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Legendary Exploits of Three Not Viking Brothers

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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-13, 20:49

It is the year 540 by the Themisian calander and it has been six hundred and sixty years since Faustus Griswald founded his house under the banner of the silver fox. Faustus Griswald earned the honor during his military service within the ancient Bastya Empire after bringing the the mountain dwelling barbarians to their knees. Along with his new status as a nobleman, Faustus was granted a large swath of land in the domain he had conquered and the succeeding generations lived lives of great wealth while ensuring the local populous remained compliant with Bastian law. This period would not last forever, however, as the great Empire fell to corruption and civil war soon causing houses on the outer edges of the Empire to be forgotten and left at the hands of the barbarians they had conquered long before.  Not many records of this period survived, yet alone those relating to outlying houses, but it was during this time that Lucius Griswald recognized the threat to his house and poured all of the wealth and power the Griswald house had accumulated into the construction of the great fortress. A bastion of defense rivaled by very few others, the fortress proved to ensure the survival of house Griswald through the Empires fall and though they lost much of their land the house survived. Decades later, the county of Acren was founded on the ruins of the Bastian Empire and though house Griswald retained their status as nobility they were shunned by the other houses for their heritage as oppressors. A meager house by this point, the family set the stage for its legacy during the founding of the Themisian Church where through righteous treachery helped ensure the usurpation of the old gods within the nation of Acren thereby guaranteeing the survival of their house under the close watch of the Themisian priesthood who still make ample use of Heretic's End to this day. Centuries have passed since those days and though house Griswald has suffered as much as it has gained since its treachery it nonetheless stands poised in the coming years to expand it's wealth and power.

Since the fall of the Bastian Empire numerous nations and powers have risen from the ruins which still dot the landscapes, all of which seek to claim mastery over the Empires former domains. At the center of the old Empire lies the holy nation of Adroysia the birthplace of the Themisian religion. Across it's fertile countryside and plains are hundreds of churches and holy sites dedicated to the worship of Themis all of which are adorned at their top with golden depictions of the religions holy symbol: the falcon clutching the sun and a crescent moon in its talons and with its wings outstretched. Across the decaying roads of the Empire hundreds of pilgrims make their way to the holy orders capital city Sora where the Arch-Deacon resides conveying the word of Themis directly to her faithful. It is at  Sora that the most powerful of miracles are granted by the priesthood to those they deem of sufficient piety. Such individuals who receive miracles from the church are revered by the pilgrims who make the journey to the Sora and often spread word of such individuals piety across the lands. Though Sora could be argued as the most important city in all the lands the capital of Adroysia is the city Fraseto because of it's location at the head of the great Heid River. The river at its widest point along its massive length spans three quarters of a mile (half a mile on average), more than large enough for even the largest of trade ships to make their way inland.

To the south of Adroysia, across the Krehst Sea which feeds the Heid River, lies the desert nation of Frajan. Though only a months sailing trip across the Krehst Sea from Adroysia, Frajan's dominating religion is not Thmisian but instead still adheres to the old Empires Gods which had conquered the nation it centuries before. The only thing that has protected the nation from the aggression of the recent Crusades has been the natural protection of the Krehst Sea and the Lichdom threat that lies to the east. To the North West of Adroysia lies the wetland country of Grale, a nation largely dominated by the trade of food and leather along the Heid river that feeds the hundreds of tributaries in the nation. To the North of Grale within the great Osmond Ocean lies the heretical island nation of Yesmale. Yesmale is a series of small islands surrounding a much larger main island who were deemed apostates by the Themisian Church when their late king utilized heretical miracles to turn the tide against a Grale invasion on their islands. To this day the nation of Yesmale is renown for their powerful navy constantly fighting to keep the Grale armies at bay.

In a crescent shape hugging the east side of Adroysia lies the nation of Acren, a mountainous and hostile landscape currently ruled over by the royal Bantius family. At the northernmost point of the nations crescent shape lies the capital city of Inweden which rests upon the Frohst River which itself feeds into the Heid River before turning West. Renown for its metal deposits, the nation of Acren mines the dozens of mountain ranges across its landscape before exporting the materials it does not use to other nations. The middle and southern portion of the Acren crescent contain rich farm fields to the east of the mountain ranges which act as a natural wall against the Lichdom threat dircetly across them to the east. The Lichdoms are a foul a blasted landscape host to dozens of city states each run by a powerful Lich. These powerful and heretical individuals fight among each other for power when they are not trying to spread across the mountains of Acren into the fertile lands beyond. It is these Lichdoms that have been the target of the most two most recent crusades and yet they remain unyielding against armies of Themis' faithful. The northern portion of the Acren crescent resides on the coastline of the Trilhap Ocean across which exist thousands of barbarians that were never conquered by the old Empire. It is here within the Gobold Mountain range that house Griswald has resided for centuries.

