Blight: Lore & Fiction


#282

Ok gods in our thing are real or should we keep it vague?
So far I only got one god that the humans, giants, half-giants and dwarves ( kinda) share.


#283

Either is fine. I’m going on just Alundria the Goddess of creation myself, but each race having their own god (whose name I won’t remember) does make sense. I’ll stick to it being vague, but that doesn’t have to mean they don’t exist. Feel free!

F.ex. I mentioned a dragon demi-god that was god-touched suggesting there’s a god who created the dragons. That could also work with your Sun god who created the dragons whose scales turned into orcs.

I always liked Markus Heitz’ idea in ‘The dwarves’ (a good recommendation for a Fantasy book series considering your preference for Dwarves and his dark elves race just rules.) that every race does have these ‘God-touched’ that were essentially the first-created. It means there’s a handful of every race that weren’t born but directly created by their God, and they are like a demi-god variation of their race. These are still around, fragmented throughout the lands living in the oldest countries among their lesser peers. They don’t have to be conquerors or leaders, although they usually are depending on their race.

Elves:
As they are long-lived, the more direct descendants of the firstborn are still rather plentyful compared to the other races. While the incredible power of the firstborn waters down to the regular race after about 4-5 generations, there are still enough arch mages around. However, most firstborn are pacifists. Leaders of peacetime or articians rather than mages or warriors.

Dwarves:
The second-most abundant among the races as the unaging variant of the Dwarves managed to survive much longer than most. This is not because the Dwarven firstborn are often leaders of their own ancient keep which they kept safe from any foe for centuries as they themselves claim, but because most races are not fit to live for centuries. Where most firstborn except the elves end up dead after some time through semi-suicidal behaviour or calamity, the dwarves are too stubborn to change their ways or come near danger unnecessarily.

Humans:
The firstborn are almost gone. There is one kingdom called Terra whose Emperor is a known firstborn, but the other firstborn are all dead or untraceable.
or
As the humans are a halfling race between Elves and dwarves, they have no firstborn ones.

Orcs:
The firstborn were all renowned warlords, but have fallen in battle by now. Only a handful ever came down from the deserts whence they came from, so it’s unknown how many there still are in their lands of origin.
or
As descendants of the dragons, the orcs are much more plentyful when they were created and thus share much stronger bonds with their primal power and haven’t watered down as much. However, their prime strenght is much smaller and they never had unaging firstborn.

Trolls:
It’s unknown how many are left, the trolls are too lazy for the firstborn to really show themselves through their actions or to arise to leadership roles. But, looking at how sometimes a seemingly ordinary troll village housed a firstborn only to be discovered when they took up arms to fight an invader and suddenly wreaked havoc, there might stil be quite a few.

Goblins:
The Goblin firstborn were decimated faster than any other race because they lacked the great nations, large armies and strong fortresses to safeguard themselves over long periods of time. Being impulsive and thinking short term, the Goblin race wasn’t meant to have firstborn living long past their initial purpose of creating the race. However, every once a while a firstborn with the wits and cunning to rule through money rears his head.
or
As the descendants of the Dwarves, the Goblins have no firstborn.

How does that sound? Vague enough to make it a legend suggesting that normal mortals with great power are ‘firstborn’ for the ones who don’t want concrete gods, but direct enough for those who do want these gods to say that the firstborn exist and therefore also the gods without needing an event to prove these gods exist and interact with the world.


#284

Dude, I got all “the Dwarves” books of Heitz, even the latest which isn’t translated into English but it is in my native Dutch (Need to read that one still, gotta find out bout Tungdil…).
I agree the Firstborn idea you got there is a good one we can stea-borro-rip off.
Yes.

I think Alundria the Goddess is a good idea if we are going for a full on pantheon. Being the Gaia to our world.
I had it according to the human’s genesis as said in my first Mother Mercy chapter that their god created the giants first to help create the world. After a Paradise lost like shenanigans the giants were cast down on Alundria and were tasked to protect all of God’s creations such as humanity, dwarves and so on from evil for a chance to come back to him in the afterlife.
The god humanity and dwarfkind share ( he created the earth according to them and created the dwarves to protect the mountains while giants protected all the other races, humanity being the successors to that score) could be a god created by Alundria or something.
So we can have the same god for almost three races that could safe us some work. Think maybe he could be like a Tinkerer-god of sorts.

I like the idea of a Dragon God whose mere scales created the dragons and then the orcs.
Thinking like the Scaleless Dragon in Dark Souls, that kind of character.

Having Goblins being related to Dwarves…I dig that.
Having a dwarves being cursed as Goblins would be all the more interesting.
You know what, let’s go for that. :smiley:

I dig this idea for Firstborn and should incorporate it into our lore.
Good thinkin’ buddy!

So do we have a consensus about a year zero as in what event happened to kick it off?

Also idea. Origin of the Blight…dragons. Black dragons.
I recall from greek myth’s that dragon’s teeth cause the dead to rise. So perhaps we could have a evil type of dragon who created the Blight centuries ago and are all dead nowadays but their work lives on in the Necromancers/Transylvan.


#285

Wacht, jij bent ook Nederlands? Cool.
Wait, you’re also Dutch? Cool.

In that case I won’t have to explain as much. You also know that two days ago were the Dutch elections, and who WILDers is. :wink: Now that the results are back and the seats have been spread, I can start with the new chapter where the power of the factions will change just as it did in the 2nd chamber. Only exception I’ll make is the Pirate party whose supermodel elective wasn’t chosen, the Rakshasha has already been introduced and to scrap her now would be blueballing the audience.

@the gods; the thing about the scales of dragons turning to orcs was your idea, remember? As was the Goblin-dwarf relations, caused by Dwarves descending the mountains into the forests. Your mountain king story, although that’s all the way back in Juli so no wonder you don’t remember it.

Dark dragons sound good. The forefathers of the Blight, one needs to find the body or a living one to create new terrors or to just control the Immortals period. Like how the red dragons control fire and give their blessing of controlling/unlocking it (dragon brigade). Water dragons (hydra) ain’t doing that much in comparison.


#286

Ik ben Vlaams dus juist over de grens :).
Ik woon nu momenteel in Engeland en ik heb geen flauw idee van Nederlandse politiek behalve die miserie met Erdogan.
Maar als het je inspireert voor je Park storyline, ga ervoor!
Maar ik denk dat het best is dat wij in het Engels coverseren voor het geval iemand meeleest.

The Gnomes are dwarves who were exiled to tbe forests and thus became Gnomes. Not goblins.
However i do love the idea of cursed dwarves so to have goblins be cursed dwarves would be great.

Glad we can agree on Dark Dragons there.


#287

Wilders: Ga ervan uit dat je Trump kent. Nederland maakte het originele format waarop ze hem hebben gebaseerd, kapsel en al. En de piratenpartij had een playboy model als lijsttrekker. Helaas kwam zij stemmen tekort.

But yes, that’s why I also said the same thing in English last time. For those who like to know, we were just talking Dutch politics: Trump III Origins, Pirates and Playboy supermodels. Basic stuff.

Gnomes, It’s been half a year so… I didn’t even know of that card back then. Though Goblins being their own race does work better. Glad we also agree on the firstborn. The firstborn emperors of the Alfs were just awesome. I’m going to adapt a system where each firstborn invented something that’s not really a creation and yet it is. For example, one of the Dwarven firstborn must’ve decided that gold was a more precious metal than others and thus created currency, right? I think I’ll give Mammon the invention of trade, or statistics.


