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 Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination

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GoldenDrakon
Weaver of Tales
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Male Number of posts : 1500
Age : 46
Location : Usually right where I'm needed most...

PostSubject: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:46 am

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls; Dying time's here at last....

Divine Champoins is a Role-Play/Strategy competition game and story for up to six writers. Please see the OOC for more details and for any who might wish to comment and/or join. Please keep all OOC comments out of this thread.

Welcome, welcome all of you who have agreed to match up in my little adventure. I hope you enjoy writing and creating the story around us as much as I do! With that, there are three ways to win Divine Champions;

-- Last man standing; Kill them all!

-- Mutual agreement; One player subjugates all remaining players of if those players acknowledge that one is the clear victor.

--World Domination; One player becomes such a force that no other worldly power can challenge the superior might of that player's nation.

As always, I shall be the StoryTeller, referee and challenge-maker for you all. My decree is final.

And of course remember my golden rule; Have Fun!

Good luck my warriors! The stage is rented, the orchestra engaged;

Now let's see if you can dance...

-GoldenDrakon


Options available per turn: These options may be used internally as well as externally, such as spying on a merchant guild or battling a treacherous clan. You do not have to do all the actions listed.

Roleplay
Fight
Diplomacy
Explore
Trade
Build
Train
Harvest
Spy
Research

A game turn is roughly one month. There are still 4 seasons and 12 months in a year.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Alleia, Queen of Batral   Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:47 am

At long last, Batral is yours. You sit firmly on the throne that you have long coveted, but it has not been an easy task. With the sudden ‘departure’ of your father and your decree that banished all elvish influence from Batral, touched off a firestorm that you did not anticipate. While your father was not a beloved monarch in the hearts of the common man, he did have many supporters, loyalists, partners, lackeys and agents who did not enjoy their sudden loss of position. The removal of the elves also fanned the fires of bigotry, long kept simmering by your father and yourself. With their excommunication, the mob was suddenly unleashed upon the few ‘point-ears’, who took the opportunity to let out old frustrations, grudges or just an excuse for hatred and violence. Others were lured to the prospect of loot and plunder at the expense of those that were helpless to resist it.

The purge of elvenkind was the first to be completed. With the very real threat of mob violence on the heels of any on the wrong side of the new law, all elves either perished or fled the city and the surrounding countryside in short order, presumably to rejoin with the elvish city of Castilian deep in the forests several miles away from you. During this purge, many of half elven blood or those who showed sympathy towards elves was likewise brutalized. Hell, even those who trafficked in elvish goods were at risk and quickly changed professions. That you yourself are of mixed blood is conveniently overlooked.
The purge of your father’s influence was not as easy. While your Father was indeed bigoted, fickle and amoral, he was not stupid. Many of his trusted ‘advisors’ had positions within the governmental structure, the merchants and the military. Those that would not support you when you came to power had to be removed, often by force. There could be only one ruler and that ruler had to be absolute. While some positions were vacated by politics, others had to be expunged by assassination or open conflict. Again opportunists rose in their wake, denouncing rivals and neighbors of consorting with one faction or another, seeking influence or favor by you or just the chance to seize property. Now finally, with your army firmly behind you, the remaining few of the old regime, to include the last surviving mistress from your father’s estate, abandoned their positions and fled Batral for the wilderness. At last, the violence has come to an end and calm dominates the land under your unquestioned rule.

Calm yes, but peace no. Batral is subdued, but has not settled. Tension is still thick in the air, business proceeds as it has always done. The commoners make livelihoods for themselves and their families as best they can but so much turmoil is not easily forgotten. Many merchants, laborers, entrepreneurs and artisans have fled, been warned away or simply vanished during the change of regimes. Suspicion runs high as normalcy seeks to return, whatever that normal may be. The fields around Batral have fared no better during these times. Many of the outlying farms suffered the worst of mob violence and reprisal. Several have been devastated, plundered or abandoned. The merchant quarter and bazaars too, suffered at the hands of bigots and opportunists. More so, the violence has simply created an atmosphere that discourages business and newcomers.

Farther out, other communities make their living. Most notable would be a small village some three or four miles away to the southeast. You do not know what their loyalties might be, but they do not fall under the direct control of Batral. To the north, several days away and past the hills and rocky lands around the mines lies the forests and Castilian, the hidden city of the elves. Others settlements are sure to exist farther out, but where they might be, who they are and what their own goals are remains a mystery…

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Haldrwor Skalgard, Jarl of the Frost Giants   Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:48 am

Cold, cold and hard; that’s the best summary of these icy, wind-swept peaks of which you call home. Fortunately, the same description could be used to summarize you and your clan. It has been a long and hard fought battle, but the menace of the fire giants was thrown back and defeated. You are still unsure of just why they came this deep into your territory, after all, the fire giants could not have enjoyed the snowy peaks or centuries old ice packs. Some surmised that they had come to plunder as your own clan often did. Others think they might have thought to best their natural enemies and simply under estimated the might and power of your people and their cold, cold Jarl. Whatever the reason, they appeared one day, entrenched on the farthest slope and attacked. The battles were fierce, but the outcome was inevitable, at least in your own mind. Though several of your kinsmen died, several more of the hated enemy perished as well. After long struggles, you personally led the charge which toppled their hastily built defenses and routed them from the mountain slopes. A few feeble attempts at counter attack were tried, but the few survivors finally accepted the grand power that was your clan and fled in the night.
In the aftermath, it appeared that the fire giants had come to excavate and mine a node of basalt which protruded from the mountain side. Not that it mattered, the stone blocks that had been cut as well as their tools quickly became prizes to add to your own splendid halls of carved ice and hardened stone. Their camp was sacked and plundered with many brass and bronze weapons and trinkets finding their way into your coffers or became the personal trophies of your warriors. Afterwards, you returned in triumph and celebration.

That was two years ago.

From you mountain peaks, you have great command of the lands around you. Your clan resides on the northeast most point of a short and fat peninsula. To the north and east, the mountains slope downwards into the frozen seas. To the south, lies a great inland lake with a long and wide tributary which again moves east to the sea. Past the lake, similar mountain peaks can be seen rising into the sky to rival your own homeland peaks. It is in these mountains that the dwarves of Ingridsdelve live. During the deep winters, this lake and its sea bound inlet freeze over enough to allow your clan to raid these mountains. The dwarves in typical fashion do indeed have underground burrows, but also have above-land dwellings and animal herds, ripe for the taking. Several raids were conducted, but the wretched little dwarves were stubbornly persistent in their holes and resisted just surrendering their possessions to your raiders. Besides, they build nasty dwarf machines that were able to throw spears large enough to prick the hides of even your mighty giants. Last year, their High Thane met with one of your raid leaders and offered a proposition, a tribute, given every year when the lake froze over in return for your war bands leaving the southern mountains alone. You agreed, allowing your raiders to move west to plunder instead of moving south, where plunder was to be freely given. To the west, the nearest inhabitants are a colony of trolls who sometimes bump into your sentries or patrols as they hunt and harvest seals, walruses and occasionally bear. To the south west, around the lake as you progress inland, lie human settlements in the warmer low lands. Tragically, last year was the last year of plenty.
Things have not gone so well for the thorp. The mineral wealth of iron and tin, which were always fleeting, has begun to wane more and more notably. While victory over the fire giants was indeed a fortuitous event, many warriors fell to the enemy and giants by their natural long lives; have been slow to produce new warriors to fill your ranks. Your son was clever in offering a possible solution in training war bears, but this has also exasperated the rivalry with your daughter, as she argues that every bear taken to fight is one less that might be used to pull sleds, warm a body or fill a cook pot. More notable still, the little ones in the low lands have recently adopted a more militant attitude, building stronger, if feeble by your standards, defenses and raising militias to defend their territories with. While these little ones cannot hope to compete with the might of giants, their actions do raise the risks during raids. Most concerning, there have recently been whispers that these are ill omens and that the Great Lords are displeased with your leadership for failing to destroy the fire giants utterly or for sparing the little dwarves in their anthills and allowing the trolls to poach on land that is too good for them. Some whisper that perhaps it might be time for a change of leadership all together….

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Taljor, Chieftain of the Minotaurs   Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:50 am

It has been less than a year since you defeated the last chieftain and took the title for yourself. It was not unexpected; you were the strongest, the most accomplished and the best warrior in your tribe. That you challenged the old chief and gave him a respectable death in battle was welcomed both by your tribe and by the old chief. It was his time and none mourned the loss. What was not expected was the outright passive nature you took towards your surroundings. True, the minotaurs had always respected the land and the sea and the power of nature, but many were confused by your leniency towards the weaker races that speckled the land. Several feel, especially the young warriors who are eager to make a name for themselves, that this prevents them from raiding and winning glory in bloody combat. Some older warriors feel slighted in that there is little opportunity for plunder or to indulge their age old bloodlust. A few even remember the days when such weak creatures were used as meat in the cook pots for winter.
At least, there is little concern about meat for winter at the moment. The low hills and rocky plains where you make your home are on the very edge of a rather decrepit-looking wood. The woods are old; very old and run far up into the rocky hills. The going is treacherous for those very few who have journeyed into them. Many even say that it is haunted. Still, haunted or no, it and the land around you is teeming with wild game which sustains your tribe’s need for meat, fur and often for cured hides and leather. The only other major resource you enjoy is a wide, open pit mine where some of your kin extract copper ore. There is not much, but several of your blacksmiths have taken to melting down captured and scrounged metal items to mix with copper to form bronze or other useful alloys. Some more enterprising members of your tribe have taken to using copper wire and beads made of polished rock, bone and more copper to make jewelry that is popular with many of your females. Unfortunately, there is just not enough for all the uses that your tribe would like.

Even if some of your kin are not pleased with your diplomacy, several of your neighbors are. Often expecting to be attacked on sight when your hunting parties or patrols encounter them, the other races seem both confused and wary, but also pleasantly surprised to be treated to dialog with doesn’t involve threats, curses or promises of mayhem. Some passing elves, dwarves and other species occasionally swap gifts and words of praise, offering to take news of your tribe back to their leaders. While some of this might be encouraging, it is clear that suspicion still runs high…if the other side just doesn’t flee outright at the sight of you. So far, your best efforts had been with your closest neighbors, a Halfling community called Rootburrow some 8 to 10 miles to the east. The Hobbits so named their town because most of the families there make their hobbit holes under and within the stumps of great and ancient trees also on the very edge of the old woods. To the south and west of your encampment lies sloping land which goes another 6 or 7 miles until it ends on the rocky beaches of the sea. North and north-east moves inland, uphill and into rougher land and into the old woods. It is possible to move both east past Rootburrow and north past the woods by following the coastline. Occasionally, some of your patrols or hunters move along the northern coast and see boats in the sea beyond, fishing or sailing to and fro, but where they make port is still a mystery...

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Haldrwor Skalgard, Jarl of the Frost Giants   Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:39 pm

From his icy throne in Jotunnfell Hall, Jarl Haldrwor considers the whispers of dissent, the winds of portent and the lore of his proud ancestors. The Jotunn would persevere; of this, he harbors no doubt. But the whispers had grown much louder in those recent months, and something needed to be done to improve the clan's lot. Lofty hearts and bloodlines deserve better than sullen and hungry dominions.

With his ruggedly thewed left hand resting on Menbrotnar's pommel beside the throne, he raises his thundering voice and bids all gathered in that hall to attend him.

