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Author Topic: The Myrorian Crusade (1120)  (Read 2634 times)

Offline Prydania

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The Myrorian Crusade (1120)
« on: March 01, 2016, 05:40:02 AM »

Sir Warren Corbet marvelled as he rode through Beaconsfiled, a cool breeze blowing through the streets as the sun shown brightly in the cloudless sky. It had been nearly a year since the Archbishop of Duronon had sent out a call to all corners of the kingdom, to call for a crusade to convert the heathens in Myroria and drive out their Ozian overlords. And now Eric II of Prydania was nearly done forming that army. A great army drawing from all over Prydania. From the pristine fields of Lowland, to the rocky shores of Midland, to the icy forests of Upland.
Hugh kept a lookout for a specific flag. The Royal arms of the lion quartered with the crosses of Prydania and the order. He hadn't travelled nearly the length of Lowland to merely join an army. No. He was here to join the Knights of St. Tobias.

Finally he saw a tent flying the banner of the order, near the docks where ships were being prepped for voyages across the seas. He demounted his horse, approaching the knights who had congregated around it.
"Hello!" he exclaimed happily as he led his horse towards the tend.
"Who do I speak to if I wish to join?" he asked, producing a rolled up document, holding it out enthusiastically.

It was a tall, broad shouldered man with light brown hair and a grey eyed gaze who approached. He looked like he came from norther Midland, or Upland. He unfurled the document, mumbling to himself as he read it, before pocketing it.

"Warren of Corbet?" he asked in a thick, rough Upland accent, confirming Hugh's suspicions. Hugh just nodded.
The man who had taken his letter of initiation picked up what looked like a mighty battle axe, throwing it over his shoulder as he circled the Lowland knight.
"Ye think you're worthy to join the Knights of St. Tobias on this most holly of missions?" the man asked.
"I do" Hugh replied confidently. "Lord General Charles Auben himself initiated me. That letter you took..."
The imposing Uplander nodded, putting up his head. "Lord Charles' dead" he said, shaking his head solemnly. "Died in a sparrin' accident, sadly" he added.
"Oh" Hugh responded, "it was only a few months ago that we met, I'm sad to hear that he's passed. Before the great crusade can begin..." his voice trailed off, unsure what the death of the Lord General of the Order of St. Tobias meant regarding his initiation...
"Aye" the man replied, lowering his axe to his side. "He was a good, holy man. We're all lesser for his loss" before tossing his free arm around Hugh and pulling him close. "But that's why you're here, isn't it? Helpin' us build what Lord Charles knew we'd need?"
"If you'll have me" Warren responded, almost chocking on his words as the massive knight pulled him close.
"If you impressed Sir Charles you're good enough for me" the man replied, releasing him as he waved Hugh into the tent. "The attendants will tend to yer horse" he added.
Warren nodded, leaving his horse with one of the attendants wearing the Order's tabard, a white garment adorned with a stylized cross over a red barbed Prydanian cross.

"Sit" the man offered, motioning to one of two chairs in the tend, separated by a heavy wooden table.
Warren nodded, sitting down as the large and imposing man paced in the limited space for a moment before nodding.
"Canute of Estrith, Baron of Veiga" he said, identifying himself.
"Kevelia?" Warren, asked.
"Aye" Canute responded, sitting down himself. "We've got men from all over in the Knights of St. Tobias. Upland, Midland, Lowland. Don't matter. We're united by our diversity. And our faith" he added, casting an inquisitive look at Warren, who just smiled.
"As I told Sir Charles, I wish to serve. To spread God's word." He was nervous. Answers like that were common these days. He hoped he wouldn't make a fool of himself.
Canute nodded. "I've read Lord Charles' letter" he replied. "And I know doubt of your faith if he himself recommended you" he answered, with a sly smile.
"Come!" he added, shooting up to his feet. "We'll get you a tabard, and introduce you to some of the men. Need you somewhat aquatinted before we meet His Majesty."
"We're meeting the King?" Warren asked excitedly.
"That we are" Canute answered. "So we may properly prepare for the days ahead."

Warren nodded. Soon he would be marching for King, Cross, and Shield. 
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 07:05:34 PM by Prydania »

Offline Myroria

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Re: The Myrorian Crusade (1120)
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 03:16:58 AM »
A Student Asks St. Oramyn the Learned Once-Footman Why We Honor the Ancestors and their Spirits
ca. 525 CE

A student said, "Instructor, you say that after death our spirits are formless and boundless. Why do we trouble ourselves with honoring our ancestors, if their experience after death is so unknowable to us?"

St. Oramyn began to tell a story.

