Yeah my apologies for the grammar, it was with a time limit when I wrote this.
Glad we both got our Machiavellian kicks out if it though.
This chapter is a long one, though little happens. But I just remembered the character I forgot to introduce. And it’s one not under the existing BotI lore.
Chapter 7: Tales and discussions
Fall of Flatness
Rage, bloodlust and despair.
Normally, these three emotions reign over a village when the blight arrives. But, with an almost poetic sense of justice, this did not happen when the Blight came to the village of Flatness. Instead, none knew they were in danger until the undead broke into their tents and tore them to shreds.
The rage of the villagers yearning for survival was absent, they could not react in time to muster up a defence, nor were rage and survival instinct strong traits of theirs. Many just gave up and accepted their fate when the undead overcame them.
The bloodlust of the immortals was hidden. One family at a time, one tent at a time. Just like how the feelings of the Nihilists who lived here, the undead kept these feelings inside the homes they invaded and kept their desires off the streets.
And despair, well, the despair didn’t appear rather than that it changed that night. It had always been there ever since the founding of the village. This night, it peaked before sizzling out completely.
A village that vanished from this world overnight. None noticed it, not even the villagers themselves. Even the last surviving villager was caught unaware by the Blight.
Flatness fell and returned to the shapeless plains it was named after, it’s people and heritage forgotten before the sandstorms erased any trace of their existence.
And the reason that they vanished in the night, was because the immortals attacked during a sandstorm. Under the guise of the elemental fury that raged Flatness and forced it to be the plains that it was, they came and they devoured. The howling of the wind drowned even the howling of the dogs and wolves as they cried for help. The eroding of the sand forced the inhabitants to stay in their tents even as the undead entered it, for going outside was just as suicidal as staying in. The sandstorms that ravaged their village eventually became their undoing.
The first village of the Nihilists seized to exist the same way as they came to be.
It was not until several generations years later, when a new group of artists called romantics came to be, that these unfortunate souls were remembered. A lone bard who caught but a whiff of Flatness’ tale mourned over their fate and saw the beauty in their tragic end. And it’s only his melancholic song through which the legacy of the Nihilists persists.
_From sand, we be
For sand, we see
No beginning, no end, no now.
From wind, we came
Wind kept, us tame
No past, no future, no now.
We did, not live
Not take, but give
No growth, no loss, no now.
No one, to rule
The other, his mule
No child, no father, no now.
So here, we be
And there, they came
No battle, no glory, no now.
They did, not live
They did, not rule
No hatred, no love, no now.
And when, they came
What kept, us tame
They brought, to us, a gift.
The winds, that came
Sand kept, us tame
And life, they brought, not now.
Denied us dreams,
And death, they brought, not now.
Despair, we lived.
Despair, we died.
And dead, we were, not now.
Flatness it was,
Flatness it stayed,
As before, as after, as now.
The back room ruler
So remember, no glaring.
And no sneering.
I mean it, kid. These are not your regular humans and dwarves, they actually know the difference between a Goblin’s sneer and normal face.
The older Goblin looked at his apprentice’s face. Even he had trouble telling if the youngster was mocking him some times. Ever since the new generation came up with something new called ‘sarcasm’, even older generation Goblins had trouble telling.
Alright, then. Make sure to keep your head low and don’t speak unless you’re told to.
Not even that.
The apprentice nodded.
The two Goblins walk into the room filled with stacks of paper and people frantically moving them. The young one looked around amazed, not even Goblin merchant houses knew such organised chaos.
There were signs suggesting a system, but this system was clearly overburdened. There were people whose only task was to pick up files from the OUT piles and deliver them where due, but these stacks were almost as high as the impressive IN stacks. IN stacks so tall they no doubt gave their owner migraines just looking at them.
This place. This trade centre. It was…
It was chaotic.
It was organised anarchy.
It was beautiful.
The apprentice looked around with amazement. Who knew that such a beautiful place filled with stressed out Goblins, Dwarves and humans trying to finish an unfinishable task of a thousand sales was hidden in an otherwise boring human Ministry?
His master was not lying when he said Park’s Ministry of Trade was a merchant’s Eden to which his home town’s trade centre could not compare. It was like comparing a simple village to the buzzling city life.
This room was as big as the throne room, maybe even bigger. But as each square inch was filled with bookshelves, desks and piles of paper, some of which might’ve been here for decades, making it feel so much more hectic and cramped.
His master explained the workings of the Ministry; The first coin master of Park had created this place decades ago with the intend of doing all finances here, but with the economic growth this task had long outgrew the hall.