"Hear my words now, children and clanfolk. Your jarl would speak."

"In the dawn of time, we once welcomed the trolls as brothers. But that was before the trolls showed to us the truth of their base and craven selves. Even in these years do the trolls not seek to redeem themselves in our eyes, for they steal and snatch what is due for us. The time has come for the trolls to kneel before us as the humbled dwarves and the conquered, hated fire giants now kneel. They are surely weaker than us to nip at our heels as starving dogs, rather than stand tall as bears and challenge us for our keep. There only remains the task of taking their measures of strength and weakness. For that end I call before me ten of my swiftest and most patient spearmen to serve as scouts, that they may seek out the trolls and gauge their movements and their numbers without revealing our hand. Gunmir, find these ten and bring them before me."

His address to his son continues. "When that is done, continue to steel the skill and the resolve of our fabled warriors. Hurl the blunted spears and shafts at the shield maidens. Erect the earthen pillars for our spearmen, and divide them against each other with the blunted blades. And of the two, take six of the most accomplished warriors from that practice and train them with the bears, so that they may be called to rein and unleash the bears against our enemies as needs arise."

And his attentions then turn to his daughter. "As father and as leader I know well of the contention which stems from those bears, Bjalla. But Gunmir has already trained them for war, and it would be wasteful to slaughter them for meats and garb now. In their own ways, the bears shall serve us in gathering our sustenance and more. But for this hour, in our past contentment we never thought to seek our food from humbler places. That time of plenty is now at an end. And it falls to you that you must gather new harvests to uphold our clan's glory."

"As the tales of bygone ages tell, giants and gods alike have long enjoyed the catching of fishes for leisure. Did not the Thunder God himself hook the maw of the dreaded World Serpent from his boat? Ja, verily so. But the time which faces us demands far more than what our idle pursuits can yield. My decree, then, is this: of our masons, gather ten of the most proficient, and lead them north to the jagged shores of the sea. There they shall cut stones from the mountainous shore and, in the shallows of the high tide, construct breakwaters as yon humanfolk do, but through the might and skill of any Jotunnborn shall the weakling humans look to our great and stalwart breakwaters with awe and envy. In these breakwaters may nets be raised and fishes more easily taken, and in greater numbers. But if the briny sea lies under ice so thick and sturdy that the masons cannot cut through, then for now gather the stones and prepare them for the arrival of springtide. Spare the mortar but to join pillars and supports on shore before lowering them into the waters, and to seal fast what blocks rise over the tides. From pillar to pillar shall the remaining blocks be piled and set to form these breakwaters. And enter not the sea to the east until our work with the northern sea is done. Do this, and our work shall endure for all the ages."

"Gunmir shall send five of our spearmen and five of our shield maidens to defend your masons and their camp; those ten warriors shall answer to you during that construction. Forbid them their idleness, and put them to the tasks of spearing fishes for food and keeping the camp in order whenever no enemies are at hand."

"As for myself, I must rise from this hoary throne and seek out the foremost of Surtur's surviving spawn. With five of my shield maids as witness, that giant's ears shall hear my words, and may his tongue wag freely to speak the fate of my wife Venja, departed fifty winters past. And may he know my wrath if he speaketh not."

Jarl Haldrwor rises from his throne in closing and takes up Menbrotnar, to strike the floor with a sound report the moment his words become finalized commands. "If none would step forth to question my decrees, then be off about your tasks, and build on the legacy of our forefathers. Come forth, or go forthwith."

(Actions this turn:

Spy -- Send scouts to discern the exact strengths and locations of the trolls. Though frost giants are not renowned for their stealth, lightly armored frost giant spearmen serving as scouts may be able to hide against the ice and snow better than anywhere else. So it's better to scout now before a warmer season arrives.

Build -- With Jotunnheim so near the seas (a very fortunate location, I might add), developing the giants' means of fishing may be key to food and prosperity. The seas would surely have larger and more plentiful fishes than the lake to the south would, so constructing breakwaters to enclose a portion of the sea's shallows would serve the giants well. Frost giant masonry could easily mean larger and sturdier breakwaters than any lesser race could build. Once that's done, nets may be raised or stretched across all the apertures between the breakwaters, thus keeping the fishes, sharks and dolphins from escaping the giants' fishers or trapping them in the nets--or on the sand and silt--when the tide recedes.

Seas, salty and choppy as they tend to be, do not ice over well. So an iced-over sea shouldn't be a problem. If there is ice due to exceptional cold, the masons are to cut through it and continue with the construction; if that absolutely can't be done by any means, just cut the stones, grind the gravel for mortar, pile them all aside and wait for spring; we'll have to find a way to tough it out until then. Maybe a few holes punched through the ice will work for a little ice fishing. But, again, it's a sea. I don't earnestly expect any big problems with ice getting in the way of building breakwaters.

Diplomacy -- Bring five shield maidens with me (and no more than this, both because most of the warriors must remain behind to continue their training and to defend the thorp, and because it would not do to be perceived as a weakling who hides behind a vast wall of soldiers in all his affairs...) as I go to seek out and personally confront the acting leader of the remaining fire giants, and try to resolve the mystery of my wife Venja's fate. "Diplomacy" may be a rather friendly word for this task; be forceful and intimidating, reminding the fire giant of his or her kin's defeat at frost giant hands and asserting that the fire giants continue to live only by my grace. Threaten to have that fire giant and one other kinsman executed by entombing in the ice if the fire giant's tongue resists or protests too greatly; Venja must be returned to the clan--or properly interred or memorialized--and the honor of the Skalgard blood demands no less than this. Bring Menbrotnar, of course, both to serve as a symbol of my unstoppable might and authority and to crush the skulls of any fire giants who dare to attack us.

Train -- Continue training the spearmen and shield maidens (whichever of them aren't off spying on trolls, guarding Bjalla, her masons and their breakwaters-in-progress or watching my back while I interrogate the fire giant leader, that is), and try to cross-train a handful of them as bear handlers, just in case. Ideally, each spearman should be consistently paired off with one shield maiden in martial practice, so that a personal bond between the two might develop and better ensure that each will defend the other to the death should the tides of battle ever turn against them. As expected, these remaining warriors are to defend the thorp if the need arises.

How does that sound?)
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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:56 am

From the time he became Chief, he knew his voiced policies towards other races had to be cleared up. He heard the rumblings around, it was time to call his advisors in and get it straight. Sitting at his small table, he pulled a few pieces of parchment and wrote notes to Warder Largehoof, the War Chief and Weapons Master, Thyr Stonefoot and a few others that would be top contenders for Clan Champion. The messages sent by young servants with an order of urgency.

He did not wait long. When they were all seated, Taljor addressed them. “I know I have started some unusual rumors with my off track demeanor.” They all nodded and he continued. “The reason I have called you all is to set what I want into motion. These new ideals of mine is a farce!” Taljor’s face was stone cold and those that saw into the darkness of his eyes saw the truth in them. “I want every race, bar one, to think that we are trying to change our reputation. We are to send merchants to our nearest neighbors and open trade routes, earn their trust, learn their strengths and weaknesses, then when all is right, use those strengths to our advantage and weaknesses to undermine their resolve.”

The room fell so silent, that the slight evening breeze on the leaves could be heard. “Take the dwarves for example. They are well known for their abilities with mining and weapon making. We need to learn these skills and become masters ourselves. The Halflings, we need to appear to them that they can count on us to assist in defending them and in turn they can teach us agriculture.”

Each person now could see the light. Warder spoke, “I knew something was amiss, just could not see the root or reason.”

Taljor nodded and continued. “From here on out these are the policies I want followed. First, every member of the clan will be trained to fight. This means men and women. Every child will start their training the very instant they have the strength to pick up a short sword. They may not be seasoned, but skilled none the less. The training will last 3 to 5 years and will be judged by Warder for that time line. Second, we will keep a balance with nature and what it provides us. We will harvest wisely in both the fat and lean years. On the years of surplus, our stores must be full to last not just the winters, but the lean years. Our hunters and trappers need to ensure a healthy population not of just game. but also of predators. Third, I want to expand our own knowledge of healing and of wizardry. Fourth, I want to start expanding our territory… slowly. Our scouts need to report in which directions and distance that there is no sign of other races or settlements that we can take first. Once we get those new boundaries, defenses must be put in place. Any ideas for proper defenses will be taken into account and we will decide… as this group is now my Counsel. And lastly, since we are without a Champion, the time is now for any and all that want to compete.”

“Warder, I charge you with putting that into motion and increase training time. Once you advise me that we are once again to be feared, will find the nearest gnoll village and leave none alive!”

Goals for this turn
Scout-Scouts are to be sent in all directions, even past Rootburrow, report findings in great detail. Look for uninhabited land to claim as ours.

Build-Start the construction of defences, watch towers and walls. Start building viaducts, dikes and wells to hold and use water. Build smithes when the dwarves have agreed to trade aggrements.

Train-Combat training with weaons and hand to hand stepped up. Learn one on one and team concepts, use of terrain and learn to recognise weakness'.

Diplomacy-A diplomat must be sent along with merchants and use or offer what is needed to accomplish trade, resource, exchange of skills, healing, magics, etc. Bring back offers for concideration.




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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:28 pm

Alleia wondered idly when the simpleton would quit his nattering and quit her court. Spittle formed in the corners of his mouth as he guesticulated with great passion - his words running together in his unusual manner of speech. She frowned and the chatter faltererd, but only as much to allow a kercheif to come up and wipe away the drool and then disappear as it started up again, this time twice more passionate and doubly annoying.

But she was Queen. Yes, Queen. She resisted the urge to writhe in delight in her large cushioned throne. A look of disgust crossed her features (misinterpreted as the chatter faltered again) as she remembered the monstronsity that had been her father's throne. She had had that thing burned publicly, both for her pleasure as as a reminder of just how now ruled. It had been hard wood, inelegant with only a few bare runes carved for decoration. It had had no cushioning and has been rather blocky and square. Very uncomfortable (which, she supposed, had been the reason her father had always looked so frightening when perched upon it) He had detested it as much as she had but always refused to give it up.

Pulling her thoughts and eyes back to the speaker, she sighed and raised her hand. The nattering, and the spittle, stopped instantly.

"Mori. You can protest to our conditions all you want, however, the fact will still remain that until you cut all ties to Elven kind and Castilian, you and your merchants will not be welcome here." She spread her hands in a helpless gesture, "I will admit that our economy needs you. We simply don't have the business to meet our city's demands. However - there are other offers being considered. And yours may very well be at the bottom of the list."

The Spitter paled.

"Your business will fare greatly here. But so will others. If you are not willing to obey my rule within my own city, within my own kingdom -" she made an abrupt slashing gesture with her hand, "- then that is that. I will not accept collaborators in my realm. Not with them."

Then she sat back and allowed herself to wander once again, sure that her tactic would work. Businessmen were always the same - all they chased was money. It was simple. Dangle enough profit in front of them - and they would follow it to the ends of the world. And with the vaccuum left by her abrupt seizure of the Royal Banner, there was now ample opportunity for profit.

"Reitha concedes, your Majestly. We will cut all ties to Castilian and her people in exchange for control of the Merchant's Circle here in Batral and outlying regions." Spitter's face was now turning purple - probably from the effort of concession. She smirked and nodded her head.

As he turned to leave she was already turning her attention to other matters. There was, and always would be, a claim to the throne by other members of her family - even those she had never heard of before. And the only way to truly consolidate her power was to produce an heir.

