his back when all the vassals delegations would be in town, the Arkronian government would most likely blame the Yaravians, or whomever they choose to be the culprit. Not to mention that the assasination of the crown prince would be nothing less of an act of war against the Arkronian nation. It would warrant a proper Arkronian response that could be handled without their king declaring war. And with himself leading the Arkronian army to glorious victory, Ekram-Rhas would certainly earn the favor of the gods.
@Dinh AaronMK @The Wyrm @Blandina @Yam I Am @Datadogie @trinais @Gowia @Conrad @Brithwyr

I've updated the map. Added the claims of Conrad and Brithwy. Also removed the claims of people who never responded/dropped out after issueing their claim. Furhtermore The Wyrm asked he could extend his borders which I accepted. So if other people want to reconsider their borders please let me know before comming saturday. After that I will fill up the land with NPC nations.
@Conrad Your claim is accepted. The person who had the blue game dissapeared and was never heard from again.
Vulpea - The king’s keep

Clunk, clunk, clunk. King Aidar Fir of Vulpinia noticed the ticking of his walking cane as it hit the pure white marble floor of the grand hall he had found himself into. For a moment the elderly Vulpin wondered how he had come here. The last thing he remembered was sitting on his throne in Vulpea, the capital city of the Vulpin kingdom listening to the quarrels of the various clans. Yet now he found himself in a hall of such grandeur that his own keep could easily fit beneath the high ceiling. As the Vulpin king looked around he recognized the place. King Aidar had been here before. His hand touched the imposing doors which gave entrance to the grand hall. He could feel the expertly crafted images of great battles beneath his hand. It felt so real and yet the king knew that this experience could not be in the mortal realm.

The old king made his way to the far side, passing the neatly set tables. The rows of silverware accompanied the porcelain plates and crystal glasses as if the grand hall was prepared to host a feast. And yet the place was deserted, cold and empty except for the Vulpin with his cane. King Aidar recognized the place. I was decorated in a way that reminded him of an event 30 years ago. The coronation of King Amon-Mar IV. King of Arkron, supreme lord of the realm.

The old Vulpin found himself at the foot of the stairs. Twenty five steps up in the air sat the golden throne of the king of Arkron. Always towering above his guests so that the supreme lord of the realm would always look down on whomever stood in front of him. Slowly the aging king raised his head and to gaze at the throne. Beams of light coming from the many windows illuminated the royal seat and its reflections nearly blinded King Aidar but it was impossible to miss. No one was sitting at the throne. As the old king lifted his feet to take the first step he could feel a hand on his shoulder and heard a voice in the distance.

“My liege. Snap out of it. A message from Arkron has arrived!”

King Aidar of Vulpinia blinked his eyes. No longer was he surrounded by the pristine white marble of the Arkronian palace but he found himself once more sitting on his own wooden throne with his legs under a blanket. In front of him stood the young sovereign of clan Palebrush. Moments ago she had been complaining about the Ephans hunting and settling into her clan’s mountain territory and now she was staring in frustration at her king as Cael Drumain, the king's prime servant tried to wake him up from what most would describe as a moment of total lethargy. He had sat on his throne, awake yet not aware. As if his body was in his throne room and his spirit somewhere else.

King Aidar knew what had happened. The shamans would call it a spirit walk. A sort of out of body experience beyond time and space. Where the one spirit would let the spirit walker experience something that was, is, would be or could be. A sort of vision from maybe the past, present, future, a possible future or something totally different. Never was it truly clear about what the king was seeing, nor what it meant. Everything was up for interpretation and yet a spirit walk occasionally influenced his decision making.

It took the old Vulpin a moment to regain his composure and quickly waved the young sovereign off. Today was no longer a day to be concerned with such trivial matters. Spirit walks cannot be controlled, they just happen. And when they happen, it was always for a reason.
Before opening the message, king Aidar commanded his hall to be silent. “Get a keg of ale. Tonight we honor the passing of king Amon-Ra IV, supreme ruler of the realm. May his spirit be guided on his journey back to the one”

Cael Drumain took the liberty to open the message that the Arkronians had sent. With just a glance he knew that the old dog on the throne was right. The prime servant could only guess what the king had seen. The old man never really shared the stories but it was clearly enough to know that the current ruler in Arkronia had left the mortal realm. The interesting part of the letter was the fact that the ceremony would take place in just 5 weeks. That’s incredibly short for Arkronian standards. The government in Arkronia seemed to be in a hurry to get the crown prince on the throne. “My liege. I shall summon the clan sovereigns and make the necessary arrangements for our travel to the inauguration of crown prince Rakon-Da.”

The old king just stared in the distance as he over thought his latest experience. Could it be more than just a sign of a change in monarchy? Why was the throne empty? Should he not have seen the Arkronian crown prince sitting on the throne? The truth about spirit walks was that they often raised more questions than provided answers. But the old Vulpin monarch was sure of one thing. Mycoria was standing at the crossroads of destiny once more.

However the old king did not get much time to think. Raelin Loinsigh Palebrush, sovereign of clan Palebrush wasn’t ready yet to leave the subject of the Ephan’s. It was here people who suffered the incursions and it was her responsibility as leader of the clan to safeguard her clansmen. “My liege, we are not done yet! Something must be done about Ephan’s roaming into Vulpin territory. They hunt our game, gather our food and leave less for us Vulpin. My people in the border region went hungry this winter because of the Ephans. I cannot tolerate that and have instructed my hunters and warriors to kill any Ephan we spot in our territory. I request to accompany you on your journey to the Arkronian capital so that I can tell those stupid sentinals to stay the fuck away from my lands!”