The taxes and urgent business had been moved or outsourced long ago, and nowadays only the profitable and lucrative deals were handled here. As normal human employees weren’t up for that task, Park needed a much faster and more motivated workforce. And because there was money involved, that work force they got.
When they heard of the incredible profits to be had here, dwarven merchants, Goblin dealers and human investors from many kingdoms away rushed to Park for a job. And if they made enough money, that job would be theirs. As long as they gave Park the agreed to % of their profits, the rest was all theirs.
And it worked. After many ambitious start-ups became rich here and Park only needed a bureaucratic staff and enforcers to make sure that the merchants paid their share. The problem of their ever-growing economy was resolved.
Soon enough the hall was filled so much that Park had to cut the fat and become critical of who was allowed in. Even errand boys weren’t allowed to be illiterate any more.
Desks became priced, and soon ridiculously expensive. There were villages producing less taxes than what a single desk’s rent could cost around here. Something the previous coin master used to his advantage, offering merchant houses desks in exchange for handling bureaucratic responsibilities that had to happen fast and reliable.
But more impressive than all that was the second floor. Above them on a floor alike a giant gazebo with clear architectural influences from both dwarven and human design, was the back room.
The room that was said to be one of the most important rooms in Park, second only to the throne room and that only in domestic terms. The back room was so influential that its decisions could shape the markets of kingdoms that didn’t even border the kingdoms that bordered kingdoms bordering Park.
A room only for the most successful and powerful economists in the world. A room that this little apprentice and all others in the hall could only dream of entering. Even his master, who had accumulated enough wealth here to buy a Goblin village, wasn’t on the shortlist of people with the potential to step in for the people allowed to enter that room.
For to overhear just a single word from the things that were said in that room could be worth more than what some of us could earn in a lifetime. And today’s meeting was just as important as any other.
Just to be allowed to stand there, looking over the Hall the way a king overlooks the crowds…
To be allowed in the presence of the Treasurer, who stands there looking over the gears that keep the kingdom running.
A little less than a hundred miles away, in a much less impressive meeting room.
‘No! Tell Ushor to wait, I’m busy right now.’ Thallal shouted to the errand boy who nearly jumped out of the tent after this vicious response.
Thallal looks back at the report in front of him. It wasn’t a long one, but the handwriting was nigh undecipherable. Must be the helmet. Well, that and a warrior’s hands usually being less skilful with a pen. Doesn’t matter.
It seemed that the Sheepdust were being bothersome as well.
He cursed under his breath. Not only was the latest war effort hopelessly delayed, its requirements were much higher than usual because of the humans’ above average garrison at the pool. And with the festival almost over, those damned Dusts saw no issue refusing an order they assumed to be outdated.
Thallal sighed. Maybe it was for the best. He had enough headaches to deal with right now, and it’s not as if they actually needed Firewell. There were rapports of a new rebellion brewing in the Encampment, maybe the new troops were better fit to suppress that?
Another errand boy runs into his chambers, panting and sweating.
‘Damn it, tell Ushor I’ll be back in a few minutes!’ Thallal shouts.
Ushor looks at the disgruntled faces. The Dusts knew better than to speak up and the Wilds had no intention of continuing the festival without the judge that favoured them, but there were outsiders among the contestants that could start a ruckus any moment now. They knew not of the rules of this place.
So when Thallal appeared again, he sighed in relief. Those outsiders would already bring back stories of the Wilds’ shameful behaviour to their tribes regardless, but if they were to fight things could get ugly. It wouldn’t be the first time Thallal made a few of them disappear into the eternal Salt desert.
‘Attention, all contestants and audience.’ Thallal spoke up.
‘The contest is hereby cancelled.’ Thallal continues.
Angry whispers are already resounding through the crowds. Their patience was already tested, and now this?
But Ushor had to show that the decision was absolute, a public conflict between him and Thallal could be most problematic. So he stood up and spoke up as well.
‘Yes, I’m afraid that’s right. A sandstorm is headed for us, and due to these weather circumstances beyond our control, we…’
‘No. The sandstorm blew past us Northway.’ Thallal interrupts him.
Ushor looks at the chieftain with such hatred that even he couldn’t hide his loathing for a moment.
‘Listen up, everyone. I’ve just got word from beyond the Wall.’ Thallal says. ‘The blight has come to the Outskirts. Death is standing on our doorstep.’
Ushor can barely produce a whisper after hearing this news.