#288

Ja ik weet wie Trump is, en bij deze weet ik ietsje meer over Nederlandse politiek :slight_smile:

And agreed on Firstborn introducing a system which their mortal kin still use to this day.
Thinking of doing another short Tales of Dawnfort soon…but not sure who to pick. Humans or Orcs…


#289

Tales of Dawnfort.

Dragonhelm Knight.

The Citadel, fifty years ago…

The man in chains was pushed roughly towards the middle of the room. He fell to the ground hard, the taste of copper filled his mouth.
"Mikhail of Dawnfort.“a voice said.” You have been found guilty by a jury of your peers on the account of murder."
The man called Mikhail pushed himself up, noticing strange white runes embedded on the cold cobalt floor. He looked up at the council of mages around him, all dressed in Citadel colours.
“Do you have anything to say in your defense?” the elf among them asked. The man called Mikhail spat his blood on the ground as reply.
“Very well…your sentence will be to atone for your crimes in service to the Citadel.” the elf chanted a spell.

A door opened to his right, a door Mikhail swore he didn’t see there before.
More armed guards came out of the door. Unlike the cuty guard behind him these men were…something else. Their armour was as black as night, the little light the torches and the mana stones gave out were absorbed by the armour. Their eyes and most of their face was hidden by their helmet which had the shape of a dragon rampant. A long black cloak trailed behind them as it swept the floor. They held their swords close to them as they circled around Mikhail before they stepped and placed their swords with the tip on the ground.
A moment of silence passed before one began tapping his swordpoint on the ground. Clang, clang, clang. Another took up the call. And another. And another…until all did it.
Two of these knights took Mikhail by his arms and held him there. The circle of knights parted as another came inside…and held a helmet much like the ones they all wore.
The criminal looked confused. His head went up and looked the knight in the eye…and found nothing but darkness. A fear took hold.

Mikhail tried to struggle but was held down. He started to scream, plead for mercy but the elf ignored it as he spoke.
“Thousands of years ago when the Citadel was formed we faced many enemies. The Immortals, Trolls, Orcs and even the kingdoms we were sworn to protect. When it became clear just magic could not stave off the chaos Alundria faced we turned to steel. Wearing armour and swords forged from the fires of a dragons breath for which the order is named, the Dragonhelm Knight order was born. Enchanted with the magic of all schools of magic, the Dragonhelm Knights have fought for the Citadel for many generations. Without fear and without question.
You will become a member of the order of the Dragonhelm Knights, a order sworn to uphold the duties of the Citadel. To combat it’s enemies and in death find the salvation a jury could not give you in life. No longer are you a criminal, no longer a man. You will transcend into a new purpose upon the wings of dragons. Prepare…”

Mikhail screamed as the helmet descended on his head. His screaming stopped the moment it was placed. The fear he felt, was gone. The rage beforehand as well. His last moments were that of his mother, the reason why he stole that money. The concern for her was only brief…for nothingness took over.
When the other knights let go he was stood on his two legs. Before he saw them as captors. Now he felt only brotherhood and kin.
He turned to the elf and the council of mages before he knelt.
“I am ready to serve…” his voice rasped, the sound of humanity gone from it.
“Rise, Ser Knight.” the elf spoke." And be counted among your brothers."
No longer was he Mikhail the murderer, the son, the lover, the killer…now he was a Knight of the Dragonhelm.

Now

His eyes fell on the Dawnfort flag as it waved in the wind. A memory stirred. He loved flags as a child. He had a collection at home, made by his mother and her sewing. He remembered her loving smile as she presented the newly knitted flag of a dragon and how his child hands reached for them…and then the memory was gone. His purpose and duty took over. His sword moved by it’s own volition as it found it’s target.
A Immortal’s head went flying as his sword decapitated it. Dark blood splattered against his dark armour in which he moved like it was a second layer of skin. One of the undead gurgled as it climbed up the wall and struggled toward him. The knight turned to his next foe and jammed his sword through it’s throat and downward.
“A good kill!” Fergus the soldier cried as he pushed another ladder of the wall.
The knight did not reply and continued with his slaying.
“Do not mind him.” a white bearded wizard shouted as he pushed another ladder with his staff." My partner barely speaks. I’ve been working with him for the better of fourty years. Saw him fight a half-giant who broke his arm, barely even gasped."
“Partner?” Fergus asked." Is he your partner, Master Raden?"
“Yes, most Dragonhelm Knights are partnered with mages to keep us safe.” Raden took out his pipe and took the time for a smoke." Mostly as bodyguards."
“I see…” Fergus nodded but it seemed the wizard was on another plane. He turned to the Dragonhelm Knight who placed his swordtip on the ground and lend on it and stood motionless. Had he not been slaughtering Immortals a moment earlier Fergus would’ve sworn he was a statue.

“Not just bodyguards.” The knight heard another guardsmen whisper to Fergus." Heard some of their Enchantresses use them as lovers to.“
Fergus frowned.” Oh you’re full of it Percy.“
The name Ashila came to the Knight’s mind and left it just as quick.
“Oh no he’s quite right.” Raden replied, making both men jump.” And not just the women." He sighed forlornly." Oh yes…" he took another smoke of his pipe.
The two guards looked confused at each other before they turned to Raden who resumed smoking his pipe.

The knight saw Fergus shook his head." Wizards…" he sighed as he overlooked the tide of undead clawing at the gates.
“Those dumb undead can’t get inside.” Percy smiled." I think we got this Blight sor-“
His words died in his mouth as the ground around them shook. For a moment the knight gave a aggravated grunt of pain.
“What the hell…?” Fergus cursed as he turned to Raden who suddenly got very pale.” Master Raden?“
The wizard doused his pipe. “We lost a mana pool…a Immortal Lord has been born.” He drew his sword.” Prepare for battle. Now the fighting begins in earnest."
And it did.

The wave of the undead began banging on the gates, harder and harder. Like a ocean of rotten flesh against the hull of a boat. Ceaselessly. And soon enough that hull broke and the undead flooded in.
The Knight and his partner fought through the city streets, the smell of burning flesh would’ve made the knight ill if it could.
“This city is doomed…” Raden said." We must leave.“
The knight grunted in agreement.
As the people screamed as they ran passed. A woman screamed as one of the lithe elven immortals leaped on her back. She reached out to the knight.” HELP ME! HE-“
She screamed as the Immortal’s bite down her neck. Quickly the knight slew the elf. The woman held her bleeding neck.” Oh thank you kind ser, th-“
Her face remained one of gratitude as it fell to the floor, severed from her shoulders.
Raden slew another undead. He turned to the knight and looked upon the dead woman.” It was a mercy." he said. The knight grunted.

The ground shook again as a building near them erupted fully into flame.
Debris flew everywhere as the duo moved through the new mostly empty streets towards the exit.
Lines upon lines of people trying to flee the city where chased by the Immortals and eventually caught and eaten, the gate blocked by turned over carts and runaway horses. Wordlessly the duo slashed and hacked through way through the undead.
The knight’s sword flashed again, slaying dozens of undead. In the corner of his eye he saw a elven ranger firing arrow after arrow into the undead tide as most of the guardsmen ran away in fear. She was protecting a small shop that housed a few civilians, non combatants. A few orcs charged at the undead, the thrill of combat overtook their primal need to survive. A small group of dwarven miners hacked away with their pickaxes while another was busy making a hole in the wall.
“Hold the line!” the elf shouted to the guardsmen." Protect the civilians!"