But she would do it right. She would find love - true love - and that child, that special child, would find love and support and a true family. She absently patted her stomach and turned her attention to the next matter as a polite cough to her left let her know it was time listen again.

"Your Majesty," a blonde giant of a man announced, "I am Yander, Captain of the Royal Guard."

Raising a hand, Alleia was intrigued, "I was given to understand Balder was Captain."

The giant had the grace to blush, "He was, your Majesty. However, certain - affliations - have rendered him unfit for service." He then had the audacity to flash her a pearly white grin, "I am to make my first report, my Lady."

She raised her eyebrow and he cleared his throat, "There are still bandits roaming the outlying regions. We are doing what we can, but we are stretched thin. We need more men. We have also been trying to keep the people's fears at bay, but they are crying 'starvation'. There is little food to go around and our Hunters are only able to do so much without sustainable food. Grainaries and food stores are being raided every night. Sometimes we catch them... but most of the time we are so stretched we can't keep them guarded as well as the rest of the city."

His frankness impressed her, but she remained silent and he took it as a sign to keep talking, "Your people are still in shock. They are afraid, and while I call for more men, a greater military presence could be taken two ways. They can become greatful for the extra protection, or become resentful for the extra watch. Many of our strong leaders either fled or were driven from the city - and though the army's loyalty is yours alone, I cannot guarantee that for the city."

He cleared his through, reddening for a moment as her intense stare became even more scrutinising, "Your majesty - people need something to do to occupy their time. Mobs still form occassionally - though now they are more from boredom than anything else. Fear is driving your city and nothing else is counteracting it. You need to do something for your people, you need-" he cut off as her hand raised and blinked rapidly.

"Captain - speaking so frankly to me..." she tsked and the blonde giant blanched, then she went on, "is rather refreshing. Coming from a loyalist." Her eyes roamed the room and touched on a few gazes that quickly averted, "The new Merchant's Circle will give my people something to look forward to. However, with business about to boom, you will need more men to protect Batral's interests. You will take men - recruit - and turn them into worthy soldiers.

"Take some loyalists, farmers, workers and soldiers to the outlying regions and have them 'help' those in need. They will report to me every third day. I want to know people's thoughts, their needs, their wants - everything to the amount of hay they strew for their horses.

You will also co-ordinate food stalls. Those starving, those unhoused for the moment can come to those stalls for food and shelter. Hopefully this will cut the raids back. Co-ordinate with Reller on exact rations." She nodded to one of her advisors, stationed to the left of her.

Then she cocked her head and stared at the captain for a few more moments, "Anythings else?"

He blinked, "No Lady.... I will attend to those matters immediately."

"Good." Then she pursed her lips, "You will join me later, of course?"

The blonde blinked again and then reddened, appropriately, "Of course, your majesty. Of course." He saluted and turned smartly, practically marching out of the audience chamber, his boots ringing on the marble floor.

Actions this turn:

Build - Start rebuilding the merchants quarters and the richer parts of the city as well as creating shelters for the poorer parts of the city. Begin the process of rebuilding Batral.

Train - Begin training more skilled Hunters to address the food shortage - as well as more warriors to add to Alleia's army's ranks. Swordsmen and pikemen will make the bulk of the recruiting drive. Set up more guards for the inner city as well as storage facilities.

Harvest - pull in more harvests to address shortages.

Spy - use some of her army (and other skilled/trusted farmers/workers) to help outlying farms and estates. Find information on loyalties, feelings about the kingdom, practices, locations, cattle numbers, field yields etc.

Diplomacy - approach other settlements with offers to come to Batral. Business merchants, skilled labourers, professionals, etc with the promise of profit and the condition of cutting ties with elven kind.

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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:36 am

Jotunnfell Hall

Gunmir and many of the other warriors are well pleased with the prospect for battle on the horizon and express their delight with the pounding for fists on tables or weapons against shields. It is not long before your son has ten eager volunteers for the mission. Turning to your daughter, you lay out your plan and ideas for her and her team.
“I hear your words Father,” Bjalla says. “I do not say these bears must be slain, for the endless winter teaches us that to be wasteful is to be weak. Yet if these bears are successful, will Gunmir call for more to be trained? If half are slain will he take more to replace them? Our herds are not so plentiful as to support Gunmir’s fanciful vision of glorious warfare with a fistful of snarling bears on a leash for every warrior. Still, I shall do as you wish and look to the sea for new bounty.”

The scouts, led by your son, move through the mountains and into the hills and lowlands to the west in search of troll camps. After a day and a half, the first troll bands are spotted, but these seem to be roaming foragers, hunting and trapping the indigenous packs of seals and walruses with inhabit the northern coastline. These foragers often only go out in small groups, make their catches and bring them back to central camp to skin, clean and prepare their bounties. These camps move around after a few days and there are perhaps two or three operating throughout the north coast. There are perhaps 50 or 60 troll foragers but while all seem to carry spears, nets, clubs and hooked blades, it is difficult to tell if these are warriors or just troll laborers.
The troll township is almost three days travel due west from your hall. The town is laid out in a rectangle and surrounded by a wall made of mortared stone about 10 feet high. There are several huts and the like surrounding the town and are enclosed by a long trench and some shorter earthworks. Your scouts estimate perhaps 200 trolls total. Gunmir is confident that with a speedy and a ferocious assault, the trolls will fall quickly.

Bjalla and her team head off and easily make their way down to the water’s edge and make camp in preparation for the construction ahead. The sea here is not salt water and ice extends out several feet from the coastline becoming thinner the farther out it goes until the ice rim falls away into the flowing sea. While the heaviest of winter might be another issue, currently, the ice is nothing that a few heavy blows cannot crack. Using the contour of the land to her best advantage, Bjalla selects a good place and sets upon the laborious task of shaping and preparing to lay stone for the breakwater. Work continues apace for the month with some good progress being made, but it soon becomes clear that the project will not be completed this cycle as the breakwater must be built, but also material gathered and the nets woven as well. Not to be left empty handed, she does send back a handful of baskets filled with snared and speared fish. Meager perhaps for the whole of the thorp, but there is the promise of more once the project is completed.

With five Maidens in tow, you begin the task of seeking the fire giants. Your first task is to travel north by northwest, to the highest and farthest peak on your peninsula. It was here that the fire giants erected their camp on your territory and began their excavation of basalt. The basalt node is still there on the outward face of the mountain, covered with more than a year of blowing snow and ice. Now there is little more than an indention in the side of the rock to mark the quarrying of the past. It is still not clear why the fire giants sought out this place. Surely they were aware of the presence of your clan, the fire giants and frost giants have traded blows for generations. Also basalt is somewhat unusual in the mountains, but not so rare or precious that it could not be found at more hospitable locations. In any case, there is no evidence that the fire giants…or anyone else, has returned to this place since you and you warriors last swept them from the mountainside. The fire giants were too few and too weakened to retake the slopes and departed for their own homeland. As you stand on the cliff overlooking the sea, the mist and fog parts for a moment, revealing the distant shores of another land far to the west. Stories tell of another land filled with smoke and steam, where magma bubbles up from the split stone and no trace of ice endures. According to your grandfathers’ stories, this was the land where the fire giant jarl sits on his bronze throne and plots his stratagem against your people… but how to cross the sea to get there? With no resolution on how to confront the fire giants, you return to your halls to oversee the training and lay plans for your next move.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:26 am

Taljor of the minotaurs

Your gathering of the Council and explanation for your policies helps soothe some controversy, but stirs up some other discussions. While the great majority is relieved to understand that their new leader is not a pacifist, some contend that this plan lacks honor and that there is little glory in ‘pretending’. Others contend that your plan is nothing more than a grand version of deception and tactics, all of which is acceptable in war. The debate will continue for a time but until then, there is great enthusiasm for the Arena to begin so that a new Champion might emerge. In the end, seven step forward and are chosen to compete. These brawls and battles rage for the better part of the whole month, each pair squaring off to eliminate their matched opponent in order to advance to the next stage. The fighting is fierce and several contenders will be out of action for weeks or months healing torn muscles, broken bones and bloody injuries. Others will wear new scars as testimonials to their prowess in the Arena even if they have been eliminated. In the final round, Warder Largehoof is matched up against Drom Longhorns. A younger but massive bull that has shown prowess in battle as well as in training. Even though Warder is the odds-on favorite, after an hour long brawl which leaves both warriors bloody, winded and battered, Drom wins by finally toppling the older minotaur and literally pounding double-fisted blows down until Warder is unconscious.

You have your Champion.

Your scouts spread out in all directions, usually in teams of two or three, eager to find what might be out there in order to claim more territory for the clan and glory for themselves. The first few come back in only a few days. Expansion would be extremely easy to the west and south. There is simply nothing there between your clan and the sea. You would only need to reach out your hand, set your banner in the earth and it would be yours. North and northwest along the coast would be a similar situation, although the land gets rockier before sloping down to the beaches and the sea. Another team traveled north, northeast up the coast for two full days, skirting the hills and the Old Woods thereon. When they came to the northernmost point of the hills, they discovered what seemed like a huge garbage dump. The dump was inhabited by a small group of creatures that resembled goblins, but were far too short to actually be goblins, standing no more than perhaps two feet tall. Further progress was not possible as they came to a wood and rock barricade, the leading edge of a settlement upwind of the rubbish heap. Your scouts tried to investigate both the settlement and the heap, but they were attacked by hobgoblins coming from the settlement and forced to withdraw. There was little more than a brief chase where a few missiles and insults were hurled back and forth, but the hobgoblins clearly utilize a type of shortbow in battle.
Moving east, your scouts travel the well-known paths and come in contact with the hobbit territory in less than a day. They are friendly and helpful and talk freely with your scouts and merchants before your scouts pass through. Guided by their suggestions and own two feet, they learn about a community of gnomes that live in the easternmost hills some three days past Rootburrow. These gnomes are suspicious but also have a good relationship with the Halflings of Rootburrow so that are at least interested in what you might have to say. Continuing east for another day, your scouts find several free-standing groves of trees and then the land opens up into prairie land going east, south and north. Going east leads you to the sea again after another day and going north, northeast you find a human settlement which is little more than a village that makes its living by fishing, some small herds of sheep and goats and by gathering lumps of red clay from the coastline shallows. The real buzz among the scouts however, is the discovery of a town on the southeastern most point. Here a port town has been established and bustles with activity. Humans, elves, Halflings and gnomes can all be found here, buying, selling and bartering supplies and merchandise. The town is run by dwarves, but it is clear that they do not live there, only oversee and maintain it. All goods seem to come into and leave out of this point on dwarvish barges, all heading south.
Oddly enough, the place you know the least about is the place closest to you. The Old Wood sits on your very doorstep and is the dominant landmark that you have encountered so far. Your scouts can follow the woods east for three days and also northwest for three days. They land is very rocky, almost like crags from which the trees and scrub grow out of and cling to, giving the trees a gnarled and stunted look which only adds to the mysterious and spooky nature of the Woods. The land is hard-going, uneven and treacherous with many crags, drop offs, hidden pitfalls and the like. For years, your people and others, like the Halflings, have foraged and hunted along the woods or just inside them, but never deeper in. The standing wisdom is that the Woods is haunted and there have been stories of those who do go in, getting lost for days, coming out and being incoherent or not coming out at all. Your scouts enter the woods several times but none manage very far. Several report getting lost or becoming confused. Several report strange sounds, moving shadows, severe bad luck , feelings of dread or even ‘losing time’ while wandering with no memory of what happened.