‘But that means…’
The back room meeting
Mammon looked down on the traders, dealers and merchants buzzling beneath him. The piles of paper and vials of ink were the physical embodiment of his power, his influence, his trade. The people here were all part of one large organism.
The errand boys were like the bloodstream, the archivists the liver, the paper thrashers the kidneys. And this room was the brain. He loved standing here, watching his second body move to his commands. Standing here was one of the few past-times that he truly enjoyed, rather than a job that he had to do. And the people behind him knew that, they knew that interrupting him was a bad idea.
‘Is everyone present?’ Mammon asks.
‘Yes sir!’ His aide says.
Mammon sits down at the head of the large table and looks at the people waiting for him.
Alike a captain on a ship, none were allowed to have a conversation until he started it. And as he had not said a word yet, not a single word was allowed to be uttered.
He looked at the merchant house representatives, the bankers, the traders and the dealers. Each of them wielding incredible power through their wealth. Each holding their tongue.
‘The Exiled knights.’
‘We already prepared housing for them at…’ ‘The mercenary group Berg will welcome them in their ranks…’ ‘They’re not coming.’ ‘Their presence is a violation of…’
‘Sael.’ Mammon says. The other pleas grow silent.
‘We’ve got reports that the exiled knights have turned back to Dawnfort after encountering a fellowship of elves.’ Sael says. ‘The blight broke out there.’
The other interested parties seem disappointed. Figures, each saw profit to be had when word of Ophra’s destination came.
‘Hm, good. The arrival of a new order of experienced knights could’ve disrupted the balance between us and the Wilds.’ Mammon says. ‘And now that a new rebellion is emerging at the Encampment, it’d be unwise for a new war to decimate the Nihilists’ numbers. If they’re too sparse, the Wilds will be making strange jumps to get more slaves elsewhere.’
‘What about this Blight outbreak?’ Mammon asks.
‘Dawnfort fell to the Blight, but it’s the first seedling. Nothing kingdom-sized yet. Although the entire area is now gridlocked, of course.’ Sael says.
‘Hm, yes. I believe my nephew is around there helping the survivors.’ A Goblin dealer says. ‘While the reports are a bit old and from the earliest days when things can still change overnight, he said that the situation might be containable.’
‘Please sir, if this spreads through Gryphon’s crown it will also affect us. With their grain and…’ A human merchant says.
‘Yes, yes. I know. The immortals make for lousy traders so it’s best if the mortals win. It’s always the same situation, no need to argue about it.’ Mammon says before turning back to Sael. ‘So why would the situation be containable if a metropolis fell? Without Dawnfort’s troops and guidance there are too many places for the undead to spread to unopposed.’
‘It appears mortal resistance managed to close the gates, sir.’ Sael says. ‘And in between the troubles before the outbreak and a large amount of the military turning civilian or bandit just before the outbreak, the resistance appears to be holding steadfast.’
‘Your nephew. Is he talented?’ Mammon asks the Goblin dealer.
‘Talented enough to make it into the Hall, not enough for a desk.’ The dealer says. ‘But he’s more of an opportunist among fools than a competitive spirit, so that’s a loose estimate.’
‘If we send him supplies, will people be able to trace it back to us?’
‘Salt, bread, water and timber. And tinderboxes.’ Mammon says. ‘And make sure he knows to keep his mouth shut about their origins. If the prices of those goods don’t skyrocket, those survivors ought to hold out longer.’
‘If anyone wants to contribute voluntarily, they may either do so through this nephew or in their own name.’ Mammon adds.
A few people are already scribbling down some numbers for gifts and hand them over to the dealer, but as expected no one offers to openly send aid. Merchants known to support the Alliance’s plight could expect to be buried by endless requests from blighted countries all around.
‘Sir, Dawnfort lies near Black Park, the political ties…’
‘Are something for Lord Amon to worry about.’ Mammon interrupts his aide. ‘We’ve got more pressing matters to discuss. As I said, the Encampment is soon to have another rebellion, which means the salt production will soon come to a grinding halt. Are the warehouses properly stocked or do we need to contact our Silverdust contacts before they hear of this?’
Again, several people speak up in attempts to hoard as much of the profitable side of the situation to themselves, drowning out the aide’s words.
Somewhere deep in the eternal salt desert
The immortal was already hungry before he died, and that hunger became only more insatiable after its rebirth. But unlike its brethren, it didn’t follow the scent towards the nearby living flesh.
No, for reasons unknown to all including the immortal itself, it wandered into the eternal Salt desert. It was a strange behavioural abnormality that some had, and with the sheer amount of undead rising from the Encampment it was not strange that there were dozens that went the wrong way.