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It has been eight years since Robillard Griswald last rode the path to the small town of Bolsdorf, eight long years of crusade against the Lichdoms to the East. Eight years ago Ignatz Griswald, Defender of White Pass and father of three sons, passed away and his eldest child Leewan took control of the Griswald house. As Robillard walks up the mountain path off in the distance Tower Lucius can be seen clinging to the cliff side and Griswald heraldry can be seen flying at the top next to the enormous horn that is to warn the castle in the event of an attack. As Robillard rides up along the path three stern garrison guards stop him to discern his intentions only to have their expressions turn to one of amazement at the mans return. Robillard continues along his way and before long the quite town can be seen bellow the towers cliff side. From his position Robillard can see the great Sept built to honor Themis which itself is dwarfed the the great fortress Heretic's End towering above upon the mountain. From great arch at the bottom of the castle a never ending stream of ice melt cascades into the town as a waterfall before breaking on smooth rocks bellow. Robillard knows personally that the ice melt is guided into the cavern carved below the castle by trenches above that were dug during the castles creation. The fortresses palisades and portcullis' all fly dozens of the houses heraldry with guards marching back and forth on patrols identifiable by the gleaming steal of their spears and halberds. The central keep itself is built into the mountain with glass windows preventing the cold of the mountains from permeating its impregnable walls and the houses elite archers visible by the purple and silver insignia's emblazoned on their chests. The current cloudy sky does nothing to hide the mighty defenses of Heretic's End and as Robillard makes his way into the Bolsdorf a flurry of snow begins to come down conveying the shear altitude at which it resides.

The guards of Bolsdorf do what they can to keep crime at a minimum but the many caverns dotting the mountainside makes capture of more clever criminals difficult. Despite this, the wealth of the town is not to be underestimated as the port on the North of the town hosts an impressive mercantile fleet along with house Griswalds mighty ships of war. The merchant ships bring back precious metals and valuable furs bought from hunters across the lands. Despite the best efforts of the guard, however, oftentimes ships will smuggle in items from the barbarious lands across the Trilhap Ocean and from Yesmale. As Robillard approaches the castles gates he is greeted by the watch and soon after the sounds of horns announcing his arrival can be heard echoing up through the castles halls. Robillard can't help but cringe at the sound of the horns as they bring back memories of his times in the Crusade and the curse that marks his skin beneath his heavy clothing. Soon enough the great drawbridge into the castle is opened and in Robillard walks to Heretic's End. Once inside the rich tapestries along the walls and view of the outside immediately sets Robillard at ease; he is home.

Waiting for Robillard at the end of the entrance hallway is seen the houses Steward, Leon Gerfried. After a happy welcome from the Steward he tells Robillard that his brother Leewan is eager to see him as is the rest of the family. Up the two go into the main keep through hall after hall and up stairs after stairs until eventually they come to the courtroom whereupon Robillard can see the old black iron throne his father used to sit and the oak tables stretching throughout the hall. A great fire resides in the center of the room and numerous servants can be seen moving about bringing food and drink to numerous individuals scattered about in groups. One of these groups Robillard recognizes to be his younger brother Gwain Griswald with women in his arms sitting at a table with group of "fellows" from your younger days. Hanging above the table are numerous banners and items designed to honor previous victories by the house. Through the central fire Robillard realizes that his brother Leewan is seated in the black iron throne looking at a young boy in by the fire bearing the houses emblem on his fanciful clothes.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-13, 21:52

Leewan Von Griswald is 30 years of age. His skin is light and hair silky and dark. His beard is full but kept short and shows signs of greying. Leewan's frame is nearly six feet in height and bears broad shoulders that complete an imposing form. His eyes are vividly green and match the rough emerald pendant that stays rested on his chest. Leewan's celebratory attire consists of a white tunic with styled black wool pants. His overcoat comes in purple as deep as violets themselves. Finally his boots stained dark leather but simple, the kind that could be brought to battle.

Leewan Von Griswald intently studies his only child's movements and mannerisms. He tries to glean the potential of the boy that might one day sit atop the black throne of Griswald. As Leewan becomes lost in thought his gaze wanders idly from table to table throughout the courtroom. First he notices his youngest brother stewing trouble with female companions and then takes a moment to breathe in the atmosphere of the gathering. He lets his gaze wander again until he catches a familiar face at the room's entrance. {"How the second son has grown"} he thinks to himself. Leewan Von Griswald clutches at his dark iron armrest and heaves himself up to his feet and pauses for a moment, allowing the guests and belated family of the court to notice his movements. Leewan scratches at his short beard and booms: "The second son of Griswald has returned."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-13, 22:07

Robillard bows his head at his brother's recognition. He was always quiet, and the past 8 years have only served to reinforce that trait. As he strides further into the room, everyone can see how true his brother's statement is.

Robillard stands nearly seven feet tall, and it is clear, even beneath his battered yet serviceable brigandine armor, that he is sheathed in hundreds of pounds of muscle. A conservative estimate would put him somewhere north of 300 pounds. Truly, this is a frame to inspire fear in his enemies.

Because of his fearful form, Robillard has done his best to appear civilized, rather than wild. He is fastidiously clean shaven, and his straw colored hair is cut short. He keeps his clothes as neat as himself. As he has returned immediately from the journey, he still wears his brigandine armor, with simple but practical vestments beneath. The clothes are well suited to cold weather, but seem old, as if they have not been worn in many years. His eyes match his brother's, the traditional deep green of House Griswald, and they are often downcast, as if Robillard is recalling his memories.

Robillard strides forward and moves to his brother, grasping his forearm firmly.

"It has been too long, Leewan," his voice rumbles. "Heretic's End was a welcome sight for my eyes. I have stared too long at the lich king's fortresses and deserts and foul armies." He clears his throat before continuing.