The swordsmen did as they were told and held off the undead who tried to climb towards the citizens of Dawnfort in the shop. Despite their fervour it became clear the shieldwall would not hold. The knight’s eye went to the dwarven miners who were nearly through the wall but their peers would not abe able to hold for long either.
“You help the civilians, I will deal with the wall.” Raden said and walked to the wall. Wordlessly the knight parted and walked towards the undead who battered against the human shieldwall. He grabbed one undead by the shoulder and jammed his sword through her chest. As she dropped the knight continued that as he cleared the shieldwall, the human swordsmen emboldened by it.
“A Dragonhelm knight, god be praised!” one of them shouted. The men cheered him on as the knight turned around, his cloak weaved in the wind, as he stood in front of them towards another wave of undeath.

The tide came upon him and the humans but he did not waver. Despite the moans and the cries, the knight continued his duty. Help the civilians, that was the order and he would uphold it.
His sword was like a natural extension of his arm. It moved where he willed it. Quick, lethal…
Suddenly he stopped mid swing. A pain wrecked his chest. His head immediately turned to Raden. The wizard was surrounded by the bodies of dead dwarves. He looked amused at his chest as a blade pierced through his chest. He gave a faint chuckle before he fell to his knees as the undead behind him stood…almost triumphant. The world came from under the knight as he was pushed over by the opponent he faced. Before the Immortal could’ve done anything however it was hit in the head by an arrow.
The knight looked at the Immortal and recognised his foe. Where other mortals would’ve run, the knight stared into the abyss that was the Dread Knight’s burning eyes. The undead knight was dressed in black armour, much like his own. He looked like a perversion of chivalry, the paragon of evil.

The Dread Knight gave a small grin…and walked away, along with most of the other undead.
The miners finished their hole in the wall and urged the civilians to run. With his order finished the knight ran to his master and held him in his arms.
Raden coughed." It’s…it’s alright…" His skin became very pale, the knight knew he was not long for this world. Protocol dictated that if a wizard were to fall in his or her line of duty during a blight, the knight had to use his power to summon the dead and die with him. The last thing the Citadel wanted was a Dragonhelm Knight that had his own mind
He prepared his spell. Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder. His master was still alive.
“Stop…” Raden held his partner by his shoulder, his blood all over the black armour." No…don’t…be what they made you…old…friend…"
He chanted a spell, one the knight never heard before. Raden gave a small smile as his arm went limp.
The wizard died with a smile on his face, dying the way how he lived.

The knight gently placed his master down and got up to proceed with the spell to summon the dead.
He was about to when he realized…he didn’t feel the need anymore.
He did not need to do what the Citadel ordered him to do. A feeling searched through him as he could not help but look at his hands. A realization pierced through him like a arrow. He was free.
"Oi, Ser Knight!“
The knight turned and saw one of the dwarves from before fighting a small group of undead alongside the elf and a orc shamaness.” A little help?!"
The knight looked upon his master. Another feeling stirred in his chest. Sorrow. He missed that feeling. He missed all of them.
“Goodbye…friend.” he rasped before he picked up his blade and stormed over to the small party, his sword ready to strike at the undead.
As he struck down at the undead he imagined the face of the Dread Knight.
He had his freedom and this was his choice.
He would have revenge.


#290

Nice tale, very nice. It makes sense that mages would be too much of a valuable commodity to be executed alike normal humans. But for them to be slaves in all ways, that’s grim…

And for my own story, forget about that Dutch politics stuff. I tried it, didn’t work. Back to the original plan. Also, there was a coin toss decision in here, and heads coming up is a pretty dire event for the inhabitants of the Outskirts.


#291

Chapter 9: The war begins

Like a gust announcing a storm to be upon the lands, the horn blares over the desert. Unlike other places it doesn’t echo, as there’s little to echo against, but this only adds to the fearful sound that the horn of Blight produces.

The horn of Blight, a powerful construction for alarm gifted by the Alliance to all nations regardless of their history, produces a well-known sound. However, it sounds just a little different for each nation, as each nation looks different. For the forest lands of the elves it sounds muffled like an encroaching threat, but unmissed by any elf with their sharp ears. In the mountains of the dwarves the horn echoes against the granite walls resulting in the sound coming from all sides, convincing even the most stubborn dwarves of the serious nature of the horn. For the grasslands of man the sound grazes over as a sign from above, not to be questioned by any.

But for the outskirts, the horn only echoes against Li and Lo before traveling over the flatlands unopposed. Like the sandstorms before them, they rage over the desert and disappear as fast as they came. A cry of danger and despair that cannot be ignored or missed by anyone.

To the inhabitants of the outskirt, this sound filled them with more fear than the message behind them. The horn had never been used before and the tribes of the outskirt were an isolated lot unaccustomed to it. If it weren’t for the pilgrims in the area knowing all too well what horrors awaited these lands, the people might’ve remained unaware still.

But the leaders of the tribes knew. The officers knew. The garrison at Firewell knew. It was time to forget petty squabbles from the past. It was time to sharpen the axes and craft more arrows. It was time to train militia and for veterans to come out of retirement.

The Blight had come.

At the Gate
With a huff and a puff he blew the horn. The sound was almost unbearable to anyone being near it, the sound of the horn was strong enough to travel miles so it was like having your bones shake loose and your eardrums tearing when you were standing this close to it. But he wouldn’t stop because something as simple as agonising pain.

Porcai the Butcher, nickname Porky, stopped blowing when his lungs were empty and he started to see stars. There, that should do.

The heavy-set orc, as fat as he was muscular, walked out of the horn-room and back to the bridge. If that lazy-ass Sos of Ale wasn’t there yet, Porky would drag him out of bed himself. And seeing how Porky was almost as strong as five regular orcs, that was no empty threat.

But it was an unnecessary one. Against expectations Sos was waiting for him at the bridge, the room located between the two towers and above the Gateway that acted as the command room. Sos was panting and wheezing after climbing the two flights of stairs, unlike Porky he was just fat, but at least he was there.

About damn time you woke up, Sos.’ Porky said.

‘Hey, have some respect!’ Sos said.

Why? We’re the same rank and you’re sleeping late during a time of crisis. You don’t deserve respect right now.’ Porky said.

‘Doesn’t matter whether we’re both first lieutenants of Thallal or not!’ Sos shouted with a shade of red that was as much rage as it was the exhaustion. ‘I’M the commander of the Gate while you’re a field commander, so in here only Thallal himself outranks me!’

Porcai the Butcher doesn’t say anything. He just stares at Sos and straightens his back. Sos’s anger turns to fear, knowing that his average strength would be like that of a child against Porky’s incredible power.

In the Wild clan only the strength of Boac the Axe compared to Porky, the orc known for carrying pigs with one arm on many occasions. Sos on the other hand, the continuous drinking and partying did not do wonders for his physique. Sure, the men liked him more, but none would stand against Porcai if he were to attack Sos.

The undead?

‘Already killed 200.’ Sos said proudly. ‘My men may not fight often, but they don’t just party as your men always taunt and know how to fight when they have to.’

Last I checked there were over seven thousand Immortals inbound. Two hundred undead, mostly Goblins, doesn’t sound like much of a dent in those numbers.

‘Big words. What did your men do?’

Saving their strength until the real horde arrives. And I was busy commanding your troops in your absence.

‘We’ll see whose troops are superior when the horde arrives, your ‘Disciplinary troops’ suppressing the spineless Nihilists and Dusts and collecting slaves, or my troops that are actually trained in holding this fortress.’

‘Case and point, I lost only four wolf riders taking down those two hundred undead.’

Using four against one techniques when the undead ranks are still thin, that’s nothing special. And if it weren’t for me giving the command, your troops couldn’t have even started doing it.

‘You stuck-up…!’

Thallal
Thallal looks at the horizon, he could almost see the Gate over it. So close…

Yet so far away.