Maybe it initially followed a slave running this way. Who knows? But by now, this undead one could no longer sense its brethren who also went this way, the distance became too great. Nor could it sense the mortals it should’ve headed towards, not after the several days it had been wandering.
But it could sense the new life. The life within the desert where there should be no life. It couldn’t sense the life when it headed this way, but now the scent of sweat and faeces was getting stronger.
And the undead orc continued walking, walking towards the massive sand-ship on the horizon.
Oh man…I love the Ministry so much!
This is like the Wallstreet of Blight of the Immortals, how even a Blight itself can change the economy of kingdoms who aren’t even connected!
And how you explained how the hectic mess of the organisation was just perfect, I felt like it was a lot of shouting and screaming. The term organised anarchy is just perfect, well done.
And of course the Blight arriving at Park is just a sample of things to come.
Kudos, Mammon. Kudos.
Also thank you for the shout outs to the Exiled Knight series ;D
I felt a bit arrogant describing this place led by Mammon, but the Wallstreet stock exchange meets the bank of Harry Potter is indeed what I went for. And Dawnfort was a good opportunity to show them in ‘action’, intervening without intervening. Prices of a lot of things would get unreal without a little guiding hand, swords and arrows ain’t what’s needed most when one faces the Blight.
And with the Blight, we’re almost past the first 12h(?) before the map begins. But enough about that, I bet there’s more to Gorvar’s plans and/or the Dawnfort siege.
So I was thinking…to make this a real breathing world with a history behind it how about we make a timeline?
Nothing to in depth but maybe focus on a year 0 and go from there?
I was thinking year 0 could be either the founding of the Citadel a la Camelot or since the humans in this are kinda like Christians with a dash of peganism ( i’m looking at you Spirit Shaman) we could do a messiah character? Or a mix of both like King Arthur?
From what I understood from your stories there are two Blight wars, the first one that Dawnfort’s and the outskirt’s story is taking place in, the second one that now has to worry about vampires. But everything before and after that…
year 1000-1010 The Plague decade
Mages invent a new kind of magic called Necromancy, which goes out of control and ravages throughout the lands of man for 10 years called the ‘Plague decade.’ The human mages who originally invented the Blight were the first to be killed and it just spread from there without anything but bloodlust guiding it. The Immortals developed according to Darwin’s law; the strains that didn’t cause bloodlust died out, and the ones that created the most ravaging undead flourished. And eventually these strains also evolved to infect dwarves, Goblins and elves which were just killed before.
year 1010-1060 The apocalypse mellows
The Alliance, another one called the same way but only including the Humans, dwarves, goblins and elves, forms against the Blight. The orcs and trolls are not yet involved, as the Blight doesn’t infect them yet. The orcs are using the situation to attack the weakened humans and are just as much of a problem as the immortals. The trolls simply don’t care enough.
Rather than fighting the undead, which are much meeker back then, the Alliance made sure that the undead remained dormant: Despite evolution they were not yet gifted with Immortal Lords, their long-distance smell or the Blighting of the land. If it weren’t for the orcs guiding hordes into new territory with more meatbags to infect and the refugees fleeing without order, the undead might not have spreaded further than the first kingdom they appeared in. In the last two decades of this era there are whole lands teeming with the undead, but their spreading has stopped and the slow but steady extermination is well on its way.
Roughly 12 countries were wiped of the map in the last 60 years, but this is mere child’s play compared with the two real Blight wars to come. Rather than a Blight war, this period is referred to as the Blight Plague.
1060-1250 Long forgotten peace
For almost two-hundred years the immortals are forgotten by the world and the world rebuilds. As the immortals of those days couldn’t suvive more than a few years without feeding (Something the Alliance found out about after losing a lot of men.) many assumed them to be a threat from long ago that would never resurface.
A threat that would never resurface, until it would. Unbeknownst by all but a few, and back then not yet deemed too big of an issue by those who found out, the Immortals still existed. The human kingdom that was born from the ashes of the kingdom where the first Blight came from was researching it in secret. Needing some scapegoat for the disaster, this kingdom comprised from the refugees of the old one and a bunch of exiles was levied a lot of taxes and kept under the thumb of the other kingdoms of the Alliance. While the other kingdoms formed from the ashes eventually got their independence, this kingdom was bullied long after the reason for it was forgotten.
No large armies. No strong leaders. No deep coffins. All taken away by others so that they would stay meek. Their only ace was the research their found on the Immortals. And for two centuries the mages researched it and improved upon it.
