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News: The counter-revolution will soon be as dead as the Q Society!

Author Topic: Knights of the Lion (1034)  (Read 558 times)

Offline Prydania

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Knights of the Lion (1034)
« on: February 01, 2016, 04:40:07 AM »

The year is 1034. It has been five years since King Vortgyn of the Islands has conquered the disparate kingdoms of Prydania and forged a new, unified nation. And yet the barons of the former Lowland kingdoms of Brynaich, Hrotha, and Credona rebel, threatening the unity and stability of the newly unified Kingdom.

The smell of blood filled the air as the bodies of dead soldiers littered the fields of Summeroth...King Vortgyn I, Lord Uniter, stood under his twin banners, the Holy Branches of Joshua and the charge of a red lion on black. His grey-eyed gaze took in the carnage, twisted, bloody bodies. Stained grass.

Lord Wace, the king's chief lieutenant, approached his master. "Hrotha should be pacified my lord. The death of Baron Gaven should hamper the rebel cause..."
Vortgyn turned to him, running his hand through his thick mane of brown hair. "Five years since Stormhaven, and still I spill the blood of my countrymen in the name of unification."

Wace remained still, biting down on his lower lip, his own gaze locked on the bloody fields before them. He didn't know how to take what his master had just said. The king had always remained committed to the cause of unification. Now, for the first time in two and a half decades, he was showing signs of doubt. These Lowland rebellions...they seemed to test his resolve. The nation was unified. And yet it resisted. Stormhaven was hardly the glorious beginning the Lord Uniter had hoped.

"Come" Vortgyn barked, turning and dropping his helm in the grass. Wace obeyed, that nervous feeling rising in his throat. Vortgyn led him into his tent. The space was mostly occupied by a large table, strewn with maps of the Lowland region.
"My lord?" Wace asked, seeing the King turn his back to him and dig through an old chest.
The King produced a large, ancient looking tome, dropping it onto the table with a thud.

"Do you know what this is?" he asked gruffly. Wace bent over the desk as he examined it. "Chronicles of Prydania..." he looked up at the King. "Owen of the Hightower's Chronicles?"
"The last copy known to exist" Vortgyn answered. "The Archbishop of Duronon gifted it to me twelve years ago, during my coronation."

Wace carefully opened the book. The pages feeling as vulnerable as the petals of a flower. The script, written in the old style, was the last written account of the history of the Prydanian people prior to the Great Winter. The last connection back to a increasingly forgotten past.
"Ash and Embla, Ohtyre, Rend-on-the-River, Hygale..." Wace muttered, flipping through the book, the names on his lips the names of people and places from a long-lost past, a period the monks and scholars couldn't even agree was real or myth.
"And King Ryon" Vortgyn remarked.
Wace stopped, looking up at his lord. "King Ryon. Lord of Caliard?"
"And the last king of a unified Prydania. Well until Stormhaven" Vortgyn grinned. "He died fighting Aiden the Usurper during the onset of the Great Winter and..."
"...would rise again when his scattered people ever needed him" Wace injected, finishing the prophecy.
"A lot of pagan nonsense really" he added.
"And yet one I heard whispered in relation to myself as I unified our nation" the King said with a nod.

"Commoners and women whisper many a thing my lord."
"Maybe so but..." the King flipped through the old book, finding a page dominated by an intricate, detailed illustration of a sword. "Caliburn." Wace's eyes went wide as he stared at the image.
"My lord you can't..." Vortgyn shot him a sly grin.
"Ryon belonged to a different world. In more ways than one my friend. But even today, even now as we revere the one true God and Joshua His Son, he matters. When the people saw a king marshalling the lords, bishops, and commoners of this nation under one banner whose name did they whisper? Ryon."
"I know where this is going" Wace muttered, shaking his head.
"Pardon me?" Vortgyn replied.

"Caliard, wherever it was, was destroyed in the Great Winter, centuries upon centuries ago. And if a great fortress was lost, what chance does a single sword have? That this book alone survives that age is itself a minor miracle!"

Vortgyn grunted, sighing deeply. "Five years" he repeated. "Five years. And still the Lowland barons rebel. Gaven today. Morgan tomorrow. Renyard five years from now. Will it matter? Will being King of Prydania even matter if I must burn one third of the country to the ground to keep it?"
Wace had no answer. His gaze was locked on that of his King, but he had no answer for him.