"But who is this small child I see before me? He has our eyes! Could it be, Leewan?" Robillard smiles for the first time since his return, "Is this your son?"

His face darkens for a moment before he leans in and whispers, "He's not one of Gwain's bastards I hope?"
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-13, 22:46

[Gm story time - what is the common knowledge about fighting with the lich armies? What would we worry about or expect from Robillard's experiences?]
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-13, 23:12

While there is no Lich King (as much as all of the Lich's would love to be called that) each Lich boasts a veritable hoard of slave soldiers which they constantly replenish from the people they raid, purchasing them from other countries or forced fertilization of women. While the shear number of soldiers that the Lish's can field is staggering the most feared components of their armies are their elite soldiers who have undergone what is called "The Harrowing" causing them to no longer feel pain, only feel enjoyment from the act of killing and the ability to replace lost limbs and organs from any source. The Lich's themselves are either the descendants of former Lich's, renegade Themisian priests or exceedingly powerful individuals. The reason the leaders of these armies are called Lich's is because each of them has found some way to stave off death from natural causes seemingly indefinitely though a sword to the heart or a decapitating blow still kills them as well as any mortal. Typically large Lich warbands have had to make their way through one of four large passes in Acren: in order of proximity to house Griswald, White Pass, Stathmore Pass, Vrak Pass and Kings Pass. Smaller warbands have crossed the mountains to go undetected until they pillage what they can and leave the way they came but full armies have never been capable of it. The Lich armies make heavy use of "black miracles" which are ones forbidden by the church and can have a plethora of different effects. The recent crusades have pushed the Lichdoms back a fair distance from the base of the mountain ranges and are not as much of a threat as they once were to Acren.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-13, 23:28

Leewan looks back into his brother's questioning gaze and nods. Without affection or joy he answers "This child is my legitamate son Edlass and by our laws he is heir to the black throne."

Leewan stops for a moment and scans his brother up and down. Leewan smiles with only his mouth. "You have come home brother. There are no lich's soldiers here, rest easy." Leewan motions towards the family dining row where his wife Sineah and the other closest members of the family sit. "Take seat to my left and tell us your story."

Leewan guides his brother Robillard to the dining table and sits with his family. He looks up to audience and yells "EAT, AND BE MERRY!" queuing the crowd to begin feasting in honor of the second son's return to Heretic's end.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-13, 23:50

And so the revelry begins in earnest. Kegs of mead are brought out by the servants and many of the younger and older members of the gathering come to where Leewan and pester him about his time in the crusades. The young ask questions such as "how many people did you kill?" and "do you have a sword" My dad has a sword." whereas the elders ask questions like "What's the state of the Crusade?" and "How is such and such from the officers cast?" The house Steward (NOT STEWART) sits by the fire warming his hands while some of the other influential members of the house chat idly with him. Among them are your Castellan Severin Ohly, Master at Arms Caspar Ritter, Master of the Hunt Samuel Nowitzki and you Kennelmaster Willi Hoffner. Robillard notices that there is no priest at the gathering at this moment and especially notes that Cardinal Schiller is not present (your patron).

[This is the time to talk amongst each other and to some of the more essential NPC's. I'll check in periodically to see if people have asked an NPC's questions or vice versa but we'll shoot to end the party around 11:30am tomorrow. If people want to end it early we can.]


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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-06-14, 01:10

"...and then that dog of an archer hit the target dead center." Several of the ladies in Gwian's arm gasp in horror. "But Themis smiled on me that day. I pulled back my arrow as far is it would go, stilled the quivering in my heart, and then let her fly. Crack!! When I looked up from my bow, the arrow had--by the light of Themis! Look what the snow blew in, if it isn't my long lost brother! Excuse me ladies and gents. We can talk more about my skill with an arrow later tonight."

Gwain Griswald struggles out from under a pile of blushing women to rush over to Robillard. "Brother!" he shouts as he leaps atop of his oak of a sibling from behind, hugging with all four limbs. "Welcome home! You must tell me the tales of the Lich Wars! How many men did you slay brother? Did people scatter at the mere sight of those beefy biceps?"

After a few excited moments, Gwain unhands his hulking sibling. Standing up straight, he pushes his hair back and lets the full glory of his beauty radiate throughout the room. His light, luscious hair, chiseled chin, and perfect physique all accent his dazzling smile. At 22, Gwain Griswald is in the prime of his youth. His choice of clothing--a feathered cap, woody tunic, and dark green tights--is odd for this region, but somehow suits his features exquisitely.

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"Just wait 'till you hear all the trouble I've gotten into while you've been gone!"
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-14, 03:08

Leewan tears a bite from his slab of hog meat and swallows down it down. For Leewan even feasting is a routine to be executed simply and pragmatically. After a few "bites" spent watching his brother Gwain make a show out of Robillard's return the head of house Griswald adds to the conversation.

"Your brother Gwain does not know war but understands the importance in the telling of it. There will be time to talk of domestic matters later, tell your family and humble servants of your conquest. Bring honor to house Griswald Robillard."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-14, 06:59

Robillard has been sitting quietly for much of the revelry, methodically devouring his meat and quenching his thirst. He starts at his brother's voice, then turns to the gathered crowd.

"So you wish to hear of the battles against the Lich King?" he says softly. He chews one last bite of mutton, and finishes his fifth flagon of ale. "Give me just a moment, to gather my thoughts."