1250-1280 The Blight cult.
The king that reigned the kingdom was no longer aware of het Immortal research, the mages who passed on their knowledge had long ago cut him and others out of the loop. These days they were a cult with roots in the government but existing outside of it.
Where the previous cultists stayed in the shadows, the new leader was more brash. Their latest invention, adding land-killing Blight to the Immortals, left its traces. Crops withered,harvests failed and people fell ill. This weighed heavy on the still suppressed country and soon famine and poverty led to revolts. Whether this was the cultists plan or not, that’s when they made their move.
While planning to kill and use the rebels as undead forces against het kingdoms that suppressed them in a dream of patriotic revenge, the cultists soon found themselves double-crossed by a single member. The knowledge on how to control the undead was destroyed or hidden, mages were killed and the cult’s involvement was reveiled. The plan suddenly failed and the undead spread uncontrollably, lead by the first of the Lich.
1280-1340 The first Blight war
Soon more Liches were trained by the first and the immortals spread far and wide. But this era has too many things to talk about, so let;s keep it at the most important events: The formation of the Alliance, the eventual win, and the expelling of the Black sun for suspected Lich-craft.
While there was never enough time to forget what happened, the world was rebuilt in these three generations to the best of their extend.
1400-1401 The necromancer
However, soon enough a lone necromancer brought back the Blight, starting with the Dwarves whose grudges were threatening the Alliance’s peace. See tutorial level. Little did people know that he was but one of many who would spread new pockets of the blight to bring back the legendary peace that came after the first Blight war.
1400-~ The second Blight war
How’s that? Hopefully vague enough for anyone to fill in some of the details to their heart’s content, while still being somewhat descriptive. Though I did keep a few era’s blank on purpose
You know what? Let’s have a laid-back chapter.
Chapter 8: A region waking up
‘Wake up, my lord.’
‘My lord, you have to wake up. A representative of Gryphons crown is here to see you.’
Amon groans even more annoyed.
Kristal nudges him gently while avoiding his arms trying to grab her.
‘Tell him to wait. Tell him I’m in a very important meeting with the ambassador of the elven villages right now.’ Amon says.
‘But I’m the ambassador of Frühling and Eisblüme.’ Kristal says slyly.
‘Then you’ll have to send someone else to deliver the message and keep me company instead to keep up the ruse.’ Amon says with a smile just as sly. ‘And I know something we can do that I find very important.’
Kristal stands up and walks to the closet to change. In mere seconds the nightgown that left little of her silky body to the imagination is gone and an elegant dress took its place. While her hair was still a delightful mess, her expression had also changed from the playful mistress to a tactful politician.
Amon groans again but gets up. Much slower and less fluently, he dresses while Kristal reads the report of the newly arrived representative to him.
In the eternal salt desert
The undead orc groans eagerly, shuffling as quickly as the bothersome sand allows.
The sleeping orc it’s headed for doesn’t move.
The undead orc nearly falls over in haste, shuffling further and further towards its next meal.
Scar lazily opens one eye and looks at the repugnant alarm clock.
The undead orc falls to the ground when the bone club meets it’s temple. Scar gets up and stretches.
The undead orc groans and tries to get up. Scar groans as well, annoyed that his club is too blunt and soft to kill these things with one blow. But a fallen immortal is easy dealings, at least.
The undead orc groans sharply three times as the club is bashed into its skull with a lot of force before it stops moving.
Scar drops the club, the force made the handle chip and rendered it useless. He looks at the view beneath him, showing him the horde and Thugs wall. The first few eager immortals were already crawling around the gate, but the main horde had yet to clash onto it.
Unlike before, there was now a greater distance between Scar and the horde. This immortal was just a stray that happened to come across him. He hadn’t avoided the main road and traced his way to the Li mountain all the way just to come close to it anyway, after all.
Half a day. Then the horde should’ve clashed into the Gate enough for him to circle around it to the Lo mountain. Guess he had some waiting to do, if only that orc had stumbled upon him a few hours later….
Mammon stands at the window of the Backroom overseeing the Hall. The Hall never sleeps and never goes quiet. The desks here were too valuable to remain empty for even a minute, and too many people wanted to be in here at all times to be picky about the hours.
Combined with there being no natural sunlight in here, the concept of day and night didn’t exist in the Hall. It was always…
Mammon’s aide gently nudged him to get his attention, and Mammon slowly toppled over.
Only thanks to the human body’s response of waking up when having the sensation of falling did Mammon manage to prevent a rough smack against the glass. It would hold, he knew that from experience, but it was still an unpleasant experience.