Thallal looks back at the problem again. He still didn’t know what happened, but from one moment to the other he and his men got in a heap of trouble.

His Warg whined his last few breaths, with the horrendous wounds it had sustained it was no wonder it could only feel pain. But as wolves didn’t raise after dying to the undead, Thallal saw no need to spare the energy to put it out of its misery.

He needed that strength himself.

Another undead Nihilist lunged at him, its body weight being more of a problem than the attack itself. Thallal focussed on staying steady and swinging his sword rather than piercing with it. If he’d pierce, he’d lose this common sword to the Immortal’s belly just like his sabre.

The sword hits the Nihilist’s jaw and zombie falls limp. It still twitches, but it wouldn’t get up any time soon. But the jaw had taken a chip from the sword.

Thallal looked at the chipped sword. Damn this cheap iron, this wouldn’t have happened with his sabre.

Thallal takes a step back to avoid the twitching Nihilist from grabbing his ankle, and looks back. From the twenty men of his escort, only four still lived. But the undead seemed to have an almost limitless amount of reinforcements.

‘Damn it all to hell!’ Thallal shouts.

He was worn out from the hasty journey, his men were worn out, and the Wargs were more worn out than anyone. But how did they not see the undead until they were surrounded? There was nothing but rock and sand to hide them around for miles.

Why were there even undead on this side of the wall? How?

Thallal knew the answer. The Nihilist’ clothes and the direction that they came from was enough of a hint. Flatness fell, and it went unnoticed in the sandstorm. In that sandstorm, not even the horn of alarm could be heard. But damn it, why him? Why did he, the leader of the outskirts, have to fall before the war properly began?

Had he known this, he would’ve taken a larger company of men rather than prioritising speed. He would’ve signalled Thugs wall to send reinforcements as well. But now…

One of his men screamed at the undead jumped him three at a time. Thallal cursed again and shouted to move more southwards. Another undead fell to his chipped blade, but as feared the twitching Nihilist grabbed his ankle in the scuffle.

Thallal tried to parry a third zombie, but with the leg clamp he couldn’t move quickly enough and the zombie managed to grab his arm. Thallal hissed in pain as it bit down.

Even if anyone knew of his dire situation, there was no way reinforcements could fight their way through in time to save him. Not even a full platoon of chariot riders could now. But damn it, Thallal was no pushover!

The chipped sword broke off completely as Thallal split the zombie’s skull. The handle was used more as a club than a sword on the leg-clamping Nihilist’ head as Thallal tried to get loose.

Four more were upon him by the time Thallal killed the Nihilist.

Mammon
Mammon stared at the words written on the report. As if he froze on the spot he didn’t move even his eyes. But Mammon wasn’t frozen in place, rather he was thinking so fast and much that he couldn’t spare any mind to his movements.

The blight…

The dark magic born from the black dragons, which had gotten in the hands of mortals. A self-reproducing plague that had been popping up everywhere lately, causing havoc from one day to the other.

Mammon pondered upon what this meant to him. The amount, the direction, the defences. He estimated the chance of him ending up dead around 17%.

Normally, this would be enough for Mammon to vanish in the wind. He hadn’t survived this long by sticking around when danger was looming or unrest was brewing. No, aside from Emperor Azrael, no human firstborn had survived through such means.

But this situation wasn’t alike the others. The Blight was popping up everywhere. Unexpected, uncontrollable, unpredictable. Even the dwarven keeps that were usually so reliable for him to seek refuge at could now become death traps with the arrival of a single infected gryphon.

Perhaps he could ask his old acquaintance Gorvar for protection? The orc firstborn had a more than respectable empire with many soldiers to defend it from any threat. And unlike the other orc firstborn, hell, unlike all but a few orc-human relationships, he and Gorvar could stand to be near one another. Ever since he taught Gorvar that little algebra trick to improve the sales profits of his slaves, the two of them were on friendly enough terms.

Nah, Gorvar could be just as proud and battle-fierce as any orc, before you’d know it he’d charge into battle. In times like these he might even try to give birth to that silly idea of his, riding dragons.

Dragons allowing mortals to ride them, like that’d ever happen.

‘Mammon.’

Mammon didn’t hear Amon’s words, he was too lost in thoughts.

Dwarven keeps, human citadels, orc settlements. These days, every place was an unforeseeable calamity away from being his demise. And he knew little of their layout.

But Park. The landlocked trade centre that he had built from the shadows to what it was today, he knew every nook and cranny of it. This fortress of money and power where he knew everyone and everyone knew him.

The pitiful Dukedom near an orc slavers settlement too insignificant for anyone to care about, which he turned into a citadel of incredible influence in just three hundred years. The Koning family which were once upon a time the laughing stock among nobles, now were an archduke whose power rivalled kings. The intricate balance with the Wilds, Dusts and Elves that he built up, shaping these lands, creating a unopposed realm of stability and power.

‘Mammon!’

He was the hidden king. The father of economy itself, the very inventor of trade. The ruler behind the scenes. It was he who saw opportunity in Allfather Odin’s obsession with gold and turned it into an economic bubble persisting to this day. It was he who invented the various techniques and tricks that made the foundation of trade. And these last three hundred years he made a kingdom filled to the brim with soldiers and defences but with no needless aspirations to conquer the lands around it like a gluttonous beast. He…

‘MAMMON!!!’

WhatsgoingonwhatwherewhyMommywhyOhno!

Amon
Amon glazed over eyes were staring into oblivion, the words that were being said falling on deaf ears. It wasn’t until Kristal gave him a gentle elbow in the kidney that he regained awareness.

‘Uhum. Yes, quite.’

Amon sighed internally. He was well aware who the three noblemen before him were and why they were here. But alike all noblemen, they insisted on introducing themselves with ALL of the formalities and then enveloped their request with a whole lot of unnecessary compliments, small talks and general ass-kissing to get on his good side.

Just their names and lineage took over forty minutes according to the sundial.

Amon looks at Kristal and she bows over to sum up the conversation.

‘The guy in the middle is the only one of noticeable importance, he’s a viceroy of the court. The other two are distant relatives of yours. The old man is the retired Baron of Black Park and a second uncle of yours, and the young one is Ser Harry, a fourth nephew.’ Kristal says.

Amon only needs to frown.

‘The old man is the closest relation to the Koning bloodline and only one sister of your grandfather was ever added to their lineages, but they did name Black Park in honour of your house.’ Kristal says.

‘Naming a village after us, what a honour. Doesn’t sound like they can really appeal much to us in term of family ties.’ Mammon grunts.

‘They’re under attack by the Blight and you have men to spare. There’s a humanitarian obligation.’

‘Fine, fine. What requests did they bury among their ass-kissing?’

‘Troops, provisions, mana water, gold, loans…’

‘So, pretty much everything and anything they could get?’

Amon sighs when Kristal stays silent. These noblemen are all the same, conceited enough to think they’re entitled to whatever they wanted even when they were begging for it.

So, my Lord.’ The viceroy says. ‘How you do answer our pleas?

‘Can we cut to the chase, what do you need exactly? In numbers.’ Amon asks.

If you could spare us 10.000 gold…¬

‘No.’

But surely a wealthy country like Park…

‘No.’

Your family members are in grave dan…

‘I’m not even going to borrow you 10.000 gold, and if your demands are this outrageous I think you’ll find yourself leaving here empty handed. In fact, after this insult I won’t even give you a single dime.’

But…

‘And before you ask, we can’t spare you any mana water either.’

The viceroy stays silent for a while. That should set the tone of these negotiations.