He sits in contemplation for a moment, before beginning his tale.

"Eight years ago I left this castle, accompanied only by my squire, Gideon, and my steed. We rode for White Pass, following the advice of Cardinal Schiller. It was an easy journey. Our mounts were sure-footed, our spirits light and easy. If you remember, I had just been inducted into the Templars.

"When we reached White Pass, I presented myself to the Templar camp. There I saw the men that I hoped to serve with in the coming Crusade. Together we would purge the heretic, and bring Themis' light to the unbelievers." Robillard smiles sadly as he remembers his early exuberance, and pauses for a moment.

"Our first battle came a few weeks after I'd arrived. I still hasn't reached my full height," and here he stands, showing off his 7 foot frame, but I was large enough that my commander wanted me in the front lines. I was ... proud. I was excited that I would get to be one of the first to dispense Themis' justice."

Robillard moves out to a clear area of the the floor, his motions mimicking his past actions. "We marched out in glorious panoply, our armor polished, strips of holy writ hanging from every surface. I bore our family's sword, The Rising Dawn." Here Robillard unsheathes the magnificent blade. Nearly 6 feet long, the sword is uncannily light, forged with lost techniques of metalsmithing. It is nearly a hand wide at the base, and the entire blade shimmers with ripples of folded metal. Emblazoned on sword is the symbol of Themis, a falcon with the moon and sun under its wings.

"Whike we drew up in our righteous ranks we could see the enemy: a massive, seething, undisciplined horde." His eyes have a far-off look, almost as if he is seeing the Lich horde once more. "We gathered our courage, said a prayer to Themis, and let loose a might roar as we charged into the sea of heretics. Their foul magic proved no match for Themisian faith, and we carved through them like a hot knife through butter. My vanguard pushed forward, and The Rising Dawn tasted blood once more!" As he tells the tale, his voice has risen, and he begins swinging his blade. If not for the terror that a seven foot man swinging a six foot blade inspires, his grace would almost be beautiful. However, as the tale continues, he becomes more and more violent.

"Three hours into the battle, I had pulled back from the front to rest and restore my strength. Suddenly I heard screaming. There was screaming everywhere of course, but nothing like this. This was the sound of ultimate despair and agony. A man whose legs were lost, or whose arm was scrabbling to hold back his pouring guts sounded like music compared to this desolate howl. I plunged back into the fray, seeking the source of the sound when I saw him: high atop a hill we had been trying to capture stood a figure dressed in black robes, holding a staff and casting a strange ritual. He had dozens of slaves chained before him, and their synchronous voices formed the wail I could hear. I knew I could not delay. I gathered my men and we struck out, deep into the heretic army. I swung my sword again, and again, and again. Every time a heretic was grievously wounded, or killed. We pushed so far that we left the main force. Surrounded, we had no choice but to continue moving forth. I could not allow this mage to finish his spell. Finally we reached the top of the hill, and I called out to him, challenging him to single combat, as is right and honorable. Even Lich heretics may show some scrap of decency. Alas, my naïveté was too great, and he ignored my call. I ordered my men to defend the perimeter as I moved forth to engage the mage myself."

By this point Robillard has become extremely worked up. His voice is choked, and he has still not ceased his macabre dance, The Rising Dawn flickering here and there, a mesmerizing display of death.

"I charged the foul Lich servant, but found my way blocked by his ritual fodder. These were no slave soldiers, like the ones that awaited us on the blasted plains. They were slaves, yes, but as close to innocents as a heretic can be. Dozens of women and children clawed at me as I pushed my way through, trying to hold me back, desperate to sacrifice their lives for the mage's spell. I was forced to carve a path through them, praying to Themis as I did. Every soul that I ended that day reduced the screaming, and for that I was thankful. Finally, soaked in gore and blood I reached the heretic mage and with one mighty blow I smoke him down!"

As Robillard reaches the climax of his story he brings The Rising Dawn down on an unoccupied chair near the fire place, bashing it into nothing but kindling. This crash seems to bring him back to his senses, and he stares wide-eyed at the crowd. "We, ah, we then held out until the rest of the army arrived to relieve us at the hill. Truly, Themis gave us a chance to prove our worth that day," he mutters, then sits back down and begins drinking deeply from another flagon.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-14, 11:47

All of those present listen intently on Robillards tale and when he smashes the chair gasps can be heard from many of those listening.when you finish the room stays quit for a brief moment until unexpectedly young Edlass speaks up and asks "But what of your squire? He is not with you so does he remain at the crusade?"
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-14, 14:56

""Gideon ... did not prove worthy of Themis' mercy." These words pain Robillard as he forces them out of his throat, and he speaks them bitterly. He swallows more ale, lost in his memories.

"That is a tale for another time. But now I must ask questions of the rest of you. It seems that much has changed since I have left. Captain Ritter, how have the bandits been since I've been away? And where is Cardinal Schiller? I was hoping to meet with him after so long!" Despite the seemingly cheerful nature of Robillard's words, his smile does not reach his whole face. His eyes remain dark and haunted, glimpsing poor Gideon's face, screaming for mercy.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-14, 15:50

The Captain speaks with a scowl across his face after taking a drink from his mug "The bandits continue to strike from their holes in the mountainside. They never dare to attack the town but there are instances of small groups causing trouble at the inn. As for the Cardinal he is undoubtedly at the sept or on his way here. Gerfried sent a messenger his way upon your arrival I believe."