‘You fell asleep while standing again, sir?’
Mammon doesn’t respond but his rapid blinking and some stretching were enough proof.
‘Please sir, you have one of the softest beds of the country. I saw to that myself.’ His aide says. ‘Please try to use it instead. It can’t be healthy to be sleeping with your eyes opened.’
Mammon rubs his eyes as he mutters the first sentence since the start of the conversation ‘So, why did you wake me up? And get me my eyedrops. They do sting indeed.’
‘A representative from Gryphon’s crown arrived, no doubt regarding the recent outbreak in Dawnfort.’ His aide responds while handing a small vial to Mammon.
‘Get the carriage.’
‘Sir, some exercise would benefit your…’
The aide sighs and signals the two bulky men from the other room to come in. Mammon sits down on the small throne-thingy and the two men lift it up.
‘Really?’ The aide sighs again and closes Mammon’s eyes. ‘He should really learn to do that himself before falling asleep.’
The aide leads the way while the two men carry the sleeping Treasurer to the throne room.
Dodging a rock that wasn’t visible until the very last second, Thallal’s Warg jumps sideways just in the nick of time and shakes his rider in the process.
‘I’m awake, I’m…’ Thallal says dazed.
Thallal looks around, none of the other riders naïve enough to snicker or even show their face to him right now. Strange, he hadn’t dreamed of sleeping in classes for years, why did it suddenly re-emerge now?
Seems like the sun already rose while he slept in. On a Warg’s back. Galloping. He must’ve been more tired than he thought, for something that dangerous to happen.
‘More scouts have since come in, sir.’ A rider answers him. ‘The first report was accurate, the horde headed for the the Gate is most definitely undead rather than slaves. The first wave already hit the wall but is spread so thin that the wolfriders and chariots can still decimate them outside.’
‘Good, good. Try to use our cavalry to its best extend while we still can.’ Thallal answers a bit more meekly than usual. ‘I assume you also delivered my other order?’
‘Yes sir!’ The rider says, this time not hiding the amusement on his face.
Sos of ale
‘GO AWAY OR I’LL HAVE YOU EXECUTED!’
Sos of ale, also known as the Drinker, shouts with all of his authority and rage. But the sadistic orc only smiles more.
‘Sorry boss. Thallal himself ordered us to poke you with this stick once the sun rises until you got up, regardless of what you’ll say.’
Sos groans but gets poked again the moment he tries to fall asleep.
‘Damn it, what’s the big deal? The undead horde won’t reach us yet for another three hours, will they?’ Sos groans. ‘Let Porky deal with it.’
‘Orders are orders, sir.’
Reluctantly, Sos gets up. The first fifteen minutes he could ignore the poking, but that devious orc started poking one specific soft spot repeatedly after that. After half an hour of relentlessly poking that one spot, waking up was starting to seem like the easier thing to do.
‘Oh well, I guess I am a better leader than Porky. I can understand you guys wanting me at the helm.’
‘Whatever you say, boss.’
Babo and Grik
‘Seems like the sandstorm blew over without a hitch, didn’t it?’ Babo says.
‘Meh, I still hate you for making us sleep in that mountain hut.’ Grik says.
The two wall-sentries bicker a bit as they lower one of the ramps. Which, of course, is another one of their discussions.
‘Can’t we just get a move on and get back to the Gate? I could use a beer.’ Grik says.
‘You know protocol.’ Babo says. ‘After the sandstorm passes the Ramp is to be lowered, especially when there’s a slave riot afoot. Don’t want to give the Wilds a reason to complain now do we?’
‘Speak of the Devil.’ Grik says.
‘Hello Garesh.’ The both of them say in unison.
‘You’ve lowered the Ramp?’ Garesh asks.
‘Yes sir.’ Babo says politely, though that wasn’t necessary. No matter what they’d do or how, Garesh would always find something to complain ab…
‘Good, good. All the way to Lo?’ Garesh says.
‘The mountain! Did you lower all the ramps between here and the mountain!?’
‘Yes sir.’ Babo says, while wondering where Garesh learned the meaning of the word ‘Good’.
‘Good. Did you see anything moving on the civilised side of the wall while you did it?’
‘No sir. Excuse me, but are you feeling alright? Something seems amiss.’ Grik says.
‘Of course something is amiss! The freaking undead have found their way into the slave camp!’
‘Well shit.’ Both Dusts say in unison.
Mael gets up. He didn’t like his turn of being chieftain, but the comfortable bed was one of the perks of this job. His Tael-bed was a lot more lumpy.
