Monday, 23 August 2010

Of Crows

Crows, as a bird, are the Guardians of the Dead and so their chosen elves are somewhat different to the norm. An elf selected by a crow is named CrowSinger and they mimick the duties of the crows in life - they become the guardians of dead souls, guiding the departed to the peace of the Halls of Jhkol - the Lord of the Dead in the elven religion.

Due to the power of the crows they only select three elves from each House to act for them. Should a House lose a CrowSinger (due to violent death or jingizu / sorrow) then that House becomes blighted. An example of this being the House Velent'm and what befell them in the end - loss of their Lord and a seperation from the mainstay of the elven peoples, despite their continued close ties with the House Aditu.

CrowSingers have been called 'shamans' in other cultures.
They do not rival the Priestesses in religious rank but are often regarded with respect and perhaps a little trepidation due to the nature of their spirit guides.

The crows live together in a large colony making their nests high in the tree canopy.

In Aquila they have taken the branches of the dead trees that surround the barrows of the dead within eyesight of the Rose Gardens.
No one knows who is laid to rest within the barrows since the Fall of Aquila for few would dare enter such places. However, it is fitting for the crows to want to be close to such a place.

The head of the crows is a bird named Rauxlor. He is the head of the crow nation and has previously taken CrowSingers from multiple Houses at the same time - they are then seen to be the 'primary singers' within their House.

He is ancient even in the terms of the long lived. Some would say he knew the Mad King in his days as a youth but that may be exaggeration. More likely Rauxlor came to being at the end of the Wars of the Mad King, for he would have found much work in seeing dead souls to their resting place that would tire even a supernatural being and the suspicion is he fled the Garden on one of the ships and then came into his own at the founding of the nine cities.

Rauxlor now reigns over a large murder of crows and has chosen to now reside with his kin who watch over Aditu in Aquila.
Although only three crows name a CrowSinger there are a great many crows within the murder, for they are a collective. A community of birds just as in nature.

Rauxlor took Navarre,
Seeker has taken Avarin after the death of Amiel-Has at the end of the War of the Returning and Shadow has taken Tirandel (the longest serving singer to the crows currently).

Rauxlor is now grooming his replacement Singer, suspected to be the son of Avarin and Navarre to ensure a continuing strong tie to the House Aditu.

Seeker is young in comparison to her own lord Rauxlor and known to be among the more vicious of the crow colony. The balance of Rauxlor and Shadow keep her in check.

Rauxlor is a wise elder being that considers before acting but will not stray from a harsh course if it is required.

Little is known of Shadow for Tirandel is a more solitary figure (outside of her fellow CrowSingers) and this is reflected in her spirit guide also.

It has been known for the three named crows to appear to others who are not CrowSingers. This is extremely rare.
When this happens they take on a larger form than their normal size in the eyes of those who behold them. They are also very vocal speaking directly to their audience, lacking patience and animated, to the point of seeming agitated.

A CrowSinger would see them in normal size when conversing and much calmer - something they do frequently with their chosen ones - for they are more attuned to the birds than non CrowSingers.

Since the Returning the crows watching over House Aditu have taken up residence in Aquila as described.
Since the fall of the five lords in 1107 they have constantly cast a shadow over the city by taking to the skies on a daily basis circling above the Rose Gardens and the three ancient towers.
Any that visit the crow's nests find a disturbing sense fall upon them that makes them uncomfortable and their visit to the barrows short.
At the time of the year 1110 the crow shadow has started to diminish slightly with the birds favouring their nests to the day's skies and adopting a more usual pattern of their existence.