One could almost see the gears in his head spinning. If gold and mana water are out of the question, then soldiers and provisions were the only things he could barter for. And like every nobleman, he was going to prioritise the former over the latter regardless of the situation of their storehouses.

But, the viceroy clearly wasn’t used to using his head for anything except the etiquette and hierarchy they spoon-fed him from birth, and he was struggling with the simple question of what was and wasn’t a ludicrous request. Probably why they sent him rather than a nobleman with actual skills to gather support and rally favours, he wasn’t going to be of much help against the Blight back home anyway.

With the viceroy struggling internally, Amon takes the time to study the other two representatives.

The old Baron is clearly nodding off, not strange considering they must’ve been traveling as fast as they could and didn’t rest before seeking an audience of him. Amon was surprised that he survived the trek, the old man looked like he hadn’t had any shuteye in days.

The young one, the Ser without any discernible title other than his knighthood, was looking more alive. He was tired but he was clearly young and experienced enough to survive the trip well. But his very attitude had gotten on Amon’s nerves the moment he got here.

Standing as if he were a legendary war hero, waving at the ladies of court when he walked in, that smug, disrespectful face of his when he introduced himself to Amon. This guy was thinking higher of
himself than any other. And when Amon denied their plea for gold, the brat looked at him as if Amon was double crossing an ancient pact.

How Amon loathed these foreign noblemen. Even when they understood that he was above them in this country, their attitude spoke of ridicule and disrespect. And that brat, who no doubt spoke highly of his own valiant war efforts but declined to help Amon’s crusade against the Wilds back before the Blight, his kind was the worst.

Two hundred soldiers and 50 knights.

Amon looked back at the Viceroy. This was a nuisance. Was the man highballing that number for barter, or did he truly believe it to be a realistic amount? It was just too on the edge to tell.

’25 knights and three caravans of supplies, or 75 soldiers and five caravans.’

There, this’ll show whether the viceroy knew what he was talking about. Any military nitwit would pick the second option, supply caravans were much more important in the long run than the soldiers who ate from them, and the foot soldiers wouldn’t be too slowed down by it. But if this guy was truly the incompet…’

Surely 25 knights is a bit low, no? What if I trade those caravans and raise the number a bit? How about 100 knights?

Amon almost got a migraine through proxy from the viceroy’s stupidity. He should’ve skipped these discussions and go straight to giving supplies only. If this man and the brat would command even a handful of soldiers, they wouldn’t even get halfway back before the troops would start a mutiny.

Amon looks at his advisors. It seems some of them are still a bit torn on which side to take, considering this isn’t alike the ordinary Wilds discussion. But, like always, his sister already made up her mind.

‘I say you shouldn’t be too stingy, brother.’ Lucy says. ‘We’ve got more than enough mercenaries teeming around the place, can’t you hire those or bankroll the mercenaries in Gryphon’s crown? That way you won’t be giving away the gold and keep our troops intact.’

Clearly, Lucy was just as versed in military operations as the viceroy. Those mercenaries would only be for hire as long as their wages could cover enough to strafe off the hunger. In between the failed harvest and the main trade route being cut off, Gryphons crown could barely even feed their own troops.

‘We could spare the troops.’ General Beelze says.

‘But?’ Amon asks.

‘But we both know why that wouldn’t be a good idea.’ Beelze says. ‘If it were, we could send the troops stationed at Firewell. I’ve heard the Wilds are almost ready to conquer it back anyway.’

‘The nearby elves settlements might be able to supply food to the troops in the area, but it’s indeed for the best not to strain their goodwill further by sending more troops.’ Kristal says. ‘I think…’

‘I THINK that you guys should stop getting our panties in a bunch and start acting like men capable of leading a country. Even you, Kristal.’ Lucy interrupts, pronouncing the elf’s name with the same tone that Amon uses to say moist. She didn’t like the ambassador one bit, probably because of Kristal’s side-occupation. ‘These people need soldiers, not empty words!’

‘Lucy, if you don’t know what we’re talking about, I suggest remain silent.’ Amon says.

‘But brother…’ Lucy says. ‘These people are your family.’

‘No, they’re not. These bloodlines they’re calling upon are ancient history.’

‘Then maybe we should refresh them.’ Lucy says. ‘They do have a strapping Ser and a fourth cousin is distant enough to…’

Clever sis, he hadn’t even thought of there being an ulterior reason for her standpoint.

‘Absolutely not! In fact, you’re not to exchange a single word with that brat, period.’ Amon says. ‘He’s far below your status and there’s no point in building political bonds with Gryphons crown right now.’

Not to mention, this smug brat struck Amon as the kind of short-sighted romantic that would decline Lucy based on her looks. There was a reason why she was the last of his eight sisters without a husband, after all. And a heartbroken Lucy would be lobbying his ear off about war against Gryphons crown until either of them bit the dust.

Urgh, doesn’t matter. Clearly the other advisors weren’t going to pitch in. And it seems that Kristal was standing above picking a fight with Lucy. That leaves only one more guy to ask for advice.

‘Mammon.’ Amon says.

The Treasurer doesn’t respond, absorbed into the report that he was reading.

‘Mammon!’ Amon says.

No reaction. By now he was certain that Mammon was sleeping with his eyes open again. The man knew well how to hide it, but he was sleeping at the wrong time way too often.

‘MAMMON!’ Amon shouts.

Mammon makes a little jump in shock, startled like a sleeping cat whose tail just got stepped on.

‘Huh? What, where?’

‘Mammon, these representatives of the Gryphon crown court are asking for aid against the blight raging through Dawnfort. I already denied them gold and mana water. How much do you think we should give them, and what?’

‘Nothing.’ Mammon answers.

‘Mammon, we do have some responsi…’ Amon says, only to fall silent when Mammon hands him the report. His eyes flutter over the lines.

‘How certain are you of this?’

‘There is no reason to doubt the scouts on this.’

‘I see.’

Amon stands up.

Ah, you’ve came to a decision, my lord? How generous will Park show itself in these dark times?

‘You’re getting nothing.’ Amon says with more enjoyment than he should.

Wh…

‘You can’t be serious!’ The brat says.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, listen carefully.’ Amon says to his court.

‘Damn it, you have an obligation to help us in times like these, you…’ The brat interrupt him.

‘SILENCE!’

‘You!’ The brat says as his hand reaches for his belt.

‘Touch your sword, and I’ll have you executed before the clock strikes another hour.’ Amon says with a calm hatred that silences everyone more effectively than his raised voice did just before.

The brat hesitates, and then looks down.

‘Listen up, everyone. The undead have found their way into the slave camp of the Wilds and are now headed this way.’

‘Officers, arm your soldiers. Noblemen, raise the taxes. Merchants, readjust the prices. The Blight wars shall soon hit us, and once they do we better be ready!’

The viceroy sighs, their plea losing its weight the moment Amon announced the news.

Asmodeus finished reading the rapport and takes over. ‘Alright people, I’ll be announcing the details and the new provisional rules and laws that will be in effect until the Blight is dealt with. The horde we’re dealing with is a…’

Tael and Mael
A 10-1-2.

‘A what?’ Tael asks.

A 10-1-2.’ Boac the Axe repeats, more agitated. The Wild was already furious that Tael had somehow managed to sleep through the horn of Blight, and was now getting even more furious about Tael’s inability to understand what they were talking about.

‘You’ll have to excuse me, but we Dusts aren’t exactly allowed to really connect with the rest of the world that much. By you guys, may I add.’ Tael says calmly. ‘You’ll have to put this in layman’s terms.’

It’s an Alliance system to analyse the severity of the horde, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. It stands for ‘horde size-organisation-geography’.’ Boac says.