It would seem that the mysteries of the Old wood would remain mysteries…for now at least.

Building and training also go slowly. Watch towers are built at the furthest points on the coast, one to the west, north and south. And allow a commanding view of the horizons. While the south watch tower reports only the sea, the north can watch a good way along the coast, along the strip of land which leads to the hobgoblin settlement and the garbage heaps, although neither can be seen themselves. Stones and wood are gathered to begin more construction projects, but building a wall around the settlement will take time and a great amount of wood, mortar and stone. Thyr Stonefoot offers a possible suggestion. While not as good as proper fortifications, your clan could raise earthworks, a series of dirt ramps, ditches and spiked palisades, much faster and easier. The earthworks could also be dismantled or expanded upon much easier than walls or more permanent fixtures. Of course, earthworks would only offer a fraction of the true defense of hardened fortifications. Likewise a new well is dug for your clan, and plans for a cistern are made, but the ground is not suitable to hold water. Your builders need either something like clay, pitch or limestone to make mortar out of to line the cistern with.
Training is also slow to begin. Minotaurs have always excelled at one on one, hand-to-hand combat. It is in large groups and in formations where unit cohesion begins to suffer. While none would wish to face a thousand screaming minotaurs, each with their horns polished to charge with, the same thousand, marching in line to form a phalanx in the heat of battle without breaking up would be a greater challenge. Minotaurs also often learn the basics of fighting, especially males, early on but not to the formal level of your warriors. The complaint is that with so many projects, plus the daily tasks in and among your clan need to be tended. If all go to train, who will mine your copper, tend your fields, draw water for the crops, cure skins, cook suppers, or a hundred other chores? Warder Largehoof can only drill and train small groups from your commoners but some training is happening. He asks if you might want to see about opening positions for your commoners to enlist in your armies so that they might leave their old lives for the glory of the clan and the honor of war. This might bring in a few new warriors once they are trained up.

A few merchants accompany your scouts east, largely to find out what offers might be made and also to open formal trade with Rootburrow. Rootburrow is a simple place that like your own community, hugs the edge of the Old Woods and the land between the woods and the coast. While the Halflings share the same bounty of wild game as you do, they are interested in your copper, both as smelted ore and as jewelry. The cherries and apples that your forefathers planted are also of interest to them. In return, the hobbits can offer foodstuffs like bread and vegetables, but also several spices and herbs, like garlic, pepper, thyme, basil and bay leaves. Lastly, the hobbits brew beer and also grow tobacco which they might be willing to trade. The gnomes are also interested in trading and would ask for whatever furs, skins, wool or cotton you might have as well as some of your copper jewelry. The human hamlet would be very interested in any cured leather or furs as well as the cherries and apples you have, but with a journey of a week, this might be difficult for perishable goods. Your builders are very interested in this trade, as they have the clay they need for your cistern. The dwarves are willing to take anything you would like to part with and can pay with either goods or gold.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:38 am

Batral:

Your agents fan out throughout the kingdom and surrounding territory in order to carry out your instruction. Soon enough, reports start finding their way back to you. The overall mood of the land is shaky. The violence and upheaval is still too recent for many to have just gotten over it, even if the people just want to go back to their lives. Mobs still exist but have subsided for the most part. With Capt Yander and Sgt Reller increasing their patrols and the mobilization of your ‘helpers’, any would be thieves have moved to the outlying lands or outskirts in search of easier pickings. Those at the greatest risk are the outlying farms, travelers or the road and occasionally the mining camps. Captain Yander has done his best to harry and capture such criminals, and indeed does catch some, but the rough hills make for ideal hiding places for desperate people to escape armored soldiers. The patrols also spread the word that the army is recruiting strong, able-bodied and loyal citizens to join the glorious ranks of the Queen’s Army. By month’s end, ten accept the position and are sent to the royal barracks to begin their training as pikemen. To help with recruitment, Sgt Reller does have an idea for those captured, or of any criminal in Batral. He asks if you would consider the possibility of having them conscripted into the army; clemency for service. It would definitely add to the ranks of your soldiers as well as allow said miscreants to be under the watchful eyes of the army, but such men are rarely the most loyal or dedicated warriors. If not the army, Sgt Reller requests permission to form press gangs with captives and use them as a hard labor force. This would serve as a very public example to lawbreakers but what they could actually accomplish would depend on the size of the work force. This force would also have to be kept separate and under guard lest they escape or commit sabotage. If neither choice suits Your Majesty, then there is always punishment as decreed by your law, whatever you choose for that to be.

The mood of the people towards you and your kingdom is suspicious and fearful. At best, you have usurped your father in a bloody coup and seized control. At worst, you have gleefully slaughtered several of your own people and initiated a blood feud against the elves of Castilian, one of the most powerful, mysterious and dominant powers in the region. Few, very few, believe the bloodshed is at an end. Worse still, the farmers and herders have suffered the worst except for the elves and their supporters. Many crops were ruined, trampled, stolen or just not planted for various reasons. The herders are likewise having troubles. While there is still agriculture, and your work crews assist in the rebuilding of several farmsteads, barns, corrals and the like, it will be a poor harvest this year which is sure to lead to a lean and hard winter. One of your agents in the Merchant’s Circle tells you that the mines are all-important for Batral now. With a poor harvest in the horizon, Batral must look to outside sources for food or else risk starvation. The hunters are still doing okay in their hunts. While there has always been small game like rabbits, prairie dogs and foxes, there is some larger game in the hills and mountains, like mountain goats and the occasional big cat.

Mori of House Reitha and his Merchant Circle are confident that business will pick up. Other townships and communities may be wary of recent events, but as Batral commands iron, stone and coal; we have what they need. While they may be ‘testing the waters’ for now, they will come. In the meantime, your merchants continue to rework their stalls and shops to sell to the citizens of Batral and to your own workers, for their own rebuilding needs. There is also the village that lies to the southeast. They are simple farmers for the most part and in the past they sold their surplus goods to the city in return for protection. They are also skeptical of your rise to power and have received some refugees from Batral. There is also a hamlet farther south which lies on the coast. Neither directly falls under the rule of Batral, but your town clearly has a dominating influence over them. Mori suggests that their produce would be much needed for winter. Captain Yander agrees, but also points out that if you were so inclined, this would be a minor skirmish for your forces. If you wanted them under your rule, then that could be… arranged, with a minimal threat to your forces. Mori disagrees strongly with Yander’s offer and comments that Batral has gold and resources, just buy what we need and be done with it. Diplomacy might even bring about a willing merger of such small communities. After all, they need Batral too! Marching in a force to seize the villages will only add to the commoner’s distrust of the Queen. Yander notes that diplomacy is no guarantee of merger or alliance where a military campaign will do both immediately and expand the Queen’s influence all the way to the coast. In addition, we can expand the purge of ‘undesirables’ in the villages and give the soldiers some real combat experience.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:50 am

As Taljor was patiently waiting for the last scouts and merchants to come back, he decided to call another meeting. This one now involved the new Champion, Drom Longhorns. Warder had healed enough to join, but still had some bandages. He had the table set with goblets and a few skins of blood wine. The massive men took their seats and Taljor began his address. “Let me start off this evening on the right hoof.” He took his goblet, filled it, waited for the others to follow suit and raised his, “Well done Drom!”
“Now, I have read over the reports of the tasks that I had outlined to be looked at, entertained and possibly put into action. I may have been a bit over anxious, however, adjustments need to be made. Let’s break things down. Training, I will take Warders’ advice and stick to training those that are already our fighting force. But keep an eye out for those younglings that show potential. I still want group training done, but what do you think of limiting to 10 or so smaller groups? I also like the commander, captains or group leader idea. All other villagers are to be set lose to tend their trades effective immediately. As for the defense build-up, the earthen wall of sorts will have to do until we can attain the necessary resources to improve them. Let’s look at the placement of the wall or barrier in a tactical manner. Where are the weakest points? That is where we should focus the time and placement of the best options”
“Moving on to territory expansion, I do not want to make our reach to stretched or thin. So, I think it might be best to stick with what we have… for now. Let’s not show a weakness of having too much land we cannot defend.”
“Most of the merchants have returned with wonderful news of trade possibilities. I know our way of life is to raid and plunder. There will be time for that and honorable battles, but right now, we need to build our economy to support such ventures that enforce our battle prowess, not to mention that with plentiful supplies will only boost mating. And giving us the time need to train those suited for battle.”
As he finished his last words, the last of the scouts and merchants came in and handed Taljor their reports. “Thank you for not waiting until tomorrow. Please go rest. The Council will discuss your findings and I will send a message to your quarters in the morning.” The exhausted men did not wait for a second invitation to show themselves out. He read the reports… “Gentlemen, we have options to acquire the resources needed for the majority of our needs! All we need now is to figure out a way to get some of our items, namely our fruits, to a settlement that is about four days beyond Rootburrow. Should we come up with a solution for the cistern. They have also found gnomes, hobbits and dwarves willing to trade! This is splendid news.”
“I would like to meet again in half a fortnight and have possible solutions on the table. We have already made great strides, let’s keep up the good work. Let’s also start plans for the harvest. If we can, I would like to have all available hands as it looks like a bounty this year! That is all for now, good night.”
The light from the rising sun beamed into his chambers caused him to wake. Getting ready for the day and the coming meeting with the merchants, he finished his morning meal. Upon entering the council room, he was greeted by most of the merchants. “Hope you all had a good rest,” as he shook each of their hands. “I want to start out small with all the trading as I want to ensure our stocks remain full or as full as possible. So, you all will only take what we have no room to store. As most of the settlements have a high interest in our copper, the hobbits are closer. They are accomplished gardeners, see if we can offer copper for irrigation teachings and preserving our fruits for longer storage and transportation. Should that not work, use your judgment as to what will benefit us. Furs seem to be our best option for the clay that the builders need from the humans.” They looked at him and nodded. “Then I have nothing more and I will leave you to your business. Good luck.”
He left the small group and headed for the main village areas to check on the shops, farms, training grounds and the tasks being done on the defense fortifications, lending a hand to those that needed it.

Turn Objectives
Trianing-Continue the group traing, just in smaller groups of 10 plus the group Leader. Watch for those that show leadership skills and take Warders advise in to concideration of those candidates.

Trade-Getting the clay for the builders is top priority. And almost equal priority is to get knowledge on irrigation and preserving techniques

Defences-Focus defencive building on the most vulnerable areas. Watch towers to the North, West and South, hidden within the tree lines. Leave the area of the Old Woods alone.
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PostSubject: Haldrwor Skalgard, Jarl of the Frost Giants   Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:58 pm

Food and battle, and an ample supply of both on the horizon. Perhaps now his people would cease their baseless doubts and misgivings about his leadership, Haldrwor muses.

"And lo, do all of ye see?" the jarl, visibly pleased, addresses his kinfolk and subjects at the evening feast. "Both of my children have served Jotunnheim well, and their greatest service to our folk is yet to come. Let the hoary pillars of Jotunnfell Hall ring with praise to their names!"

Jarl Haldrwor raises his ice goblet, sloshing with sweet mead, to punctuate his words. He took measure of the throng's approval as he breathed deeply the aroma of the large, sliced salmon spread before him. His daughter's work would continue as planned. And soon, once his son had driven the trolls to flight, none would be left to contest his rule over the mountainous coast.