After dressing himself and doing some morning exercises, Mael picks up the report waiting for him on the table. Reports were never good news in his experience. At least it wasn’t written by Baoc, that man’s handwriting was simply…
‘Oh shit.’ Mael says as he reads the contents of the letter.
Up. Down. Up. Down.
Somehow the ship was doing it just as frequently as one that sailed the seas, despite the hills of desert sands being much larger and more infrequent than any body of water could be.
It no longer bothered her, but it was still a question to ponder about every now and then. Especially with there being so little going on around here.
The woman walks through her cabin, feeling no more need to wear clothes now than when she did while sleeping. And with her caramel skin revealed without a single thing left to the imagination, she’d seem like a perfectly normal woman.
Well, unless you’d pay attention to her hands. Her hands, which were inverted at the wrist. And maybe her purple irises would be a good hint for something being amiss as well. You couldn’t really see the forker tongue even when she spoke, but…
Okay, she didn’t look that much like a human after all.
‘I pray, I pray, for something interesting to happen today. Please, gods of old and new, let today be the day that something worth noticing finally happens.’
Haven’t read your works yet Mammon my main man but I’ll give you my opinion after a good night’s rest and a read
Also timeline wise, just my two cents, don’t forget the two trolls wars set prior to the First Blight.
First Troll war is just Trolls, second is with Gorvar the Dragonrider…iiiiif you wanna do that
Aaaaalrighty, I read both your entries sir!
Timeline, a very good start.
I like how we got several Blights epidemics before the full on Blight Wars. Love the ideas of the virus evolving and how it became the one we see now in-game.
The history added here is good and I already said my piece about the Troll Wars.
We still need a reason why the Human Calendar starts at 0 and how but we can discuss that. We can also introduce a different calendar for the other races but again that would be a tomorrow’s thing.
Perhaps we could add that to the Encyclopedia Alundria entries I did before. Food for thought.
Chapter 8, like you said very laid back as in the common theme being of people being just woken up/being very tired. Love the idea of a elven mistress/ambassador by the way. I always thought with the Grand Alliance the chance of cross race romance is always highly possible. Also liked how you described the lovely affair tastefully, good job.
Mael and Tael changing roles is turning into one of my favourite bits in your saga here, love to read more of them as time goes on.
And of course the mystery lady, now this got me curious. Who is she, what is she and why have you introduced her here?
A lizard person, eh? You got my attention.
Tales of Dawnfort.
Hadgar Drakenson chipped away at the foundation with his pick axe. The enemy was right above them, stumbling across the streets infested with their kind, haven taken claim of most of the city. One hundred dead to every single survivor, his Foremen told him. Only a few sections warded by either magic or build to high up for the undead to reach remained in the hands of the living.
What he and his brothers were doing here would not change that but it would sure as hell make it as spiteful for the Immortals.
“Drakenson!” his Foremen yelled." How long?!"
“Any second, sir!” Hadgar shouted back." Get clear!"
In a previous life, Hadgar was a gold miner. He and his colleagues worked in Dawnfort but went to the nearby mountains to mine it’s riches. Three hours walk to get there, six more to mine and three to walk back. It were exhausting and long hours but he loved it, all his colleagues did whom he considered closer than his own kin. A lot of gold from that mountain went all over Sanctuary, a lot of the economy.
But that stopped when the Blight came. The undead have no need for coin, they do not appreciate the artistry of the pick axe or even notice anything except their own need to feed. A grin appeared on his lips. They would notice this.
He threw his pick axe back and swung it hard against the foundation once more. The roof above him began to shudder. Good, the time was now.
Hadgar jumped away from the foundation." Get clear! For the love of the ancestors, run your beards off!"
The other miners ran as the Foremen shouted the instructions once more. The roof above them collapsed as the sun came pouring through the cracks. The moans of the undead became audible when they began falling through, met by stone cold pavement…and dwarven steel as pickaxe entered their skulls.
As Hadgar began his bloody work, he did some with gusto.
The dead might rule the streets but they would never rule the underground.
Nice chapter, there are a surprising amount of ancient cities built upon remnants of old ones or with such massive underground foundations beneath their feet, real nice to see the survivors use that to their advantage.
I indeed forgot about the troll wars, but like I said I intentionally kept the history vague and with large gaps in the story telling to accomodate for many other stories. I didn’t include any non-undead wars because I was already dragging my feet a bit here, no need to make it too long and forceful. If I’d list all the wars between mortals, just the human/orc wars would be a long list. Even the war between Park and the Wilds may have persisted all the way back to the first appearance of the undead as far as I know. With Gorvar and the troll wars, I don’t know the things you were planning with your own stories and don’t want to throw a wrench in any potential development of yours. So I let you weave that tapestry.