There are no Immortal lords among them, nor mana pools for them to spawn for. And there are no mythical creatures there either. There’s some variety of races there, but mostly orcs and humans. So their organisation is the lowest possible rating.

They have to go through a fortress at a bottleneck and spread from there through rather well-defendable lands, so the geography is in our favour as well. It’s only because of the chance of another sandstorm giving them cover to move without us being able to stop them that it’s a 2.

But their numbers already equal ours, and all concentrated in one point. Normally a 50-50 rating before a regional mobilisation is already enough to consider a region done for, it’s only because of the rest of the situation that we’re not evacuating quite yet.

If we can hold the undead on the other side of Thugs wall, then this Blight issue will be just a little spat. If they break through, we’ll be in for quite some trouble.

‘So, I assume that the battalions will all be mobilizing for the Wall then?’ Tael asks.

No, the humans might use this situation to their advantage if we do. We keep the 1st and 2nd battalions where they are and send more new recruits in their stead to Thugs wall.

‘You’re kidding, right?’

I’m not.

Tael has to bite his tongue not to give the brute a piece of his mind. Even when the freaking undead were on their doorstep, the Wilds were trying to keep the Dusts and Nihilists under their thumb. The 1st and 2nd battalions, all Wilds, were a bunch of bullies with as only purpose to keep the other two tribes under their thumb and to strafe off human invasions.

The 3rd-6th battalions on the other hand were mostly Dusts and Nihilists, and this command suggested that the Wilds were still planning on using them as cannon fodder in times like these.

‘I see.’ Tael forces himself to say.

Prepare the other men of your tribe who can wield a weapon. We expect you to rally 200 in the next three days.

‘We couldn’t give you fifty before.’

This is a time of emergency, time to get less critical of your far future and think of our near one.

Sure, while you keep the Wild’s best interests in mind. Tael thinks.

‘I know. I know.’

Baoc leaves the room and Mael comes in.

‘I’ve heard the conversation. Seems like some old dogs doesn’t want to learn new tricks no matter the circumstances.’

‘I guess you know what we’ll have to do, right Tael?’ Tael asks.

‘Not referring to me as Mael is enough for a hint, brother.’ Tael replies. ‘Are you sure?’

‘We don’t need a shepherd of sheep right now.’ Tael replies. ‘We need two shepherds for our tribe.’

‘I agree. But you know what your role will be in this, right?’

‘I’m aware. But if I don’t do this, the Wilds may sacrifice us all to protect themselves. It’s time.’

‘In comparison, my task sounds like a walk in the Park.’

‘Good luck, brother. For freedom.’

‘You to, brother. For independence.’

Ushor
Fire. Chaos. Death.

Ushor looks around, only to see these things. No order. No comradery. No hope.

There was a lot of fire. More than usual. The great amount of shamans in the area made sure of that. But without order or soldiers, those shamans were going as much harm as good.

Ushor looks at the Wild shaman that he judged just a few hours ago, as she’s throwing around fireballs with the same lack of control as before. Shamans like her, panicking and throwing fire around without care, were being just as much as a problem as the Immortals. The way she’s throwing fire at anything that moves, including the fleeing civilians, says as much.

The Dust shaman that came after her, also comes after her now. A single blue flame, visible only as an afterimage on Ushor’s cornea, burrows itself in the female shamans skull. She falls to the ground while the Dust shaman runs of elsewhere.

Ushor looks at the dead shaman. She killed many, but in a way that they would not rise afterwards. He killed her to protect those civilians, but many of those civilians would fall to the Blight and rise instead. Which one of them was right? Which one was wrong?

What should he do?

Ushor looks at the skies. The sun itself was about to be blocked out by the smoke that the shamans were producing. In their despair-fuelled resistance, the shamans were choking their own source of power.

What to do?

Ushor looks at the bitemark on his arm.

At this hour that his people needed him most, what should he do?

Ushor looks at his entrails, pouring out of his stomach.

In this moment, the last moment he had to serve his tribe, what should he do?

Should he use his last breath to burn himself and the area around him, or cast the spell that only he was allowed to use? It would strengthen the orcs, but also the immortal orcs. Which one would benefit from it more?

Ushor looks at the sun peeking through the smoke. He didn’t have much time. He wouldn’t live long enough to see the sun again once it would disappear behind that column of smoke.

Ushor breathed in heavily and breathed out again. In. Out. The flames that he breathed out burned his nostrils and licked at his entrails. In. Out. The flames raging around the dying orc moved along with his breath. In. out. The burning passion within his veins was rising up one last time, ready for a last grand effort before it would sizzle out.

In….

The fire within Ushor burned through his chest, boiled the breath within his lungs and melted his muscles. But he would never breath out again.

The shaman hesitated too long, and the smoke blocked the sun. Ushor died that same moment, his body burning up to ash but the area around him not. Just like the ashes that were soon enough swept away by the wind, his efforts were but a small detail in the chaos.


#292

Well, that was the longest chapter thus far. How do I know this? Same way I found out there’s a 32000 symbols message limit on posts. Here’s the rest:

Somewhere deep in the eternal salt desert.
Hey.

I’m bored.

So bored, I’m talking to myself.

I look lazily over the eternal dunes of sand that stretch to the horizon without a single speck of anything else to create some variety.

I’ve been leaning against the sidebar for hours now, studying the same never-changing scenery that I got bored of months ago. Nothing but sand and wind in this part of the universe. I stretch myself, paying no heed to what it may look like to others.

I bet you’d like me to describe this part in more detail, my invisible audience. I know I’m quite a desirable sight to behold. I know, because I shaped it myself. Right now I’m going for a human look, but with a caramel-coloured skin tone and more of an elven built. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

And if you’d like, feel free to make some suggestions, my invisible audience. I can shape myself any way I want within reasonable limitations. I’m a rakshasa, after all.

A demon. A shapeshifter. A desert spirit. I guess any of those descriptions would fit me. We don’t really have one specific form, so we don’t really have one specific term to be referred to either.

Really, the only two things that my appearance is limited to are my size and my hands. I can do a lot with my hands, but because of the motoric issues I have when using those silly hip-palms that other races have I can’t morph them inverted without losing the ability to use them. And it speaks to reason that I can’t grow to be as big as a dragon, or as small as an ant. That would be useful, but impossible.

Not like I need it. Even with these limitations our race is quite successful. We’re quite the menace in Arabiana and Indai, where we’ve been replacing figureheads for centuries. Been doing it for so long that some kingdoms consider the Rakshasa as a race of rulers and god-chosen kings rather than imposters. But to most…

To most we’re demons. Pirates. Assassins. Boogiemen. Whatever we prefer, actually. And I’m…

Right now I’d go for any of those, really. Anything to break this drag I’m in.

I groan out of boredom.

Damn. After being chased out of my pirate den, cast out of the Guilt, scrapped from the family lineage and being all but officially banished from Arabiana, this boredom is the worst punishment of all. Even Prince Hashid the Bloodhound with his insistent crusade against our race would be a welcomed event right now.

‘Boooooooored.’

I look at the sand sharks slowly swimming through the sand below. Even they seem bored. Not surprisingly, their existence seems to be limited to following the ship waiting for scraps to be thrown from the deck right now.

What am I doing here?

I’m asking that question to myself just as much as I’m asking you, my dear audience.

I don’t know what I’m doing here. My crew has been wandering the salt desert for months now without a clear destination in mind. The orcs and humans don’t ask questions, they know better. And my lieutenants aren’t too worried yet, we man-eaters don’t need to worry about food for quite a while still. Not unlike our crew.