The steward nods his head in acknowledgment. Everyone in the Rome notices the lighting get dimmer as the light outside begins to fade to darkness.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-14, 15:56

Robillard mirrors Ritter's scowl (and his drink), and says, "Clearly it is too late to deal with these bandits tonight. But now that I have returned, it is sickening that righteous Themis worshippers have so much to fear so close to home. I left on the crusade to make sure we were safe."

He turns to his brothers and mutters, ale fumes thick on his breath, "Maybe we should go take care of those bandits, eh brothers? It'll be just like old times. You remember when we used to play at adventuring? Let us bring reality to our childish games."

Robillard then turns back to Captain Ritter. "Tell me more about the bandits! What are their numbers? How are they distributed? Who leads them?"
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-14, 16:31

Leewan bunches his fingers together tightly and slams the table audibly enough to draw his zealous brother's attention. "Matters of bandits and domestic affairs will be spoken of in the delicate privacy of planning chambers. Your safe return is a gift from our wise goddess and these many subjects have gathered to celebrate this magnanimous event." Von Griswald releases his grip and lifts his chalice to quench his concern and suspicion with wine. Even as he brings the chalice to his lips and tilts it upwards to pour wine down his throat he maintains unblinking eye contact with Robillard.


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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-14, 17:51

Robillard realizes he may have gone too far. "Yes, brother," he says, hanging ibis head. He spends the next few minutes quietly drinking his mead, before turning to Gwain.

In a much more restrained voice, he speaks. "Gwain, tell me of your past eight years. When I left you were just becoming a man, and now I see you have quite the following. Who are these merry men?"
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-06-14, 23:15

Gwain hooks his right hand about Robillard's trunk of a neck. "Oh brother, you've been gone so long! I was only 14 when you left. I hardly knew the beauty of a maiden's touch. Let me tell you the story of how Gwain Griswald and his band of merry men became known far and wide throughout all the lands of the goddess."

"Imagine Adroysia, bereft of her bravest and most pious men." Gwain streaks his free arm through the air in front of Robillard, painting an imaginary picture. It's not hard to tell Gwain has told this story dozens of times. "With the land's champions abroad, our kingdom's rule fell into the clutches of villainous men. Worst of all was Baron Bradford, a gluttonous oaf who snatched rule of Fraseto away from Lord Henry the Exalted while Henry was at war. Bradford's avarice knew no bounds. He threw lavish parties funded through wretched taxation of the common folk. Worst of all, he was determined to make Henry's daughter, Maria his queen to achieve some scrap of legitimacy. But Maria would have none of it. She protected her chastity with the ferocity of a lioness guarding her cubs. My, was she beautiful..." Gwain stares off into the distance, savoring a pleasant memory.

"So I took it upon myself to rid our country of this evil. I rode from Heretic's End towards Fraseto together with Antoine Riverfell, my closest friend from childhood, or Treachery, as we've come to call him now. All across the land, Treachery and I set about righting wrongs in the name of Themis. As word of our good deeds spread, courageous men flocked to our cause. Most I turned away for fear of their safety, but those who could hold their own I kept close. Soon we were no longer a roving band of marauders stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, we were Gwain's Guard."

"They're here now if you'd like to meet them." Without a pause Gwain summons 10 men reclining and drinking merrily in the corner of the room to his side. "There's Treachery, my lifelong companion, Fraud, he's honest to a fault, Violence, not much for battle, but he's a hell of a cheff, Hersey, he got caught trying to read the holy book upside down while learning to read, Anger, his cheeks get redder than wine when he's mad, Greed, he's got a head for numbers, Gluttony, the only thing bigger than his bones is his muscle, Lust, your's truly, Limbo, a former castle jester, Gia, he might seem rough but he's got a soft side, and finally Heaven, a little spacey at times, but he fights like a demon."

"Well when Baron Bradford heard Gwain's Guard was headed straight for him, he was scared witless. Rather than challenge me head on, he looked towards the most reviled of solutions: assassination. To draw me out, he threw a tournament which was to feature the greatest archery competition Themis would ever see. Naturally, I couldn't resist but Treachery was quick to warn me of the dangers that awaited. I would not be deterred from the competition, so I came disguised as an old man."

"With the archery event underway, citizens applauded as an old man aimed true time and time again even as renown bowmen from across the kingdom were forced to leave in shame. At last there was only one target left. Bradford's champion came forward with a nasty grin and then that dog of an archer hit the target dead center. But Themis smiled on me that day. I pulled back my arrow as far as it would go, stilled the quivering in my heart, and then let her fly. Crack!! When I looked up from my bow, the arrow had split the first one straight down the middle!"

"In a moment of pride, I jumped in celebration, but the movement dislodged my disguise. There stood Gwain Griswald of Heretic's End, undefended in an open field and in clear sight of the assassin's crossbow. I would have met my end that day if not for Maria. She had overheard the baron's plot days before. At that moment, she was sneaking behind the assassin with one of Lord Henry's ceremonial blades. With one fell swoop, she unhanded the assassin, not of his crossbow, but literally!"