He rises from his throne, setting his goblet on the table before him as he speaks with rising boldness and gravity. "Hear me now, sons and daughters of Ymir! For too long we have permitted the trolls to glut their bellies and cobble their houses with what is rightfully ours. That time now draws to a close. From their village they send forth camps of foragers, reaching across these lands like a thief's snatching, scrabbling hands. And so, Gunmir, with our army, shall go to those who have wandered nearest us. He shall offer one chance for the trolls to prove themselves to be what cowards they truly are. And then, should they find a backbone among their lot and seek to defy us, we shall cut off the hands and watch the body starve."

Returning to his seat at the table, Haldrwor beckons his children nearer. "Gunmir. Bjalla. Your mother's vengeance against the fire giants must wait, though gravely it pains me. But I promise that vengeance shall indeed come against our earth-scorched cousins. For now, we face two more present foes: the thieving trolls, and the looming shade of our own hunger. You, Gunmir, shall crush the one, and you, Bjalla, shall crush the other. Our bear herds are to be tended and kept meaty and content, as always, and every last available mason is to be gathered and lead to Bjalla's camp; the breakwaters shall rise very soon, and they shall endure for the ages. Your baskets laden with the sea's bounty came to mighty laud and appraise; continue with your tasks and our table may bend deeply to breaking with bear pork and fishes--even in such lean times--and all shall one day know the frost giants for their esteemed fish cooking, just as we are now known for mead and battle.

"As for you, Gunmir, fifteen pairs of soldiers are yours to vanquish the trollish foraging camps. Take what they have filched from these lands, and brook no insult or dishonor from them. If you permit them to flee with their lives and nothing more, they should be tremendously thankful. And if our generosity is refused, then leave none to withstand us further.

"For now, for this evening, we return to our eating and our rest. The months ahead promise to be long; let us face them with unyielding thews and equally unyielding valor."


Build - The breakwaters are key to Jotunnheim's survival and prosperity, so the frost giants must focus on that construction project alone. Send every available mason to Bjalla, and maintain the guard of 5 spearmen and 5 shield maidens. The breakwaters should be as sturdy and unbreakable as possible, and should be completed in a minimum of time.

Harvest - Send five laborers from Jotunnheim to Bjalla's camp every two days, and call them back to Jotunnheim a day later. They are to bring any fishes and other seafood which Bjalla and her contingent have caught back to Jotunnheim (but not all of it, of course; Bjalla and her giants need to eat too) and to aid in the fishing and netting itself, if feasible.

Train - 5 spearmen and 5 shield maidens are to remain in Jotunnheim to guard the settlement, rotating them in and out of their guard posts. Any of these soldiers on duty yet not assigned to any guard post are to continue with their sparring and training, breaking only for their rest, feasting and time off-duty; morale must be maintained, after all.

Diplomacy - Rally the remaining 15 spearmen and 15 shield maidens, and gather all 30 war bears, one for each giant. Gunmir is to command this force and march onto the nearest of the troll camps in standard dual phalanx battle formation. Upon arriving at the edge of the camp, the camp's leader is to be called out and given an ultimatum, with the demand for an immediate answer: if all trolls in the camp immediately drop everything they're doing and flee the camp (surrendering it to the frost giants), then they shall be spared. And if they refuse, then their camp and every other troll camp in the vicinity of the coastline will be overrun--and every troll struck down--without mercy. If they refuse to vacate immediately, or try to stall in any way...

Fight - ...then drive them into the sea.

The war bears are to be released and set upon the trolls at the first moment of attack. As they charge forth to bring down the trolls and sow discord in the village, the spearmen and shield maidens are to tighten up in dual phalanx formation: shield maidens in the front and spearmen behind them. Hurl javelins at any trolls in range--focusing on those who resist, first and foremost--and when all javelins are spent (the interim of which may be prolonged if the trolls start hurling the javelins back; the spearmen are to take cover behind the shield maidens and their large/tower shields if this happens, then recover the javelins and throw them again...), ready the spearmen's boar spears and the shield maiden's sidearms and march through the camp, cutting down any troll who stands in their way. Gunmir and his soldiers should keep the war bears on the attack until every last troll is either dead or fled.

Whether the trolls surrender or fight (and, if all goes well, fall in defeat), their camp is to be immediately sacked afterwards, and the food and other spoils divided among Gunmir and his surviving soldiers.

Either way, Gunmir shall have his ferocious assault shortly after; if the first camp surrenders, then there is a good chance that those trolls will immediately run to warn the other camps; these camps must be denied time to prepare for the giants' coming attack, and the prescription for that potential development is blitzkrieg. And if the first camp resists, then the frost giants must keep their chieftain's word and descend on every other camp in its turn, overrunning each camp and striking down every troll as proxy penance for the first camp's defiance. Again, every camp is to be sacked as it falls before the might of the frost giant army. And if a thorough enough job is done of it, the trolls will not be returning to the coast anytime soon.

As for the giants guarding Jotunnheim, any trolls sighted anywhere near Jotunnheim are to be attacked on sight...no challenging or other formalities; just sound the alarm and let the javelins fly. There's a conceivable chance that the trolls may try scouting the frost giants, just as the giants scouted them. The trolls are not to succeed with this mission. And any trolls who get close enough to actually see anything must not return to their settlement alive.
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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:25 pm

Alleia was attending yet another council meeting and was as bored as she always was. Only a few details kept her interested, but if her father had taught her one thing, it was to pay attention to all details of your country, no matter how boring it was.

And so she sat, with a regally resigned look on her face and listened as her Merchant Captain and her Military Captain sparred with words, waving gestures and increasingly raised voices.

Placing a hand up befor her, she waited as they both slowly realised she wished to speak. They fell silent but a stab of irritation jabbed behind her eyes as she measured just how long it had taken them to. Then she spread a slow, measured smile over her features, her eyes glittering at Yander. He seemed to blush - but he was wearing his full armor in her prescence - he could have just been flushed.

"Yander - you present a good arguement - but be careful in future when you suggest what might and might be guaranteed through your actions. We don't want you to turn into a liar, now, do we?" She let him stew on that for a little while longer, then she turned to Mori, "You have proven yourself rather useful this path month. You are to send emmisaries to the village and hamlet - offer our protection and inclusion into our glorious kingdom in exchange for supplies - we will of course reward them handsomely. Draw up appropriate funds for distribution - make their leaders sign an agreement to see me as their rightful queen."

Then she turned to Yander, "You will go with Mori. Offer the able men there training - set up a garrison/training camp - take the new recruits with you. Keep the more seasoned veterans here to protect the capital. Also - use their own men to protect their lands in my name."

Then she stared them both in the eye, "I want an agreement. If they refuse, leave with all of our coin. Intercept other offers for their supplies and 'dissuade' them from trading. We will starve them of profit and then offer them our own coin. Mori - establish yearly trades with our Merchant's Circle and their own - i'm sure we have things they will need year in year out."

Settling back in her chair, she sighed, "Leave ten men to guard me personally. I will begin parading once a week in the Commons and other Circles. Our treasurer will measure out some of our coin - we will establish some orphanages - I will be their patron. This should build some good will back. I will, after all, not kill children."

She grinned then, a wicked grin that turned slightly lopsided as she realised no-one else was laughing. Sighing she stared at her Councilmen, "Yander," she murmured, "You will join me before you depart."

He bowed, there was never a thought of not taking her up on her offer.

Then she turned to Reller, "Your theories interest me. There are more criminal since my Ascension - and we are hard pressed to fit them all in the gaols. For now, a labour force would be most appreciated - we can use the current prison guards to train and guard this new workforce. Perhaps we can offer this as a sort of 'rehabilitation'. Careful though which prisoners you select. Pick those of able body, able mind and those that did not grieve Batral overly much. Those with a death sentence will not get that sentence revoked."

She nodded to herself, "Yes they will help us rebuild our glorious capital. We will work on soldiering later."

Then she stood, she had heard enough for the day - and she needed to prepare for Yander's private visit. Waving a dismissal, she left the Council Chambers with a gaggle of ladies following her billowing skirts.

Actions this turn:
Train: those willing to train as well as those recruited last turn. Also training of those selected by Reller for a general Workforce. This will include crude abilities with stone working, metal working, wood crafting - anything that allows them to help with the rebuilding of the city.
Diplomacy: Explained above as Yander and Mori's responsibilities. Also, the queen will parade (well guarded) and blessing the orphanages being built in the Commons - as well as giving good will to those other Circles.
Build: If the Agreements are signed, a training ground will need to be built near the hamlet.
Also, building a total of three orphanages in Batral. Simple lodgings with private rooms for both carers and around 20 children.
Harvest: Begin gathering the ripe harvests for the winter - 40 per cent of all harvests is currently the tax. Also taxing those with coin (the nobility that helped/hindered her installment.) 40 per cent of all profits in business ventures or entitlements to go to her coffers. Also the Merchant's Circle is to be taxed 30 per cent of all private business's monthly profits.

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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:59 am

Taljor of the Minotaurs

The camp is a flurry of activity for the next month or so with every Tauren working hard on their respective tasks. The first thing to come to fruition is the earthwork barriers which soon ring the settlement. While they are nowhere near a fortress, the earthworks consist of a wide ditch, usually filled with sharpened stakes, a six foot dirt and rock ring behind the ditch and then a wooden palisade. A ten foot tower marks each corner and a wooden bridge spans the entrance into your settlement which can be pulled back with ropes to secure the entryway. The only weak point in the earthworks would be where your settlement buttresses up against the edge of Old Woods. The wooden palisade separates the two locations, but the edge of the Woods is too rocky and too high to allow a ditch and dirt wall to be built. Still, an enemy must brave the Woods and come out again on your side before any attack could be attempted. In addition, the observation towers are constructed as requested and offer some extra security.

Your council meets to discuss the fortifications and the land around you. Many think it is wise not to move too far out, even though there is honor in expanding the domain. Some of the older warriors also note that you have no real way to defend the coastline effectively. It is simply too far and there are too few Taurens to guard everywhere. Most agree that the clan is vulnerable to the sea. Large ships with deep keels could not reach the shore, they would run aground long before being able to dock or offload, but smaller, flat-bottomed boats might be able to land just about anywhere. Fortunately, there is no evidence that there are any seaborne threats to your territory; at least for now. It must also be noted that while your settlement and homes are all enclosed, the training field, the farmlands, the copper mine and the smelting foundry are all outside of the wall. It would be too great a task to try to encircle all of these things with earthworks. Training is also doing better; Warder has created a system of which 10 Taurens come to the training grounds, once a week for one hour and this rotates through the entire tribe. Each minotaur is practicing the basics and understanding roles in combat. While this is a very slow process, it offers an organized system of training while not disrupting the day-to-day work within your tribe. It is also practically all that Warder can manage. While it is only ten at a time, this training occupies nearly all of his time. It is clear that he needs helpers and more trainers made available. Working with the army is also slow going. While your minotaurs still show great battle prowess, getting them to change mindsets about battle which has endured for generations is hard. There is some organization beginning to show and Warder has selected four other Tauren warriors who show promise in leading; Thyr, Manal, Belat and Zash. Warder has asked that each of them be given polished copper horn caps to denote their new positions within the army.