"Ryon's Caliburn was a sign of his legitimacy as king of all of Prydania. And I am the only man to hold that title since he perished so long ago. I need that sword Wace. They already whisper his name alongside mine. With that sword they will scream it."
He could tell Wace was loosening up somewhat. "You are right. Gaven's death will hinder the cause of the rebellious lords. Tobias will prove strong enough to enforce my rule while we use this opportunity to find Caliard and Caliburn. We'll begin with the monasteries. Anything else that survived from that age will be with the monks. Are you with me Wace?"

The lieutenant smiled. This all sounded crazy. And yet..."I've been with you since you first told me you wanted to rule all of Prydania. This doesn't sound any less insane."
"Then to Caliard!" the King proclaimed, pouring a mug of mead for each of them. "And to Prydania!"
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 04:34:40 AM by Prydania »

Offline Prydania

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Re: Knights of the Lion (1034)
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 05:34:22 AM »
"You honour us with your presence, my King" the monk offered, bowing his head respectfully.  Vortgyn nodded as he entered the monastery of Medcaut Island.

"I trust you have what His Majesty has requested?" Lord Wace asked as the King made his way into the monastery's halls.

"I'm afraid that what His Majesty requests..." the monk paused. Wace coked his head, shooting him an unsure glare.
"Well there isn't much from that period. Before the Great Winter."

"What do you have then?" Vortgyn asked calmly as he stared up at a statue of St. Levius, an Iadian Catholic Saint who was the founder of this particular order.

"A series of letters written by an officer known only as Bard, who served in Aiden the Usurper's army that marched on Caliard."

Vortgyn stroked his chin. "Aiden's troll army..."
"Yes my King" the monk responded, eagerly.
"The only known contemporary description of it."

"His Majesty must see it at once" Wace replied. The monk nodded, turning to lead the King and his lieutenant to a side room illuminated by candles, the rays of the sun that managed to poke through the overcast skies catching on the green, blue, and gold of the small stain-glass window.

"I'll leave Your Majesty to look over the documents"  he said in a hushed voice. "May Joshua the Messiah guide you."

The monk left just as Vortgyn began to study the delicate pieces of paper. The old Prydanian hastily scribbled.
"Can you make it out?" Wace asked, wincing to try and make something out from what could have easily been mistaken for chicken scratch.
"Time has not made it any easier..." the King replied, "but there are references to the great wooden gates, where this troll army was gathered..."

"You know what the Church says about the trolls..."
Vortgyn grunted. "Men don't write letters detailing the precise movements of mere stories or demons" he said quietly. Vortgyn had unified Prydania and now reigned as its king. Still? He'd done that by securing allies in the Church. He didn't plan on making any enemies amongst its rank and file. He carefully placed the old letters in a leather pouch and nodded.
"We backtrack. To Duronon."

"To see the Archbishop?"
"Yes. If we can find these 'wooden gates' we can start the search for Caliard in earnest. If any library will have the location of such a place? It will be the Archbishop's in Duronon."
« Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 03:03:22 AM by Prydania »

Offline Prydania

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Re: Knights of the Lion (1034)
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2016, 05:07:27 AM »
"I'm sorry Your Majesty, but those records are the purview of the Church" Archbishop Theobald Dover said as he, Wace, and the King walked down the cathedral in Duronon.
"You would deny a request of the King?" Wace asked, sensing Vortgyn's growing irritation and hoping to resolve the issue before it could escalate.

The Archbishop, new to his post, merely shook his head. "I truly wish I could help" he answered, "but these pagan documents should not be studied too carefully."

"Do you accuse your King of being that weak of faith?" Vortgyn growled, stepping in front of the Archbishop, stopping him in his tracks. He continued before the holy man could answer. "Your predecessor didn't think so. He granted me Owen of the Hightower's book. And now you hide a few measly letters."
"It's regrettable that he gave you that, Your Majesty. As strong as your faith may be, exposure to these documents can tempt you."

Vortgyn leaned into the Archbishop, his eyes full of fire. "Not to me. I was chosen by heaven. Say my name, when you pray, and remember that." His voice was low, yet vicious. 
Dover nodded, eyes wide in fear as the warrior king scowled. "Your Majesty's experience with the Hightower book has proven that your faith is strong" he stammered, nodding as he turned to lead the King and his lieutenant to the archives...