"The assassin's shriek of agony sparked a frenzy in the crowd. It was then that I, Gwian Griswald the Arrow Splitter, directed that frenzy at none other than Baron Bradford himself. 'Ladies and Gentleman, that mockery of a man who sits on Lord Henry's throne is your enemy. Take charge of your destinies. Take back your country!' And so a terrible battle broke loose. Gwain's Guard lead the common folk forward and together we defeated Bradford's personal legion!"

"The day was won, but in all the commotion, I lost sight of Bradford. I know that he is out there somewhere, plotting his revenge even today. Many things are uncertain in this world, but this I know: Bradford and I will meet again. But what of Henry's throne? The people would never again tolerate another ruler without a blood-claim, but with all the royal family fighting in the crusades, there remained only one option. And so to the joy of Fraseto, Maria took the throne. To this very day, she rules with a love for her people not seen since the great kings of old. Some day I will return to Fraseto and see that love one more time in person..." Gwain's voice trails off into silence as he loses himself in another fond memory.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-15, 06:12

We're Robillard slightly less inebriated, he may have hidden his reaction better. As it is however, his mouth sags open and his face takes on an almost comic expression of surprise.

"Gwain, you shay that you helped dethrone a ushurper while I've been gone?! Clearly you have been bishy. And what about about you, Leeeeewan? Have you been shpending your time shtaring down at the town, pretending to be as important ash father? Hahaha hic!" His uninhibited laughter booms through the room, his modesty removed by the near gallons of alcohol he has drunk.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-15, 07:02

Leewan has cleared his polished iron plate of food in the ample time given by Gwain's storytelling. Leewan looks intently at one of the many lit decorative candle flames. His observes a bead of melted wax form at the lip of the gnarled light source. He follows the heated bead as it trails down the candle and adds to the soft pool of wax accumulated at the candle's base.

He turns his vivid green stare from the flame and melting wax to Robillard.

"I have tended to my duties as ruling lord of the Griswald holdings. An heir has been produced and with teaching he will be groomed for the black throne. Finally . . . at my command Captain Ritter has raised a military force from the able bodied men of the town."

Leewan glances at his empty plate for a moment. He lifts his chalice and gently swirls the remaining portion of wine. He drinks down to the last drop and rests the chalice firmly on the table.

"I have made my appearance before our subjects and they make plenty of merry among themselves. The time has come for you, Robillard Griswald, and Captain Ritter to join me in the drawing room."

Leewan turns to face Gwain.

"Entertain the guests with your oratory Gwain, lest your purported exploits have granted you a grave soul."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-15, 07:30

Not to be outdone, Robillard finishes his drink as well.

"Then let me bid farewell to all you gathered lords and ladies! Hic. Farewell! Hic."

When Robillard stands he stumbles for a moment, and it seems as if he may fall. But he shakes his head, gathers himself (and another flagon of wine) and follows Leewan into the drawing room.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-15, 15:55

Captain Ritter takes a last swig of his drink before getting up from his seat and following you both to the drawing room. Upon arrival you find the familiar scene of a table upon which a three dimensional representation of the known world has been carved out of oak wood. The map has been in the family for generations and was initially given as a gift from the Themisian priests for the houses part in the treachery. Around the table there are several chairs upon which individuals can sit and on the walls around the room several portraits of old house leaders are found. To help fight the cold in the room several braziers are located along the walls and are constantly kept burning at all hours of the day. Captain Ritter takes a seat along the sides of the table before speaking.

"You've barely been back for two hours and already you're trying to organize a raiding party Robillard? Your time at war hasn't diminished your vigor I see."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-15, 16:09

Dropping into his seat with a thud, Robillard blearily turns to Captain Ritter and speaks with a thick voice. "The Lich King's wastes are not to be traveled lightly. We must speak among each other and plan so that we may gain Themishes divine inpir, inspri, inpresstion. Then we'll drag these bandit dogs out of their caves and show them who they should really fear!!!"
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-15, 17:20

Leewan continues with his grim demeanor even in the presence of family and trusted servants. He slides his hand across the table's ridges and expanses made real through carpentry. He breathes in deeply and heavily as he glides his hand over the known world, perhaps relishing the image of holding the world in his clutches.

Leewan Von Griswald removes his purple overcoat and hangs it over his seat at the table. He wills his aging and less nimble fingers to unfasten the threads of his white tunic and slides the covering off himself to reveal a chain shirt with a dagger sheathed in a strap harness wrapping around his chest. He looks up at his brother and begins speaking without any mention or regard for the unusual spectacle that just unfolded.

"Bandits are like rats. They are a verminous filth that man will be never rid of. We will not organize a military campaign against thieves scattered and starving in caverns. The soldiers are soon to have a more important task. The season for raiding is almost upon us and house Griswald will have his fill of spoils."


Last edited by Darkgenesis on 2016-06-15, 22:27; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-15, 18:48

Ritter half stands in his seat to gesture towards the coast across the Trilhap Ocean as he speaks "The coasts just across the ocean are typically easy targets for our fleet. We haven't ventured far North in recent years so the state of affairs and defenses are unknown but they could also potentially yield more from raids. I've taken a look at the men recently and I'd have to say their training is satisfactory and they should listen to orders well enough."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-15, 23:24

Despite his alcoholic stupor, Robillard pulls himself together enough to ask a few questions. He may not be a genius at warfare and tactics, and he may not even have any particular skill, but he does have common sense. "Ritter, tell me more about these Northern lands. Perhaps we haven't seen them recently, but how were they arrayed on our last raiding? Much can change in a few years, but much remains the same. Perhaps we could send a fleet up to reconnoiter before moving out in earnest."