So, I guess we’re just wandering.

Who I am? Guess I should introduce myself as well, if we’re talking. Right?

Hm…. We Rakshasa go by many names throughout our lifetime, not really binding ourselves to just one. And I’m the last to care about such formalities. So, if I were to name myself…

Oh, I know. There are six Rakshasa on this ship, but I’m the only female one. So you may call me by the female variation of our race, Rakshasi.

And I’ll just keep calling you my audience, my unresponsive friend. Is that okay?

I re-direct my attention to the endless desert again, having grown tired of talking to myself.

‘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.’

The words fly out over the world, finding nothing to reflect against. A noise in this desert is alike that in the void itself. It leaves you never to return. The lack of echoes perfectly symbolise what it feels like around here.

Complete solitude.

A solitude where nothing happens and nothing will happen. The worst kind of purgatory to spend one’s banishment in.

Alright, the map has now reached its starting situation. Time for the players to get started and unite the Outskirt!


#293

Just read all of your story dude. Again this was another good series. I love the different storylines going on, personal favourites being the twin orcs and Park storylines.
Abd the way you write the inner thoughts is just a joy to read. Cant wait for more.

I just love the Park politics and the now clear ambition of the twins who want their clan to be free of the Wilds.
Pet wishes, needs more dwarves ( just kidding ;P) and more smut with Krystal ( acceptable by these boards standards of course).
Pet peef, didnt like how the Rakheesi broke the 4th wall there but guessing by her nature i can acceot it. Liked the small bits you added about Arabiana, makes the world more lived in.

LOVED the shoutout to Gorvar the Dragonrider in there. Shows you no matter when you are in Blights timelune…you are boned.


#294

Don’t worry, Park and the Dusts are the most important ones in this story to be. If Scar would get his lazy dehydrated butt in gear you’d get your dwarves soon enough, but he’s a sloth. Also he needs to wait for the horde to pass by to not, you know, die.

Rakshasi is bored and I wanted to have her tell her story. First person does lend itself better for that than the 3th one so why not? I do like to sin a little 4th wall breaking every now and then. And with Gorvar, I am going on the assumption here that these events are happening prior to the events you described with Gorvar becoming the first dragonrider. If not, then… too bad. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

P.S. The story just exceeded the 50page mark in word. I was expecting this story to be long, but we just arrived at the beginning of the map. Me and story length…


#295

You promised a saga, we got one!
Looking forward to it as well…as well as some sexy shenanigans with Krystal.
Still 50 pages, thats…a lot. Wow, glad you managed to pull through and continue.

Ill try to wrap up the Exiled Knight this week so I can focus back on the Transylvan, Children of the Light and the Blight cure storyline.


#296

I’d guess your collective stories from the Dawnfort & co are also in the direction of 50pages, if not more. They do add on after a while and you’ve been at this since the 18th post. Can’t wait for the next Exiled knight and Transylvan war chapters. Actually I can because I have to but… Can’t wait!


#297

Tales of Dawnfort.

Shaman Priestess.

She loved the smell of fire and blood. How it’s ashes tasted on her tongue and how her fierce, loud laughter turned even the bravest of foes into mewling pups. Her mask, a skull like thing marked with her clan’s runes, helped as it’s grim smile was made to be unnerving to all those who weren’t her clan.
And even those of her clan, like the Dragon Brigade, feared her. At least a little.

“Fire and laughter are our ways of life, Frenza.” Her mother told her at the beginning of her training.” To have been gifted with the ability to make fire like you do is a birthright to our people. It doesn’t matter if it’s the elements or the sun or just plain magic. You were born to set the world on fire.”

Frenza cackled madly as she threw another fireball at a blighter in metal armour. His groans brought joy to her heart as he was burned alive…well in-alive in his own armour.
“Frenza, for the love of the ancestors CALM DOWN!” Thror shouted. The dwarf slammed his pickaxe in another blighter’s skull." You’ll bring the whole damned blight down here!“
Frenza turned to the dwarf, a evil grin on her lips.” Maybe I want to do that.“
The dwarf blinked for a moment before he glared.” You are insane."
"Insane enough to mate with you when we return to the church."
Before the dwarf could reply the moans of the Blighters drew their attention.

The Dragonhelm Knight and Ashila fought back to back, arrows flew and swords severed limbs.
“Quick, Thror!” Ashila shouted." Open the sewers! Frenza, cover him!"
The dwarf nodded and ran to the sluices. Despite it being human design, the dwarf knew which levers to pull and valves to turn.
The sluices began to open as water from the nearby river began to pour out of them, the water around their ankles began to rise.
Despite the water, the shaman kept throwing fire at her enemies. Despite the cold she felt, the fire in her heart kept burning. She lived from moment to moment, enemy to enemy, lover to lover. She was like fire. Unpredictable, fierce and dangerous.

“BURN, BURN, BURN!!!” she cried as she burned another blighter to a charred husk.
Thror slammed another blighter behind her which gave a satisfying crunch sound.
“You made a female smile with that strike.” she grinned at the dwarf.
“You…are…insane.” Thror panted as he kept smashing.
That made her snarl." Enjoy this just as much as I am, you bearded hypocrite!"
This stirred the dwarf who began slamming his pick axe harder, a small laughter appearing.
A laughter Frenza joined in with.

The elven ranger ran across." Quickly, the tunnel is about to flood!" she motioned them to follow as she ran off herself, the knight behind her. Without much urging the two followed as the water levels began to rise even higher and threatened to drown them.
Frenza moved quickly despite the cold, her inner fire warm enough to keep her moving. When they moved towards the ladder leading out of the sewer, she saw the manhole was already open.
The sound of gurgled moaning drew Frenza’s hearing. The shamaness turned and saw more of the blighters swim towards them.
“Like rats on a drowning ship…” Ashila muttered.
“Keep moving!” the dwarf urged.
Without urging, Ashila climbed up first followed by the others. On the surface, several of the human guardsmen helped them out of the manhole. They were surrounded by several dead blighters and their armour and sword were covered in blood. At least unlike the goblin they met earlier they stayed to make sure the exit was covered.
“We don’t have long.” one of them said." More are on the way."

When Frenza got to the top, she saw the water had stopped but the blighters that followed were clawing their way toward them.
“Frenza, do your thing.” the elf said.
The shamaness laughed and held out both her hands towards the manhole were the dead were bubbling up. With a massive laughter she unleashed a stream of fire, akin to that of a dragon. She called upon the sun, the life within her, the dragons whom spawned her. She burned the blighters, boiled the water and made steam explode into the heavens.
Only when she was sated did she stop.
“I am the fire…” she said to no-one in particular.
“Come.” Ashila ignored her and motioned the group back to the church." Let’s get some rest before down."

In her private quarters, Frenza lit a candle below a skull. She closed her eyes and muttered some incantations. she rubbed the bones of her ancestors in her hands. The idea of her heretical ways being practiced in a human church made her chuckle at first an she still found it absurd. But it was Trollish magick that protected the church next to human faith so there were no qualms to that anymore.
She threw down the bones and asked the question to her ancestors." Will I die tomorrow?"
Every day since she was a apprentice, she asked this question and every day the answer was the same. No.