The 'Crow Road' is the term used for the passing of an elf's spirit immediately following their death to the Halls of the Dead.
It is a spiritual journey but also a physical one for the crows who actually are believed to escort the souls of the dead.
Their CrowSingers aid this transition from the mortal plane of being by conducting rites and rituals. If it is deemed that a soul has not completed the Crow Road journey then they are considered to have been lost to darkness and will never find peace.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Ydar at court

Folks, just been reading the Ydar in Aquila stuff, i'm not going to post it as a blog entry because it's too damn long for that so I've sent it to Alan for hosting and then i'll stick it in the background section.
Having read it, the following questions are raised:
What is the crow shadow?
Who is Lassal?
Who is Rauxlor?
Who is Seeker?
What is a Skywatcher?
Who is Tirendel?
Where are Jakob’s royalties?
“key was long since lost to our peoples but only when the Voice came to her door” So when was the key taken? Before the fall? During the time of Jao? Or previous to that? What is the timeline here?
And finally, have you cunts never heard of speech marks? That’s before I get started on the use of “myself" instead of "I"...

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The nature of the Sithi - part 2

Following a prompt on the first discussion i have managed to find the file. So what follows is a write up of a discussion, this probably needs some picking to pieces before we formalise any of it.

Elven race:
All long lived people lived in the Garden. The races were separated and distinguished by their study of and relationship to the shadows they had been created by the Gods to study. Over the tens of thousands of years the different groups took on different characteristics (both physical and behavioural) based upon this. Light elves studied the shadows in the blazing light of day and cold light of night, deep elves went to the dark places (and then began making their own dark places) to study shadows in their own environment and controlling the light that was present. Drow meanwhile sought (and gained) a closer relationship with the shadows, mimicking them and living with/alongside them. However these peoples did not think of themselves as races as such as their first allegiance, overwhelming all others, was to their holds. Now some holds were predominately of one branch of long-lived whilst others were a more balanced mix. All however had a mix. We know that during the wars of unbeing several large distinct groups left and founded the various cities. All of these groups were made up of “Sithi-lebn-schel-n’kenamal” (or some such long winded untranslatable gibberish) which in the tongue of the Garden mean “Those people who lived in the time of complete dying” – ie those who were living during the 40,000 year long war of unbeing. By the time of Aquila’s hey-day they were just called Sithi “The people”. We do not know what happened to the other cities (apart from K’s story of one of them and my reference to a smaller very northern one overrun at the start of the usurper war) and the racial make up of them. Those groups who left the Garden before the war of unbeing (for a variety of reasons) were called different things and we believe these are the other long lived peoples out there in the world. Since they left so very very very long ago – their memories/histories have become irrevocably distorted from our own (though maybe almost still true through the prism of their own experiences).