He turns to his Eldar brother, who has been trained in such matters. "What do you say Leewan? You've been reading these waves and coasts for the past eight years, ever since Father died. Is it time for us to breach into uncharted waters, and teach those heretics to fear House Griswald?"
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-16, 08:49

"The villages North are simple collections of wood and thatch structures. Few even have walls to defend them and their citizens for the most part are nothing more than farmers." Ritter replies
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-16, 08:52

"Hmm, it doesn't sound too promising. Perhaps we could use them to gather food and supplies before embarking on a more serious raid." As Robillard continues speaking, it becomes more and more obvious that his apparent inebriation was due to him trying to enjoy his company, and less due to the actual effects of alcohol. He seems in his element here, speaking of battle and war. After all, he has known nothing else for the past 8 years.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-16, 11:23

"Villages belong to lords and lords command armed forces. We are to pillage these villages to antagonize their lord. He in turn, will bring weapons and armor to us. All we will have to do is take what they set before us."

Leewan glances at Captain Ritter and returns to addressing Robillard.

"Gwain is not suited to lead soldiers in battle nor slay men with steel. He has his uses in subtlety and theatrics but he will need your protection from the hatred and spite spawned from his antics. You can be trusted to keep Gwain alive as he scouts out the lay of the lands we pillage."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-16, 11:29

"You propose that I go with Gwain on a scouting mission then? I can certainly keep him safe. Many of the men I have seen since I have returned have gone soft. It will be easy to sweep through them without resistance. When shall we begin the mission?"
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-16, 12:30

"The men are organized and ready. Our fleet sails the day after tomorrow. Defense of the lands has been left to the competent hands of Captain Ritter."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-16, 12:55

"Excellent! Now, I believe our business is concluded. I look forward to campaigning with you, my brother. Let us go back and rejoin the feast, while you tell me more of your son, and your beautiful bride."
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-16, 13:10

And so you all return to the feast and much merriment is had. Many more drinks go down thirsty gullets and the party goes on well past sunset. The next day upon awaking from your chambers you all receive word during breakfast that the men of the army have started to arrive at the port and that Captain Ritter is overseeing their organization aboard the fleet. Robillard also receives a summons From Cardinal Schiller to the sept
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-16, 13:13

'Finally!' Robillard thinks. He dresses in a simple tunic and pants, the clothes he wore often to the Templar church services during the crusade. He then departs for the sept, looking forward to meeting Cardinal Schiller once more.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-16, 14:11

Setting out from the castle Robillard makes his way to the sept dedicated to Themis. His enormous frame makes it difficult to not be recognized immediately by the local populace whom he towers over and is harassed along the way by numerous villagers about stately affairs and by beggars. Eventually Robillard finds himself standing before the sept with its door towering even above him and the golden symbol of Themis seen gleaming from the top of the church. Stain glass windows depicting Saints of the church follow along the sides of the structure with the front depicting the sun and the moon above the door. Upon entering Robillard finds the familiar sight of rows of benches arrayed to face a great alter to Themis. All along the walls are copious amounts of riches and religious valuables that make even the fortunes within Heretic's End seem paltry and several villagers can be seen praying either at the benches or to various religious symbols around the churches center. At front most benches Robillard can see two individuals sitting next to each other in heavily embroidered red cloaks. One of the individuals has Cardinal Schillers personal symbol of a raven clutching a rapier upon the space between his shoulder blades and the other has a symbol of an owl clutching a goblet in the same place.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-16, 14:21

Robillard walks up the center aisle, moving quietly and respectfully. When he reaches the front most benches he kneels to present himself to the two men. As he kneels he crosses himself (or whatever people do instead of crossing themselves) and bows his head in respect.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-16, 14:38

[There isn't anything like the cross for Themisian religion so you simply kneel]

After you kneel before the men Cardinal Schiller speaks in a hushed tone "My dear Robillard, how good to see you in the lands of civilized society once again. Allow me to introduce you to an old friend of mine, Cardinal Dorr. I'm sorry I could not make it to the welcome party on your arrival as there were important matters I had to discuss with my fellow Cardinal." Cardinal Dorr nods in greeting and gestures for you to take a seat.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-16, 14:50

Robillard sits gently, making sure not to crush the bench. He nods again to both Cardinals, and speaks.

"Please, you have no need to apologize Cardinal Schiller. It was a small event." He then turns to Cardinal Dorr and continues, "it is an honor to meet you Cardinal. I am Robillard Von Griswald, second son of House Griswald."

Addressing both the cardinals he says, "I am most pleased to back in lands loyal to Themis. It was an honor and a pleasure to purge the heretics in the latest crusade, but eight years is a long time. May I ask what you desired of me, my lord?"
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-16, 15:03

Cardinal Schiller raises his hand in a dismissive fashion before speaking "Am I not allowed to call upon the man whom I gave patronage and am happy to find returned home? I would think I am allowed such a privilege young one. You still have much to learn and it is as I feared that the crusades have turned you into a zealot has it not? You speak Themis' name every other sentence and risk reducing the importance of it when spoke."