"Once there was a man who worked high in the service of a wealthy and powerful House. But despite all the good fortune that had befallen him, and all the wealth and power that he had received through his hard work, he dishonored his ancestors and their spirits. His rûntunbo was neglected and fell into disrepair, though he filled the rest of his home with tapestries, rugs, and expensive candles and incense.

After he had worked in the service of this House for many years, he himself became an old man. His children and grandchildren, learning from his example, did not honor his living memory. His wife died, and he lived alone in his large mansion. His kin never visited, and even the other men who worked for the House asked him to do his business outside his home, as its lavish emptiness bothered them.

At times he felt cold, with a low mood. Things that brought him joy as a younger man were felt pointless to him. He felt anxious, and often neglected to eat. Though any seliferra would tell him that these were symptoms of soul sickness - that his ancestors no longer guarded him or aided him - he refused to see one of these priests. 'I am just getting old', he said.

Eventually, one day, he angered a noble of a rival House over comments about his daughter. The noble sent an assassin to kill the man. As the assassin walked by the neglected rûntunbo, a guardian ghost appeared in front of him. He was dressed in ragged armor and patched clothes, and carried a rusted sword.

'I will not fight for this man, who neglected the memory of his ancestors.' the ghost said. 'When you kill him, tell him he must make amends with his family in the beyond if he is to be allowed to share space with us in our family's death-house.'

The assassin, honoring the request of the guardian ghost, told the man what he said, and then he killed him. When the man's family entered his home to inter the body and clean the place, the rûntunbo had been restored. Miraculously, though cobwebs hung on the ceiling of his house and dust collected on every surface, the shrine was perfectly clean and arranged.

The family, puzzled, asked a seliferra to examine the shrine and conduct a Communion with the Dead. She said, 'your father once disgraced his ancestors and neglected their memory. To punish him, they left his side in life. He got soul sickness, and became depressed and anxious. When an assassin killed your father, he made amends with his ancestors and was admitted to their death-home. The restoration of the rûntunbo is a sign to you, and they ask you to always remember your foremothers and fathers lest they give up on all of you completely.

Though the ancestors are far and distant from us,' she said, 'They remember what it was like to be mortal and still feel attachment to what once was. Like nostalgia for a place from your childhood. But if mortals like us neglect their memory, they become hurt. They don't want to associate themselves with a hurtful place. They stop interfering in our lives. Perhaps if your father had cared for the ancestors he wouldn't have gotten soul sickness. Perhaps his guardian ghost would have killed the assassin.

But he made amends after his death, and for this reason the ancestors have decided to bless your family once again. But they ask that you do not stop honoring them, and that you remember this lesson.'"

"Did the family do so?" the student asked St. Oramyn.

"Yes," he said. "Years later, during a Ozian pogrom, this family rallied the village and fought the Ozians until they left. Undoubtedly their ancestors, including the once-disgraceful House retainer, played a large part in their victory."

The village of Lla Sanaset was far enough off the main Rastianav-Traval road that it had been nearly two years since an Ozian patrol had found its way into the hamlet. Even then, it seemed too small a town to even bother stealing from. A few pots had been knocked over, yes, and a goat or two had been killed, but for a group of Ozian soldiers to come and go with such little hell-raising was rare indeed.

Sinnamsi's father remembered the day well; horses galloped from farm to farm, men with booming voices warning their neighbors of the coming squadron. Many were ridden nearly to their ankle-bones. A formation of women, armed to the teeth with pike and sword, had been spotted from the town crier's tower marching on the unkempt dirt road leading to the village square.

Llarassour could tell his family was scared, and urged them back inside the house. It would be a day's fieldwork lost, but they could hardly do anything out there anyway with their teeth chattering. Even as scared as they were, though, he found the whole affair suspicious. There was nothing of value here, and no recent Myrorian rebellion to get revenge for. The group had likely got lost walking back to Rastianav. The foothills of southeastern Myroria were easy to get lost in. They were covered in forest except for rare patches of farmland like those in Lla Sanaset, and even in these times would swallow an army whole.

Sinnamsi remembered her fear more than the actual events that followed. The toppled pottery specifically belonged to the farm further down the road from theirs. Through their house's open windows, Sinnamsi could remember hearing the ceramic shatter. Or perhaps it was a bird's cry - or a child's scream.

Bervaso, on the other side of the village, had his goat killed. It ran in front of the column of women, and in a few minutes its carcass was attached to a wagon lagging behind the formation.