Trade and diplomacy also show good results as well. Rootburrow being closest settlement, offers both the easiest and most frequent partner for trade. Interesting enough, they also offer you a solution for storing and preserving your fruits. They offer to show some of your women and farmers how to make jams and jellies as well as how to pickle vegetables. In return, they ask for half the jams made and a number of copper pots, pans, bowls and the like. While not unreasonable, this order would keep your metalworkers busy for another month at least as well as take half the product from your fruit harvest. Later in the month, you meet with Pelor Stumpp, the Sherriff of Rootburrow and discuss the possibility of trading for the knowledge of irrigation and improved farming. Pelor mentions that he would be willing to talk over the offer with the other elders of the town, but even if they did agree, such things would be better done in early spring, not fall. Besides, they would be too busy as they are planning their own fall harvests and festivals soon. Pelor is also interested and impressed with your earthwork fortifications…and maybe even a little scared. He is curious why you would want such fortifications; Rootburrow is certainly no threat to your people. Your merchants also make contact with the human hamlet and trade several furs and the remaining jams to the humans for their precious red clay. The only problem with this trade is that the merchants must make several back and forth trips, each time returning with a great pack of clay in order to get enough for the cistern. On the upside, this travel reveals an unexpected result. When they return from one trip, they offer you a large bag of walnuts, almonds and acorns. It seems that at one point your travelers ran across several others at one of the freestanding groves at the east end of the hills. Apparently, several of the trees in these groves will yield these nuts and are free for all. They were only able to gather this small amount as there were hobbits, gnomes, humans and elves all gathering there, but it is a useful tidbit to know.

In the settlement, things turn towards the Fall Equinox and the harvest festivals. Thyr reminds you that it is customary to anoint the new Champion during the equinox and the sooner Drom is recognized, the better the standing for the Clan would be. A Clan with no Champion is seen as a weakness. Likewise, plans for the fall harvests and rationing for winter must be made. As the month draws near, a young minotaur comes running in from the Westernmost watch tower, overlooking the sea. “A ship! A ship!” He cries. “There is a ship coming to land on our shores! To arms!”

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:32 pm

Almost every Tauren heard the young bull, stopping what they were doing and all eyes fixed on their leader. Many of the warriors were already hustling to get their arms and the group in the training grounds took up a position, in the new formation, facing the unknown threat. Looking at Thyr, “Summon Warder, Drom, Manal, Belat and Zash. Have them meet me at the armory.” Without waiting to see any actions from Thyr, Taljor was off to his quarters. Quickly putting on his leather armor, pieces that would resemble plate mail, grabbing his axe and spears. Then he searched for his Ornament of Champion. It was a copper necklace of sorts in the shape of a Taurens head and the horns made the trip around the neck. Once this was completed, he made a bee-line to the armory.

All those that Taljor had requested were there and ready with gear. “First things first, Drom, step forward”, he said as he pulled the necklace to view. The new Champion knew what this was about, stepped forward, looked Taljor in the eye and took a knee. “This is very unceremonial and you will have a proper one at the Fall Equinox. Please honor me in accepting this until such time.” Placing the necklace on his Champion, he finished the impromptu ceremony. “Rise Drom and let all those that look upon you know you are our Champion.” As he stood, he could see that everyone appeared to have a different stance and the pride in their eyes had a new glow.

Looking over his fellow warriors, his gaze fell upon Thyr, Manal, Belat and Zash. “You four have been recommended to lead your squads, round them up and form up outside the West wall.” They all sprinted off on their task without another word. Taljor began to move towards the West wall himself, saw a small group of scouts and said in a clear voice, “I want you two with me. One scout with each group and one more scout between us and the village. The rest of the warriors are to remain here should these beings make it past us.”

They reached the West wall of the earth mound, the four groups of 10 plus a scout were ready. “Scouts move out and report to your squad leaders.” Without a beat, they were off. Taljor looked over his shoulder and found another scout behind him, Drom and Warder. He waited until the scouts had gotten about 100 yards then gave the order, “Move out!” He did not need to have any other orders, his warriors knew what needs to be done. As they moved, he motioned for his scout, Azer, to move up in front of them. “25 yards Azer.” The young bull moved out as ordered and kept his interval. As they moved, Taljor noticed how the four groups began to spread out from each other and gave each group about 20 yards and stayed just a few steps behind the lead three of Taljor, Drom and Warder.

The plains towards the sea were flat for the most part, but the area did have a few, old and dried up, shallow coolies from small creeks and rivers. The trek was uneventful as the resident animals could feel the thudding hooves coming and either cleared out or went below ground.

Turn 3 Actions
CombatThis group needs to move at a pace that would not allow the “visitor’s” the chance to gain surprise. The meeting party being equipped with 3-4 spears, along with battle axes and a shield. For most other races these would be equivalent to tower shields. Spears in hand first should they need to use for distance attack. Taljor’s shield is strapped to his back and in a manner that would allow for quick use. Plan here is to 180 degree enclosure of the ship and to limit the amount of mobility room. The other warriors and villagers make ready for defense of the village.

Diplomacy - Taljor, Warder and Drom approach the visitors (half way) to see what their business is or discover their true intentions. All other actions such as harvesting, trade, scouting, training, etc. to stop until the possible threat is addressed.
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PostSubject: Frost Giants   Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:48 am

And so began a new month of plans and hopes and searches for glory and prosperity; Many of your citizens are organized and sent down to the coastline to work under the keen eye of Bjalla at her direction. It is not long before the breakwater and fishing camp come to fruition. While it still takes several weeks and long hours, by the end of the month, the work has been completed save for some minor details and a new settlement has come into being. While Bjalla is the undisputed leader of this settlement, she has taken favor with another young male named Kellor. Kellor, while not a warrior, shows an aptitude for building and soon becomes key in the construction of both the breakwater and the organization of crafting and design of much of the settlement. With Kellor’s guidance in construction and Bjalla’s leadership with the citizens, when the warriors rotate back to your Hall, they often bring back sacks of smoked, pickled or fresh fish.
In the meantime, your son and the remaining warriors form up and march out to the ice plains to confront the trolls. After the first day’s march, your forces come into sight of the first foraging camp. The trolls are seen madly scampering About in a desperate race to pack up and flee, but there is just not enough time. Warning horns are heard from the camp but there is no time for any would-be rescuers to arrive. Gunmir steps forward, flanked by shield madens and polar bears to demand the surrender of the camp and withdraw of the hunters. An older troll male comes forward to speak with Gunmir, claiming that they too have need of the land; to forage and to gather supplies to defend themselves from greater threats. Gunmir, not willing to concede a single moment nor wanting to hear any excuses, simply runs the old troll through with his spear and orders the attack. What follows is no battle, but little more than a massacre. The camp immediately falls into panic as your polar bears are unleashed and let loose. Trolls are rent limb from limb by the powerful claws and teeth of bears and what few are not slain outright, are ended by your warriors. In less than an hour, twenty-three trolls lie dead, some being female or young trolls while your forces suffer not a single injury. The camp is quickly sacked as Gunmir urges your forces onward to find the remaining camps. Two hours later, a second camp, likewise trying to gather up and flee is discovered and another skirmish ensues, this time Gunmir simply turns his forces loose and again nineteen trolls are slain. Repeating the process, Gunmir again presses onward but this time, they encounter a group of troll warriors rushing forward intercept your army and to do battle. Fifteen troll males wearing cured walrus hide leathers form a quick line and meet your charging bears with lowered spears of their own. A frenzious skirmish breaks out as the trolls fight with spears and pick axes made from walrus tusks. In the end, there are just too few to really make the difference and by the time your giants close to do battle, several trolls are dead and the remaining few are overwhelmed and cut down shortly after. All fifteen troll warriors are killed, but this time, two of your bears also lie dead with another two seriously injured. A half dozen other minor wounds are here and there, but none are of note. Still these trolls did accomplish one thing; their sacrifice allowed the final foraging camp to escape far enough that to pursue would lead you too close to other potential troll war parties. While infuriated, Gunmir elects to return home with their spoils.
And spoils they have indeed! While trolls stand between seven and eight feet tall, many of the tools and weapons the trolls have are still small by your standards. The greatest bulk of that was seized was meat, primarily walrus and seal meat, but the trolls were rending and saving barrels of fat and blubber as well. There are many raw carcasses and chopped remains that are in need of cooking, freezing or preserving but there are also many sacks, crates and barrels as well as several sleds that the trolls were using to transport the heavier loads. Many tools, weapons, hides, furs, skins, tusks and foraging supplies are seized but again, their small size makes much of it unusable. Some of the nets, hides, tents and furs might be unstitched and then added with others to make due for your people and several of the metal bits can be recrafted by your own smiths. A number of your craftsmen are confident that the booty will not go to waste. Several copper and gold coins are given over to you as a tithe by your warriors along with two score ivory trinkets and another dozen marble sized, cats-eye stones. Several more trinkets and coins were seized but many have been claimed by your warriors or by Gunmir. The trolls have suffered a clear defeat. Even though one camp escaped, the blood of nearly 40 trolls stains the frozen plainsland. Aside from a few bears, your forces were unscathed in the battle. Gunmir wishes to avenge the fact that is was not a ‘complete’ victory and asks to march on the troll town and sack it. He also expresses the plan to raise a score of new war bears, as they have proven themselves well in battle. Many warriors, flushed with their easy bloodletting are in favor of pushing onto the troll encampment, but a few older and more seasoned warriors quietly note that the encampment, with its walls and stocked with troll warriors, would be a much more challenging obstacle than a couple of hunting camps caught out in the open.
All in all, it has been a very promising month for your clan. Bjalla’s settlement and breakwater is complete and the trolls have been routed from the ice fields. Surely now, great Yimir is pleased with your progress for another strong and fortuitous discovery is made by the laborers working for your daughter. While cutting and shaping stones, the workers uncovered a new mineral vein in the rocky shores. After a few initial tests, your daughter sends a runner directly to your throne.” Praise be to the ancestors, for silver has been discovered by the sea! “

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Alliea, Quen of Batral   Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:35 am

With the audience at an end, Captain Yander, Sgt Reller and Mori Reitha all turn to depart but not before Mori fires a smirk of satisfaction towards Capt Yander. The captain however, only scowls back and marches away to make preparations to follow out your instructions. The next day, he knocks at your chamber doors.
“Permission to speak Your Majesty; we will be departing to the villages at first light, you wished to see me before I left, yes?”