Cardinal Dorr speaks with a croaked voice indicating his true age "Themis is a worthy master of us all Robillard but be wary of justifying your every action with her name."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-16, 15:33

"Apologies, my lord. As you say, I must become accustomed once more to our civilized lands. And I meant no offense by asking what you desired of me! I have missed you these past 8 years, and it brings joy to my heart to see you once more. I simply am eager to work your will once more. The journey home was long and hard."
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-16, 17:05

"And what a perilous trek it is across those scorched lands it always is. I remember when I was your age and I made the journey myself. I went a farther than even you; all of the way to the black forests where the most terrible of beasts live. As to my will I wish for you to reconnect with your family. So long you have been serving the church as opposed to your family and Themis thanks you."

Cardinal Dorr speaks up "We have learned that your older brother plans an expidition north to raid the barbarians. Cardinal Schiller will be returning to Adroysia with me while the heads of your family are away."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-16, 18:36

"Indeed he does. We spoke just last night; I was planning to join him and spend time with my family after all these years. We do not leave until tomorrow morning however. Perhaps I could interest you men in a dinner to give you good fortune on your journey! I have so much to tell you, although I'm sure you will have heard similar stories from all the crusaders!"
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-16, 20:25

Schiller speaks "We have heard of your exploits already Robillard and there is no need for you to spin us a grand tail. Alas we haven't the time for a meal as we must make our preparations to leave soon. Simply know that upon my return there will undoubtedly be much work for me to give you but until then do your best to reconnect with your siblings. You'd be surprised how much they've changed." The last part he says with a warm smile but the other Cardinal looks at you with a scowl
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-16, 21:31

Robillard nods, uncertain as to how he may have offended Cardinal Dorr.

"As you wish my lord. Perhaps on my return we will be able to spend more time together. After eight years apart there is much to discuss, even if you have heard of my 'exploits' as you say."

With that, assuming that the cardinals have no more to say, Robillard spends the next half hour or so praying in the church, asking Themis for blessings of strength and good fortune in the coming raid. Once he is finished, he will return to Heretic's End to examine his gear and make sure it is ready for a campaign.
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Post by Dekaru on 2016-06-17, 12:55

With affairs settled the brothers of house Griswald convene the following day at the port down below the town. The smell of the ocean water is refreshing and the cool winds coming across its vast expanse carrying a taste of salt. All about the docks citizens and soldiers move with haste as crates and chests carrying goods are moved on and off ships. Out in the waters but not docked at the port several merchant ships can be seen coming in or anchored but the ships that stand out the most are the great man of war vessels that comprise the Griswald fleet. Those anchored at the dock are picking up soldiers with their fresh weapons gleaming in the early morning sunlight and food for the long campaign ahead. The largest ship of all is the Crescent Fox, the fleets flagship which stands an entire deck taller than the other warships and it is here that the brothers of house Griswald bid their farewells to those they are leaving behind. Leewan's wife and son are present to see him off and wish him safe travels and a good campaign against the barbarians.

With the ships ready and all those going on the journey on board the ships lift their anchors from the oceans waters and begin their journey across the Trilhap Ocean. For a month the ships travel without any sight of land though the fleets Admiral Pasche does his best to entertain the lords of Griswald. He spins tails of his days at sea before joining the officer caste of Griswald ranging from great battles at sea to travels to far away lands that none of you have ever seen before. After the months travel, 36 days after leaving port, a call comes out from the man in the crows nest aboard the Crescent Fox that land has been sighted. You all make your way to the top deck of the ship and you see the barbarian lands off in the distance. You see no smoke plumes off in the distance to indicate a village but you do see the never ending stretches of pine trees and the great Enard Mountian that stretches well above the clouds (higher than any mountain in Atlen).
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-06-17, 13:23

Gwain, with his longbow and quiver slung over his back, approaches Leewan hesitantly. "I know we've been over this together many times brother, but tell me again what the people of this land have done to deserve our warships? Are we here as liberators or as conquerors?"
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-17, 14:26

Robillard furrows his brow and looks confused. "We are House Von Griswald. Do we not raid these barbarians simply because they are weak and we are strong? I did not think we came here to claim land, but simply to take their crops and gold."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-18, 07:59

Leewan answers "What they have we will take. When their chief rallies men to defend, we will strike harder. By Themis' graces these funds will go towards swelling our forces' ranks."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2016-06-18, 08:08

Gawin looks down and his expression turns somber. "If it is by the will of Themis, and it bring honor to House Griswald, than surely it is a righteous path we have chosen."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2016-06-18, 08:21

Robillard clears his throat and rumbles. "Be wary my brothers. My talk with Cardinal Schiller opened my eyes to many truths. We must be devoted to the goddess, but if we overuse her name we cheapen her holy cause."

He then claps Gwain on the back and says cheerfully, "Buck up little one! You will see when we go on our scouting mission how righteous our mission truly is. Come now, let us find a drink to wash away your reservations. That's what always worked best for me in the Crusade."
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Legendary Exploits of Three Not Viking Brothers Empty Re: Legendary Exploits of Three Not Viking Brothers

Post by InteroVegas on 2016-06-19, 00:12

Leewan only turns his head to face Robillard: "Gwain, yourself and small contingent of soldiers must set ahead and scout for ambushes or sentries."
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