Today, Sinnamsi was a young woman and she often told herself that if another patrol came through she would stand in front of her family house and give them the evil eye. She could handle a pitchfork at least as good as either of her older brothers; often she thought that if her complexion wasn't so pale - and if she wanted to betray her people - she could join the Ozian army.

The fields still needed tending though. Her family wasn't wealthy, but they owned their farm in their own right. That made it all the more important that it was kept impeccable - lest some of their less fortunate neighbors grumble that they were unfit to own so much land.

Sinnamsi spent most of her day bent over, whether it was sowing seeds or picking the plants that grew from them. Her two older brothers were to her left, and her father - himself getting a bit too old to stay bent at the waist all day - was to her right. Beyond him was the rest of her family. For a moment her back felt stiff, so she stood upright, placed her hands palm-outstretched onto her lower back, and leaned backwards. In the distance she saw figures dressed in work clothes like her family, but they seemed to be of an older fashion. The people themselves seemed bright - almost as if they reflected the midday sun.

Sinnamsi looked to the left and to the right. No one else seemed to notice the figures. She stepped forward, feeling half-compelled, and walked towards them.
"I assure you -- I will be quite content to be a mere mortal again, dedicated to my own amusements."

Offline Prydania

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Re: The Myrorian Crusade (1120)
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2016, 07:52:56 PM »
King Eric II was certainly a stoic sight, staring out towards the horizon. The sea seemingly endless before him. His eldest son, Prince Vortgyn of the Islands, stood by his side. The prince, at only fifteen, certainly looked small next to his barrel-chested father.

"Don't suppose you need to lie down?" Canute chuckled, slapping Warren's shoulder as the newest member of the Knights of St. Tobias tried to steady himself on the ship's mast.

"It's my first time travelling by sea" Warren chuckled. Canute looked almost astonished.

"You Lowlanders..." he shook his head. "You do yourselves a disservice. The whale road can be unforgiving."

"I noticed" Warren replied. He looked up, the sails rippling in the breeze. "You know the stories of the black sails?" he asked.

"Aye" Canute replied. "The pagans sailed under them, during the early wars. Before the glory of God was known throughout the land."

Warren nodded. "The priest, back home in Lesora, spoke about how the God-fearing would see the sails, and knights and common men alike would rally to protect the women and the children." Canute shrugged.

"They did" he answered, not quite sure where Warren was going with this.

"I just wonder, will the Myrorians see our sails the same way?"

"You need not worry about such things" a third, calmer voice replied, interjecting before Canute could offer an answer. The two knights turned as a robbed priest approached. Such holy men could be found amongst the ranks of every company on every ship on this Godly armada.

"Father" Warren answered, bowing his head in respect. Canute likewise followed suit silently. The priest smiled in return.

"The Myrorians and us, we're bonded by blood if not by God. And they will see the light of Joshua once we drive the true heathens from their lands."

"Ozians" Canute replied, chuckling. "I admit I'm looking forward to testing my metal against them. Some of the finest warriors under the sun I hear."

The priest frowned. "Be that as it may, their vile presence taints those we sail to save. We ask ourselves why Myrorians will not answer the call of God while tolerating the heretical yoke that defiles them. No more" he smiled. "The light of God will shine on their hearts when the Ozian yoke is removed."

Warren nodded. "Thank you Father..." he replied, curious as to the priest's identity.

"Poitiers" the holy man answered with a smile. "And remember Sir Knight, Ozia is not the devil. Merely an agent of him. And like Ozia defiles Myoria so too does doubt defile the heart and faith."

Warren smiled, nodding again. "Thank you Father" he said once more. "I appreciate the clarity."

Poitiers bowed his head. "God be with you both" he said as he bid them a due, making his way to another group of knights.

"The father's right ya'know" Canute replied gruffly. "Even if he says what should take a moment in ten."

"What do you mean?" Warren asked.

"I don't deny the work of the Devil" the Uplander answered, "but I know it when I see it, an' we do more good driving it away with an axe or sword than preachin'."

Warren looked down considering what his comrade had said before Canute broke out in a hearty laugh. "An' leave it to a holy man to make a good battle just a duller!" Warren just snorted and grinned.

Eric II and the Prince turned, facing the deck of the ship and the knights who had congregated on it. The boy looked back out at the men and then back at his father, who coolly surveyed just this small fraction of his army of light. He just muttered "come" to his son as he led him down into the bowels of the ship, passing Warren and Canute, both of whom bowed their heads respectfully as their sovereign passed by.

"An' that's what I mean" Canute remarked. "An Archbishop can preach 'bout evil, but it takes a king to stand it down."
Warren could only nod. The blood of the Conqueror flowed through Eric II's veins. Who were pagans to deny him?