Yander, Mori and 30 soldiers departed the next day. After a mere 4 and a half hours, they come to the outlying fields around the village and once the soldiers are spotted heading towards the village, there is a good deal of chaos as several refugees, having fled from Batral during your ascension, panic at the sight of your banner. It takes several hours to convince the village elders that you mean them no harm and then offer your terms and plans for the inclusion of the village. Mori speaks with many of the townsfolk, discussing possible trades and bartering prices while Capt Yander speaks with some of the young men about the possibility of enlistment in order to help protect their homes. Night comes and again at first light, the group heads out again, this time moving into the fishing hamlet by the sea. A similar scene begins and discussions commence. While the local farmers and elders are willing to listen, the offers are met with skepticism and suspicion. Many wonder what such a union with the crown would entail both for and against. Mori makes a list of possible trade goods both to buy and to sell while Yander does his best to encourage the young to support your crown. In the end, it takes almost two weeks to get both settlements to consider uniting under your banner. In doing so, Mori has promised them fair prices and representation in your merchant sector and also waved their taxation for 1 year in order to sway the elders. At the present time, there are none who accept the offer to join your army, much to Yander’s irritation and Mori’s satisfaction. There is however, one point that the locals are at an impasse over; there are four elvish families in the two settlements and over a dozen families that fled Batral trying to carve out new lives for themselves. The elders do not wish to see these families uprooted if possible, and the elves have been good, quiet and contributing townsfolk for as long as any can remember.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Reller takes some 35 low leveled criminals under escort, out through the town and sets them to work in the countryside improving the road from Batral towards the mining camps in the mountains. It is hard, rough, hot and back-breaking work but the road leading from the mines to the iron smelters is soon transformed from a rough mule path to an even and relatively smooth road suitable for wagons. Sgt Reller informs you that he plans similar roadworks from the smelters to Batral and also from the quarry and coal mines. If all goes well, roads can be expanded throughout the countryside. Best of all, there is almost no cost to your treasury as these men are all convicted criminals; therefore this is justice for their crimes against your crown and not some business venture to be bankrolled by your taxpayers. Inside the city walls, your orphanages are made ready. One is actually built but the other two are converted from an old warehouse and a former inn. All three are suitable to your requests and by using the older buildings, time and gold is saved. In front of each of them, a marble statue of your likeness stands proudly; ready to be blessed as the matron savior of orphans. Towards the end of the month, you and some of your court, (escorted by your ten, hand-picked soldiers) make a showing at each of the orphanages, making a brief speech and offering gold to the caretakers for the upkeep of the children. The crowds have a mixed reaction; many cheer and the overall sentiment is well-received. It is good that these children are off the streets and at least have a place to go and someone to look after them. Still there are some who stand mutely or do not seem particularly energetic about your showing.

Some of this lack of enthusiasm may have to do with your current decree regarding taxes. While taxes are never particularly well-received, many are shocked with the 40% tax levy. Several of the upper caste and nobility, especially those who supported you, are unhappy with the high demand. The commoners, especially many of the farmers and ranchers, are hit doubly hard. The majority of these people are not land owners themselves, instead working and living as serfs under the aristocracy. The nobility is also due a portion of profits for rents, mortgages and fees, and then to be hit with your tax on what is already sure to be a lean harvest, practically ensures a very hard winter for these people. On the upside, by taking 40% of the harvests, you will control a great amount of the foodstuffs that can be then rationed out to your army, or to whomever else you wish. It does leaver you a great deal of control over the people. Your tax collectors quickly become the point of contention and are soon asking for guards to escort them, especially to many of the outer farms and locations where trouble is more common.

Many of your merchants are also gape at the 30% levy placed against them. Ao Kerdersen of House Kendersen, another of your merchant families, comments that your will be done, but many within the circle must also pay to repair damages and labor costs that may have occurred during your rise to power. Heavy taxation will fill your treasure, but will restrict business growth and incentive. Despite many protests from merchant, noble and commoner alike; by the end of the month, your treasury and storehouses begin to fill with goods and coin.

Deedra Griffontail, of House Griffontail; is yet another leader among your circle. Her greatest role however, is acting as your Minister of Trade. She asks for an audience one afternoon and during her visit, she informs you that there is a visiting trade entourage from the Plains Khanate, Lord Bledda, 15 servants and eight armed escorts have arrived in the city today. The Khanate is a group of several nomadic tribes and clans that control and claim a wide expanse of the open plains land to the North. He is primarily interested in trading for Batral’s iron and coal on behalf of his Lord and regent, IlKhan Kendo Flamerunner the SwiftRider. He has requested an audience with you, but his servants have already started soliciting offers for trade and purchase. One issue that may be of concern is that the Khanate and its Clans also trade with other regional powers, to include Castilian. While your official position is to shun any who trade or support Castilian, Bledda is offering to trade leather, corn, tea, wool and grains such as wheat, oats and barley. Most importantly, Bledda can negotiate the sale or trade for horses of which the Khanate is rumored to have some of the fastest and most sturdy horses around. Indeed the warriors of the Khanate are all reputed to be great equestrians. Deedra mentions that Lord Bledda, while possibly appearing to be a barbarian by Batral’s standards, is the mouthpiece for another kingdom. He is also the first major emissary to visit Batral since your coming to power and others are sure to take note of what happens in this first encounter, both within and without your territory.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."


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PostSubject: Taljor of the Minotaurs   Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:41 am

**Special Event**


The thunder of hooves is heard…and felt, for miles around. More than that are the snarls and bellowing of warcries as your warriors rush forward with the prospect of battle. Your squad leaders take their positions, leading their prospective troops onto the field, but as the march becomes rush and then a charge, formations begin to break apart as warriors race to be the first to battle and glory. Clearly, there is improvement among your organization, but there is more to do, especially in tempering your people’s natural bloodlust.

Perhaps it is best in the end, for as your warriors reach the shoreline, there are no ranks of troops waiting for them, nor any encampment or roving marauders on the beaches. The land is empty of any hostiles, but not the sea….

Indeed, your lookout was correct; a ship has appeared, but it is only but a single ship. A wide-hulled and single-mast ship seems to have run aground just off the coast of your island. The rigging and sales are tattered and there seems to be no one moving about, but the ship seems sound.

At least from the beach.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:14 am

Taljor grumbles aloud and his disgust with his clans lack of focus. Now a seemingly tatered but otherwise normal ship that is not only raising curiosity and the hair on the back of his neck.

After some thought, he finally came to a conclusion. "Bust it open, at the bow, so we all can see." Waving to a couple groups of 10 to carry out his order, "Everyone else, on alert."

The group of 20 minotaurs causiously approach the ships hull and raise thier axes to start tearing the ship appart, Taljor makes them stop. "Halt!" Came the booming order. "On second thought, let's not destroy it yet. I will take 10 with me and we will board it."

Taking a separate group, Taljor leads them up onto the deck to investigate.

Actions toward this event are as any other unknown. Do not toss caution to the wind.
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PostSubject: Taljor of the Minotaurs   Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:04 am

**Special Event (cont)**

With several score of minotaur warriors looking on, Taljor and his ten selected troop carefully board the ship, a difficult, but not impossible task. Fortunatly, the ship seems intact although ground on the reef and somewhat worse for wear. The sails and rigging are in tatters and the hull shows several signs of wear and cracks, but no punctures. It entire ship rests at a 15 degree angle having been grounded out some 30 feet from the shore.

Once aboard, the ship is searched. Below decks your warriors discover nine human males; four are dead, two wounded and the remaining three are battered but not seriously injured. All the survivors are extremely weak, sick and barely aware of what is happening if even coherent.

Then there is the cargo hold...

Much of the hold is a mess and partly flooded. The dominant object seems to be a ten foot statue of white marble, depicting a bejeweled and armored woman, but more than that you cannot say. The statue seems to have broken free from its tethers and wreaked havoc on the remaining cargo. Several crates are identified as spices and flour, but the water has ruined it. The statue too, is severly damaged. Several crates and barrels contain earthenware jars, plates and utensils but while several have been broken, some 30 sets can be salvaged as well as several one-gallon jugs, Three barrels of iron nails have also been rescued and brought to shore. The greatest rescue however, are several bundles of cotton and wool cloth. Most are off-white in color and look to be newly spun, without dye or even cut into patterns. All are soaked and in need of washing, but clearly salvagable. A locked chest is broken open to reveal 54 pieces of uncut and unpolished jade. Everything else in the hold is little more than kindling or scrap now.

From the captain's quarters comes a sextant, two bottles of brandy and strongbox containing 350 gold and 422 silver coins.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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Taljor
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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:59 am

"All right boys, take the brandy, gold, silver, jade, the barrels and crates and also include the statue. Take the living humans ashore."

Motioning for Drom and Warder. "This might not set well with the clan. So, I want this to be as descreat as possable. The humans will be brought to our healers, blind folded if need be. Once healed and ready for travel, they will be take most of the way to the nearest port. Again, blind folded. We will use the cotton and wool as we wish. We will take a portion of the gold, silver and jade as payment for our services, food and clothing. Give out the wears and jugs to those families that are in need or they can be in our reserves. Give the nails to our builders so they can secure our structures a bit better. All the rest of thier items will be stored and the statue will not be touched. It may be holy to them."

The other two faces held a shocked look. With a slight glare, "No, I am not getting soft. What meat will we get off of these humans? Wounded and weak. So weak they can barely stand unassisted. This to me seems the best course."

Unspoken words flow in his head, "Do we dismantle it and use the wood as needed or do we fix it and learn to sail and then also start thinking of having our own port. Do we invite trade or do we use this ship for our own means? A port this close could be huge, not just for us, but we may be able to work other deals with the other races. There is going to be good and bad sides to this debate."

"Drom, you are to stay here with two elements of soldiers and secure this ship so that it will not suffer further damage and keep a couple scouts for 'runners'."
Facing Warder, "I want you to come back with me, I need to speak with the Elders about the best course to take with this ship and we need to decide on this before sun down."

Waving for his scout, "Go back to the village and round up all the supplies the troops will need... food, water, shelters. Anyone gives you problems, tell them they can take it up with me... after the task has been completed. Also, notify the Elders to assemble in the Great Hall, this is of great importance and will not wait." The scout nodded and was off to complete his orders.

"Come old friend, this ship provides many options."
The two minotaurs headed back to the village and started discussing the pros and cons of this "gift" and his unspoken words became spoken.

Actions this turn will be what is in text. Special attention to making sure the humans are segragated from the clan. Also, once they start responding to the healing and food for rcovery, questions must be asked. Where, why, what, when and how. I also want to know the importance of the statue. Might have to get with the Halflings and Gnomes historians on the statue as well.

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Wraith
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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:28 pm

Alliea pursed her lips and frowned at her reflection. "Am I doing the right thing? Am i possibly doing the best for my kingdom?" She sighed and turned her body slightly to better watch as Bess tied the laces tighter. Sucking in her breath, she nodded with approval. "I should ask myself that everyday... I really should." She watched as the concentrating reflection of Bess nodded in distracted agreeal. Sucking air between her teeth, training herself up for the rest of the day in this horribly stifling, yet flattering ensemble, she nodded again to the mirror. "Yes."

Not once did she bother to answer herself.

***********


Waiting on the dias, her hand outstretched for the lips of the emissary, Alliea stifled a sigh. If only he had been handsome. Instead, what she saw was a toad faced man with a giant wart on his nose. His hair was slicked back, presumably for better wind resistance - with something that closely resembled horse mucus. Yes, his body was built like a warrior's... but clearly he had been a warrior a very long time ago.

Barely stopping herself from wrinkling her nose as he came near (he smelled of sweat and horse manure) she forced a smile on her lips and gave him a regal nod of her head.

As he began to outline his proposal to her, Alliea could not help but drift off. Absently she began to stroke her belly and think of a time that she did not have to think of anything but herself.

"Your Majesty, does this suit you?"

The queen blinked and stared at Lord Bledda for a moment. "It sounds decent enough, but I am concerned. You see, I cannot in good conscience go back on my own decree. We cannot, and will not trade with anyone that trades with Castillian."

She steepled her fingers together, "What is it, precisely that you trade with them?" she smiled and spread her fingers out wider in a gesture that encompassed everything, "Surely we can provide superior product - at fairer price. And why should you have to trade with several kingdoms when all you need is here, at your fingertips?"