Speaking of which: I know you’ve got something planned for the Children of Light, but when exactly did they appear? Were they a 2nd Blight born religion or did they already exist in the first? And what are the ground-rules and power-roots of these fanatics?
About the mystery lady, she’s not a lizard person I’m afraid. Remember what you said about outsiders entering the story? I kept that in the old nogging and it found its way into this story. Google says my idea of a Rakshasa is vastly different from the old Hindu lore, but oh well. All I knew when I wrote this outlander demon into the story was that Rakshasa (Or Rakshasi as female ones are called,) have inverted palms that are the only thing hinting to their origins regardless of their ability of transformation. And they’re man-eating demons that did have an influence upon western lore of vampires.
Oh cool, I like the idea of foreign mythologies encroaching on our traditional Western fantasy worlds. My vampires are sort of the beginning salvo for a Eastern continent with Arabiam Fables and Chinese mythical empires. So to have a Indian world would be so hype!! Looking forward to it.
As for the Children of Light, they are a recent thing as Mother Mercy gets all these people in a religious fever a la the Crusades in our world. This incarnation started about 100 years after the start of this now ongoing Second Blight war. Most of them are in Sanctuary and are burning everyone they deem in league with the Blight however loosely. Some groups however made it to other provinces that are combating the blight and are more of use there.
Its a mix of knights, peasants and half-giants and the odd non human who worships the human god.
However we could have previous crusades happen earlier in Blight’s history. Maybe a crusade to the Arabiana continent or against the orcs or something.
Oh right, the Blight wars were a lot longer than just a few years, weren’t they? Only gave the first one 60years, although that’s still quite long for a war. Or the first one could be short yet destructive (Blight popping up everywhere at once and spreading like wildfire) while the second one lasts a lot longer but being more mellow because the people learned and/or built their cities against full-out outbreaks and the mysterious necromancers cult being careful not to let things get out of hand again.
But I’ll leave that for you to decide, you’re more of an Encyclopist than me.
The Rakshasa will probably be a mix of Hindu and Middle East while not being strictly adhering to either, And with the Children of Light, if they didn’t exist in the first war then I won’t add them in the story. And I bet the pre-Blight history knows plenty of crusades whether we write about it or not. Even the text before a map begins suggests as much.
Agreed on the first Blight being sixty and the Second lasting over a hundred.
Its like the 100 years war between England and France. Despite it being called that there were plenty of periods of armstice or where both nations didnt fight for years. Same goes for Blight and the Undying (the necromancers) being more careful about thrir usage of the Blight.
Looking forward to the Rakshasa, do you plan to use Arabiana as her native land or do you want her to come from somewhere else?
Right, the Undying. I didn’t have the time to scroll back and search the name when I wrote the last one, because damn can that scrolling back take long these days, We’re writing too much
I can make the Rakshasa come from Arabiana, somewhere else, make it vague, or not mention it entirely. Doesn’t really matter to a wandering banished one.
BTW, I read back the history and wrote. Aside from the many typo’s (Didn’t expect much less from writing in this box rather than a Word file but it’s still appalable to see so much flaws from my own hand) it does strike me as a bit confusing and vague at times. Anything you didn’t get or think I should rephrase?
It’s good but we should have a explination for a year zero. Just something small like the birth of a messiah or a ancient king began his calender on that year.
Agreed on the scrolling, the amount of times I use the search option to find stuff is a lot. Thankfully this forum is very stable compared to others I used where if you write in the actual forum box for two hours it crashes.
As for Arabiana…i prefer if you used it because there are talks or perhaps having a Arabian night expansion.
Arabiana it is. And with year 0, how about the dawn of mankind? As in, humans were created by the gods and rather than going through the stone age they started in a medieval-ish era with a calendar and written word.
We could go for perhaps them starting at the Ancient Greek/Roman stage and then progress up?
Personal pet peeve is that fantasy worlds wouldn’t advance even as thousands of years advance.
Clothes are pretty much just curtains with belts, swords and arrows of the simple kind, everything basic yet large as if the humans have the knowledge of the Gods but no own style to it yet. Just, prefection white of the marble according to the Gods’ architecture. Greek/Roman sounds a good starting point for civilisation.
Same about the advancement. Ancient relics from lost civilisations that remain relevant after hundreds of years do have something to them.