King Aidar just smiled. He had known Raelin since her birth. Her father was a close friend and supporter of the king during his days as Sovereign of clan Palebrush. It came to Aidar as no surprise that she rose to lead her clan and not one of her 7 brothers. Raelin still was as stubborn, dedicated and straight to the point as back in the day that she was just a kid. She always knew what she wanted and worked extremely hard to get it. Far harder than any of her brothers ever did.

The border situation between Vulpinia and the Dominion was complicated. Ever since the humans settled in the northern region they had pushed westward. Eventually coming across the Vulpin in the mountains. Many Vulpin claimed that they had always lived on every mountain but the truth was that the region always had been sparsely populated. What complicated the matter was the fact that both the Vulpin and the Ephans heavily relied on hunting in the region. Every animal that one side shot meant that the other had less to eat during winter.

Switching sides during the last rebellion did little to improve the situation. The Arkronians promised to force the Ephans out of the mountains but only took temporary measures to ensure that the Ephans would stay away. Over time the Arkronians simply lost interest in the region and the situation returned to what it was. However the fact that the Vulpin switched sides during the third rebellion worsened the relation between the kingdom of Vulpinia and the Dominion of Epha. A good chunk of the Ephan army was led into the ambush by the Vulpin and many beast knights lost their life. That was something that is not easily forgotten and even harder to forgive.

The old Vulpin king knew that Raelin lacked the diplomatic tact to come to terms with the Ephans. Her stubbornness and furious passion for her people would prevent her from reaching a compromise. Yet, it was something she had to learn as many considered Raelin one of the primary candidates to become the next Vulpin monarch. “Raelin, you are aware that telling the Sentinals to stay the fuck out wouldn’t do much good. If you want to talk with the Ephans, you need to do it with clarity about what you wish to achieve and what is within the realm of possibilities. Luckily you have about 5 weeks to think about that.”

“My liege, there is one more subject we need to discuss.” Intervered Cael, the prime servant. He knew that if a coronation ceremony would take place in Arkronia, all vassals would be invited and some would travel by land and thus through the territory of the Vulpin. One of the delegations that would travel by land are the Ephans.

“All Vassals will be invited and all are expected to send a delegation. That means that the Ephans will travel to the Arkronian capital as well. They will travel by land and need to pass through our territory.” Spoke the prime servant.

“We can always deny them access and force them to travel to Cor and take a ship” Said the sovereign of Clan Palebrush. It was a little joke as she knew that not granting access for such an occasion would not do well with the Arkronians.

The king sighed. He knew from all the nations in the world the Vulpin disliked the Ephan’s the most. It wasn’t out of the question that some Vulpin would display their disdain for the Ephans in a manner that would complicate things even more. A situation king Aidar would like to avoid. “Cael, arrange an escort for the Ephans and send them a message that we will grant their delegation passage through our territory. Make sure to select some trustworthy men for the escort.”

Cael nodded as he walked down to a table containing scrolls, ink and feathers for writing.


Location: Campsite
Time: morning
Interacting with: Liam Donovan@helo
Mentions: Boris @Kkushmar

Finn was quite surprised to see the youngster return with someone who looked like he had some time to go before passing his 40’s. In his mind, the young wolf always envisioned Alpha wolves as these old dudes like his father but never like someone like the man who was now standing in front of him. Finn could not help to wonder what kind of Alpha he would be. Where all packs ran the way his father did or was this dude’s pack something different?

“Don’t worry about it, I’m a chill guy. I wouldn’t hurt your scouts unnecessary.” Said Finn with a smile. It was a little joke to antagonize Kevin a bit more. Somehow the youngster reminded Finn of how he used to be some years ago. Always eager to prove himself, especially in front of a superior. Just angering him a bit more was always funny.

“I think I’ve met your Russian friend, Boris in the woods last night. He still got my shirt and I probably should do some laundry today. The clothes I’m wearing are soaked and muddy and don’t have much spare with me. But anyway, I’m not really here to talk about laundry and stuff. I’m looking for someone. Drove all the way down here from New York City to find my brother. Yes, he’s a werewolf too, just like the rest of my family.”

Finn reached for his pocket to grab his cellphone and pulled up a picture of his brother. “I’m asking around in local packs if anyone has seen or heard from him. His name is Mike. He moved to Ember Grove roughly a year ago but I’ve lost contact with him over a month ago. I figured maybe he had joined some pack here so that’s why I’m asking around. ”
<Snipped quote by Milkman>

Ah. Well, plan on reopening anytime soon? :D

I had someone drop out. He hasn't posted a sheet yet. So you're lucky :)
All colored placed without names on it are still free.
@Milkman Hey, I made the changes on the Nationsheet. I also gave each of the factions an opinion on the third rebellion, the Cani voted for rebellion but were vetoed, I don't know if that would affect the Arkronians' thoughts on the monarchs, but figured I'd mention it. Also I want to clarify a little bit here since I gave some vague numbers in the factions set. In my head the Skekarii are decently numerous for the ammount of land they have since they've rarely had to worry about food shortages thanks to their blessed aquacullture. I listed some numbers for the major clans and said roughly what the larger subordinate clans would be like, but in total I think the Skekarii number just over 5 million. I'm guessing based off world dimensions that they're about half the size of modern day France, so I kinda went about it by using medieval population counts as a guess and adjusted it from there. Most of the population is on the coast or the mountains. I'm not sure if I should make the number higher or lower for them to be considered populous, but not overly so, in Mycoria.

It's vague enough so accepted :)

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