Her smile spread further, "And your own stock! It is truly wonderous. I can see a great benefit to our future together," she held her breath and descended the few steps down to him and took his hand, her most benevolent smile on her lips, "Why don't you take some time to explore our city. We are not much now, but I can assure you that under my strong rule - we will soon surpass even our greatest time in history. Think of my offer - speak to my trusted aid, Deedra, and I am sure we can work something out."

As she talked she swiftly maneuvred him towards the woman of whom she spoke. Deedra knew what Alliea wanted - and Alliea knew that Deedra would fight for what Alliea wanted... her House's standing depended on it. After all - House Griffontail had been one of the last Houses to come over to support her.

She also asked him to join her for dinner that night and every night that he was still in the city.


Actions for this turn:

Diplomacy:
Continue with the recruiting and trade proposals with the outer country. Continue with talks with Lord Bledda. Accept proposals if they agree with Decrees. Allow them to leave with promises of further talks if a compromise cannot be made.

Development:
Widen the workforce and development plans for repairs of the city by bringing in other criminals. Extend plans for roads into major areas, as well as development of streets and buildings.

Trade:
Leave the offer to trade with the coastal village - however until the elven families leave, or those associated with them, the offer is just that. An offer only. Mori, however, may see fit to give them an incentive to leave - in order to trade with the rich village.

_________________
I clawed my way back from the depths of Hell
just to piss you off
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Taljor of the Minotaurs   Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:17 am

**End Special Event**

Warder chuckles with his deep and gravelly voice. “Quiet?” he asks. “Half of the Clan has run to the beach and we return with humans slung over our shoulders and prizes in our hands, but you hope to NOT let news of the humans spread through the tribe?” Another chuckle escapes him but he and Drom will do their best.
The loot from the ship is loaded on to backs and arms of your waiting warriors. The statue also is removed and brought to the beach. Both arms and the head have been broken off as well as other chips and cracks being visible. Despite that, the marble is of fine quality and pristine white in color. On the bad side, even headless, the statue is ten feet long and takes six minotaurs and an improvised litter to carry back. The humans too, are brought to shore and litters improvised to carry them. All nine are searched with weapons and valuables confiscated. Between them all, you claim six human sized cutlasses, three short swords, two hand axes, three daggers, a long skinning knife and a weighted club. Valuables include 3 gold, 23 silver and 35 copper coins, a silver whistle, two brass rings, a silver hoop earring, a plain white pearl and a simple gold chain necklace.
With much of the day gone a long walk back to your town, you and your warriors camp for the night before heading out again at dawn. Even then, without the need for a run or forced march, it takes the group several hours to return. Many of the tribe runs out to meet the returning warriors, anxious and exhilarated at the thought of stories from the warriors in their first battle in many years, only to be somewhat disappointed that there was no battle. Still, spoils from the ‘campaign’ are presented and shown while the human survivors are slipped into the town while the tribe sups at dinner. The dead are burned on the beach after your troops set out for home.

Things return to normal among the tribe over the next few weeks. The captured goods are well received by your people who rarely have the opportunity to have things like spun cloth or jade. As word of the ship spreads, the Hobbits are curious as to what happened and are very interested in purchasing the earth ware jugs, cutlery and some of the cloth. The Gnomes, being much farther out, finally learn about your encounter and seem very excited and are willing to be very generous with the idea of purchasing as much of the cloth as you might be willing to part with. Some inquiries with Pelor Stumpp from Rootburrow reveal the reason for the Gnome’s interest. It would seem that these gnomes are descendants from outcasts. While gnomes are somewhat renowned for their mechanical minds, dabbling in all sorts of engineering and metallurgical crafting, this ancient family was not. Instead, these gnomes are specialized tailors and cobblers. While an honorable profession, their ancestral home could not see the fame or recognition in an entire family devoting themselves to such a ‘low born’ caste. So the family packed up and left, eventually settling to the hills in which they live today. Your find presents a rare and wondrous possibility for them and as such, they are very willing to pay for it…so long as you too can be reasonable.

Your Council meets a few nights after your return home to discuss the possibilities of this new ship. It is agreed that the ship, if harnessed, would give the tribe a before unknown possibility by looking to the sea, but the discussion is how to harness and use it. The ship could not be left on the reef, for it would eventually be smashed open and sink. Several bulls were sent out and after a tremendous effort; the ship was hauled off the reef and beached. No one can attest to the condition of the ship however, except that it currently still seems sound. Also, a rotating patrol of five Taurens must be sent out every few days to ensure that the ship remains where it was beached. Building a dock would be a huge undertaking and would also probably require a settlement of some sort to manage and maintain any such seaport, but the possibilities are…interesting. The only other known dock is owned and controlled by the dwarves who are able to set any type of price or timetable they want.

After over a week, the humans are in a position to finally speak. Their first concern is the fact that they have been taken ‘captive’ by minotaurs and wonder if they are only being healed in order to be slaughtered for sport. They are very cautious in speaking with you, but you finally learn the basics of what happened to them. Apparently, they were attacked on the high seas by pirates and their captain made a desperate attempt to escape by sailing into a storm. They were able to shake the pirates, but not before they were able to board their ship. A battle ensued all the while their ship was being wrecked and carried away by the storm. The last survivors took shelter below decks and were fully expecting to awaken in the next world. Not surprisingly, they did not expect minotaurs to be a part of that ‘next world’. All five are sailors by profession although one is a mariner and another a boson by trade.

One evening, while you are out thinking about these new events, you see Heaven walking alone by the orchards. With a subtle gesture, she motions for you to follow. The two of you walk for a brief time until she finally asks; “Do you believe in fate, my Chief? In Destiny? I had a dream…it was very strange and difficult to understand really, but I do know this; I believe we have been chosen to lead and that you will lead us. To what end, I do not know.”

“I know you have told my Father, the Council and the other warriors that your kindness and civility is a lie and that glorious war and bloodshed comes on the horizon. I do not know if your actions to our neighbors are the deception or your words to the Council, but I DO know that war and bloodshed are coming and that we as a people stand at a crossroads. A decision that you alone must make and whatever your choice, we must follow.”

Heaven turned and looked long and deep into Taljor’s eyes. “The answer to this question lies in the heart of the Old Woods. Your decision will shape our destiny; do we wade through a river of blood and show the way for others to follow, or shall we stop at the river and drink deeply from its torrents.”

Heaven turned and wandered away into the night after that.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Fenrisulfr of the Wolves   Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:43 am

**And a new chess piece is moved onto the board; Good luck Jagged**


Four generations of freedom have been enjoyed by your Wolf-kin, four generations since old Vennir, praise to his name, led your people into the wilderness and guided them in prosperity. Four generations since your people escaped the horror and perpetual destruction that was only known as the WizWars; a battle for supremacy among three rival arch wizards, who in order to fuel their battles against one another; enslaved, plundered and consumed everything around them. Four generations of growth, prosperity and achievement have been recognized and now it has come to you, you have been chosen from among the worthy leaders of your people to lead the fifth generation, the fifth Chieftain to hold the legendary Chains and to the leaders, the old chieftain and your fellow wolves, you swore to lead your people forward.

That was three years ago. The old chief died that following winter and while the Wolves keened the loss of one of their great ones, the tribe carried on under your guidance. All has been well, your people care for their herds and dogs, watch over their children and tend their fields as they always have, but your priests tell of a shift in the air; of a ripple through the ether that warns of changing times ahead…

As if you needed any more headaches.

Your people have prospered yes, and therein seems to be the root of the problem. The tribe has grown larger than ever and now threatens to overwhelm your tribe’s resources. You have all that you need, and always have. Your people are most resourceful and creative. Your tribe, by virtue of cultivating so many different venues of farming, fishing, hunting, mining, smelting and so on, is completely self-sufficient. The danger now is shown to you by your trusted advisors; there is little left to store, little that you make that is not consumed by your people. The answer is simple, you must expand. You must expand or risk strife among your people.
Easier said than done unfortunately. The land around you is very diverse. You live on the plains land which runs to the sea to the east. It is here that your fishing mingles with your farmlands while a greater expanse of plains goes South and West. North however, leads into the heavy and humid jungles where wild beasts roam, but also where rich metal deposits as well as wood is abundant. Far to the North however, beyond the wooden screens of the jungle, lay the old lands of your creation, the lands of the WizWar. None have seen them since your exodus and few would even suggest it, but then again, that was five generations ago… Surely the wars are over…shouldn’t they be? West and South are open plains; wide and green fields with perhaps the low, rolling hill or occasional stream or river crossing here and there. These pleasant lands go on for more than two days in either direction, but in the South, a great smoking mountain looms above the horizon, but none have ever gone so far as to actually see what surrounds it.

Regardless for the direction, your people are well aware that you are not alone either. Living within the jungle are several bands of kobolds. These short, dog-like creatures all seem to be more or less from one tribe, but of different clans. As such, your dealings with them have been very hit and miss. Some are more aggressive which have led to armed clashes with your soldiers, while a few are more accepting and even willing to trade from time to time. Whatever their clan however, they are fiercely territorial and the growth of your town has alarmed them. On the plains, your people have occasionally run across human nomads; wandering barbarian tribes who move about the land following animal herds and migrating from campsite to campsite as the year progresses. Goblins too, have made themselves known on the plains and while not as numerous as the kobolds, show no sign of any sort of acceptance or willingness to deal with you. More than any, these goblins and their wolf-riding marauders have caused your people the most trouble.

The need is clear and the winds of change are stirring in the ether, but which way shall you and your people move?

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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Taljor
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PostSubject: Re: Divine Champions; The Quest for Domination   Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:18 am

Heaven’s words were just what he needed. She was right, bloodshed is coming, but when was the real question. It had been many years since anyone had brought a fight to the Minotaur’s. She also knew her mate better than he had given her credit. The truth in his thoughts and intentions must be told to the Council.
The sun rose to find Taljor awake, dressed and had already sent errand boys to with messages for the Council members to meet and to have the humans summoned and dressed in their best. He was dressed in his official garb. As he walked to the council chambers, other early risers stopped and he could see the questions filling their minds.
He arrived first, he made sure of that and was sitting on the “throne”waiting for their arrival. The bewilderment in the Councilor’s eyes as each entered the room was just as entertaining. Taljor’s choice of dress even caught Warder off guard. He waited for everyone to have found their respective seats. Without any delay, he stood and addressed them.
“Since I have been Chief, I have been struggling with many issues and the most recent events have only sparked more inner turmoil. We Taurens are a proud race, full of tradition and with battle prowess that has commanded respect from anyone or anything that has attempted to challenge us.” He was greeted with nods from the entire Council. “I have seen the responses from everyone here concerning some of my way of thought towards the other races and having a peaceful facade, learning trades and skills from them, only to eventually strike them down when they no longer serve our needs. This way of thought needs to end! Why can’t we still do business, intelligently and still be cautious? We need to adapt and evolve with the times and take advantage of things that present themselves, like this ship and with my ideas of changing a battle strategy. We have shown mercy to a few humans that also have the skills that we do not. Our clan’s future deppends on my decisions, however, I will not make any decision until your wisdom is tapped into.” Taking a brief pause to let things settle before finishing his thoughts, “Before I step allow the Councel to discuss this, let these last words leave something to chew on… if we decide to issolate ourselves, we will perish and fade away from this world and even any histoy of us will be forgotten.”
As he finished, he retook his seat and let the Council mill over his words.

*my next actions will depend on the Wisdom or suggestions of the Council
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