But that night, the night before Ophra’s liberation was about to begin she got her answer. A laugh came up again. Yes, the bones said, you would die. In a blaze of glory.
The orc-female stood up and pushed the door open from her room and stormed over the one across of her. She opened the door which startled the dwarf who was busy with counting something. Coin? she didn’t care.
“What are-” he tried to say but stopped when her tongue was pushed down his throat, a savage kiss.
Orc courting was not soft, at least not in her clans. She was a child of fire. No time for regrets, burn brightly.
She held her arms around the bearded man who stopped struggling and returned the kiss. When she parted away, a grin went to her lips.
The dwarf returned the grin and kissed her, his hands began to undo her loincloth and what straps that served as her bodice.
what surprised her was the sudden strength the little man had and pushed her in the bed where he proceeded to take her like an orc would a mate.

After as he rested his head on her green belly, Frenza smiled happily.
She would die tomorrow. With no regrets.


#298

Nice tale. The fire priestress is a lot more savage and aggressive than I would’ve pegged her, and she must be damn powerful to burn wet zombies like that. Nice tale!


#299

Encyclopaedia Alundria

Dawnfort.
The city of the rising sun.
By Brother Toth of the Gray Council.

Located in the southern part of the Sanctuary province near the villages Sheepsfarm and Forgotten Crown and the river of Rhine, the city of Dawnfort is affiliated to the kingdom of Gyphon’s Crown and is known as the city of the rising sun.
A city as old at the capitol of the human kingdom, Dawnfort has seen a lot of history both good and ill.

History.

Dawnfort started probably a thousand years before the Second Blight as a small trading post near the river of Rhine and grew with every passing generation into it became a full fletched city-state ruling some small villages nearby and claiming ownership of some paths of the Rhine. Fertile farming ground made an abundance of produce to be traded and the nearness of clay made the good a valuable commodity on Sanctuary’s markets. As the city grew larger, the local populace began digging out more canals that would go across the city much like blood through a body.
Because of the closeness to river, Dawnfort could trade with the nearby elven and other human villages further south of the province. Because of their closeness with the elves, some of the earlier architecture and customs of Dawnfort were, and are still, quite elven based compared to the more dwarven regime found elsewhere in the human kingdom.
The early sewers were human made and first doubled as both a sewer and a underground tunnel system that spread over the entire city. The nearby elves frequently used the river to go from their native forests to the larger Rhine. After some early hostilities a peace offering was made and the elves were given a quarter in the city and unlike other human, dwarven or even orc, goblin or troll traders no elf from then until the end of time had to pay toll ever (a practice that still exists to this day).
Due to the wealth gained, the city quickly caught the attention of Gryphon’s Crown up north wo had to thank their rise due to dwarven trading and intermarriage.
The rivalry between Dawnfort and Gryphon’s Crown heavily influenced both cities and several wars were fought between the two city-states with each side proclaiming themselves sovereignty over the other. This lasted for several centuries with decades of peace that occasionally was interrupted by short wars over some sleight or insult. The last war prior to the First Troll war was one hundred years until it was stopped when the king of Gyphon’s Crown married the princess of Dawnfort and incorporated the city and its villages proper into the kingdom.
As such the former white human marble and elven tree designs were enhanced with more modern dwarven designs from the capitol. The canals and bridges around the city are exclusively dwarven made.
Local rumours claim that during the construction the dwarves hid a treasure inside the bridges and often a lucky fishermen catches a golden coin or a gem on some days.

According to local lore, the city was founded by a heroine named Dawn who was send by God. Dawn was a knight who roamed the land doing God’s bidding, defending the weak and slaying the wicked until one day He told her to build a city that would withstand against the darkness found in the early days before the Citadel.
Dawn found a perfect place near the river Rhine and with the help of all the people she had aided in her time as a knight a city was formed which in time became very large and prosperous. However a large Troll warband led by a wicked black dragon called Serinox wanted the city and it’s riches for himself and laid siege to it. Dawn stood against the dragon and after seven days and seven nights. On the dawn of the eight day she slew the wicked wyrm and tossed his corpse in the river. In honour of this victory the city was called Dawnfort and a statue in her honour was made near what later would become the knight academy which would later educate such noble knights such as Ser Ophra Elswin among many others.

Local Features

Statue of Dawn the hero: Located near the knight academy, the statue of Dawn serves as a meeting point and a source of inspiration for those who dream to become knights. Standing over ten meters tall, it shows the beautiful human knight with long hair holding aloft a burning sword, invoking the visage of being coated in Serinox’s blood.

Dwarven bridges: Seven in total covering the many small canals of the city. They were a more solid improvement over the wooden shoddy constructions made before the unification with Gryphon’s Crown.
Some claim the dwarves put treasure in these bridges and sometimes gold does seem to fall out of them. Either the tales are true or the dwarves have a twisted sense of humour and drop a coin in the river for a laugh…

Knight Academy: In honour of Dawn the Hero, the knight academy teaches the sons and daughters of nobility to become proper knights of the realm. Out of fifty participants who enter only twenty turn out to become true knights. To boost the numbers of knights after the destruction of Dawnfort at the start of the Second Blight war, scholarships now allow lower castes to enrol as knights.
Most of Gryhphon’s Crown’s best knights studied at the academy and are on par with other knightly orders across Alundria.

Cathedral of St Illum: Dawnfort has many churches but the cathedral is the biggest reason why many pilgrims travel to Dawnfort. Holding the relics of St Illum, the priest who cured the plague the trolls used in the First Troll war, it is a popular tourist location with many stained glass windows, colourful tapestries and houses a small shrine dedicated to Dawn the hero. It is an annual tradition for the local Cyclops Priest/Priestesses to write a petition to the Citadel to canonize Dawn. During that time a small festival takes place in and around the cathedral with food, drink and plays all in honour of Dawn and other knights like her.

Canals: Like veins in a human body, the canals of Dawnfort connect the larger Rhine Rover with the elven and human villages to the east and south. Many ships ranging from trade ships to barges to fishing ships travel the large canals every day.

Elven district; A small forested area in the white marble city, this place houses most of the elven and half-elven population. Most of the denizens are hunters, musicians or even bards.
Elves do not need to pay toll to make use of the canals.

Market place: Because of the trading coming up and from the Rhine, Dawnfort’s marketplace sports a wide selection of goods including produce, gems, weapons, furs and more exotic magical items fit for adventurers.

Extra info.

Population: 500 000 people (pre-blight). Mostly human with 3/10’s elves, 1/10 dwarven and a small percentage of other Alundrian species.

Banner; A rising sun on a white field. Inspired by the legend of Dawn the hero.

Ruling Lord; A mayor is elected every eight years but he or she always answers to the King. In it’s recent history there have been 248 mayors, among which 7 were elves, 1 was a dwarf and another was a goblin (Who did not last his full tenure).

Notable Dawnforders:

Dawn the hero: May or may not have existed. The mythical founder of Dawnford.
Ser Ophra Elswin: A hero of Dawnford during the Second Blight, helped liberate it from the Immortals in 1405. She later moved to Iron Crown where she founded House Elswin who is tied to Alestrian Royalty as bodyguards.
Thror; A dwarf who would later become a Mountain King in Iron Crown. During his time in Dawnford he was a simple miner after he was banished from Cool Craig for reasons unknown.
Ser Fergus Barnsworth of Gyphon’s Crown: A soldier who led a large portion of Dawnforder refugees away from the city to safety. For his services he was given a Knighthood. He later resettled in Dawnford with his family. The past thirteen mayors of Dawnford have always been members of House Barnsworth.


#300

Nice history. The Rhine related to the river that among others runs through France? A lot of nice details here, including a hint towards a black dragon. Can’t wait to see if this will return in another story!


#301

I sometimes find using names of geoligical things in RL you tend to get away with more than others :wink:
Thanks for reading. I thought since we spend a lot of time in Dawnfort its nice to give it a backstory and architecture.

Ill get to writing the final Exiled Knight chapter sooner or later…