Once the final refugees reached the known world the holds of old were intentionally pulled apart. The idea of the holds was now a repulsive idea. That one group of people would utterly annihilate another was blamed upon the allegiances to holds above all else (after all, 2 million members of Hold Thennict were killed in one magical assault so there was evidence to back up this hatred – on a related note, Drew, do you remember me saying there was a 2-card reading in the deck called “Elegy of the Thennict”? This, obviously, is where it comes from). The Lords of the Holds had possessed too much power, able to command armies of millions and wield horrific powers. Most had died during the war – especially since we are talking about the loosing side here – and those that survived quickly surrendered their powers at the demand of the mob. This transition though was a peaceful one – everyone wanted an end to slaughter. This is turn led to the concept and realisation of the issue of Jingizu. Finally able to stop fighting for the first time in millennia, the Sithi were able to let loose their grief and mourn. Such was the power of this release that it became a thing in it’s own right and all Sithi were pulled to the depths of suicidal despair. Realising the risk of the race effectively willing itself to die, the gods strengthened their chosen and sent them out to preach their message. They explained how these Sithi had chosen to forsake the evils of the Garden and would thus be allowed to live without the Jingizu (and presumably gloat about the fact that the ones who followed the King were still suffering) and would only suffer it if another Sithi died at their hands. Then they would not suffer the guilt of killing one but the same grief that those who had killed thousands felt.
All people define themselves by some form of grouping, without the regime of holds to define them the Sithi began to split along their racial lines instead. They were all still Sithi but each branch now called themselves after their racial line too. The Children of the Dawn, Deep, Shadows etc. However all seemed well in the city but tensions were beginning to build as the prize was that much smaller (eg control of a single city rather than the world) and therefore could only provide power/wealth/luxury to a limited number. As Ineluki was definitely a light elf it was very much the Zideya who were perceived to rule the city. This was not resented very much by the deep elves for they remained underground but the drow began to feel they were slighted and trapped between the two other Sithi races with no-where to call their own. They began to call themselves the Drow to distinguish themselves from the rest of the Sithi and offers of senior positions in the city hierarchy were rejected to perpetuate the sense of victim-hood. The true level of their disconnect and separation from the Sithi was only realised by a terrible act that should have been more terrible still. Fin Gorrel was a Sithi judge who presided over a court that found a drow guity of arson and sentenced him to be banished. The drow refused and challenged Fin Gorrel to trial by arms to prove his innocence. The law, unchanged for thousands of years, allowed for this but only until first blood; the drow however, clearly had more deadly intent. Fin Gorrel accepted the challenge, though his reasons for doing so remain obscure, and in the ensuing fight, forced to defend himself to his full abilities in the face of the Drow’s murderous assault, his sword found the Drows heart and Fin Gorrel fell to his knees as the guilt came crashing in. This was not the jingizu of the gods warning though – merely guilt for a life wasted. The Drow had removed themselves from the Sithi to such an extent that the gods and the power of the jingizu no longer regarded them as kin. Did the Drow know this before the challenge? Was the now dead Drow there to prove this point or merely die by blade or grief to prove the Drow claim of being victims? We do not know but the Lay of Fin Gorrel has become a powerful ritual. A stylised fight before actual combat between Sithi that follows the movements and killing strike of Fin Gorrel. By the power of the ritual, or by the power suggested by the ritual, Sithi are able to enter a state where the killing of another Sithi is seen as justified and thus the victor suffers no grief.

This ultimately meant that by the time of the fall the two races, Sithi and Drow, could kill each other with impunity. Though they may have lamented the fact that long-lived fought long-lived whilst mortals ripped down their city, they did not hesitate to turn their blades upon each other.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Background Marerial

Folks, shedloads more background material published in the righthand frame. If we've got questions (and i know i do) then start a post for each document, that way we can keep the discussion on track.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Q&A - Undead & WTF are the norns?

What is our postion on undead? Prevsiiuly were have played such stances as viewing them all as total abominations and yet at other times we (as in sithi characters past and present) have interacted with them, and even last Renewal, interceded on their behalf.

Basically what is the Aditu or wider Sithi stance on undead and why?

This leads me to the Norns? What are they? Who are they? Are they undead...see above....?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Q&A part 5 - Timeline

I'll ask Alan to post this as link somewhere as well for better reference but for now, here is the revised timeline agreed:

Year Event
1110 Present
Dec 1107 Battle of Limmer Hill - End of the War in the North
Aug 1107 Lords fall
Oct 1105 Start of the War in the North
Apr 1103 Returning
~1096 - ~1103 War of Returning
5400BC - 1100 Time of Jao
5401BC Founding of Second Houses
5857BC Founding of Houses
5902BC Fall of Aquila/Flight to Great Wood
5903BC Eastern War-Hoste withdrawn from provinces to re-inforce Aquila
5904BC Loss of Southern War-Hoste
5905BC Deep Elves secretly begin escape tunnels from Aquila
5905BC Loss of Northern War-Hoste
5907BC - 5902BC The Long Rout
5907BC Seige and capture of northern city of A'Matieles
5912BC Start of 4th Usurper War
5944BC - 5932BC 3rd Usurper War
5950BC Central War-Hoste (Legion of Aquila) march from city and disappear
5971BC - 5956BC 2nd Usurper War
5990BC "Last Ride" leaves Aquila to hunt down the Beast at the Gate. Disappeared
6028BC - 6010BC 1st Usurper War
6034BC First direct contact with Usurper
6160BC - 6034BC War of Northern Tribes/War of the Hands (wars with Sudhodya Tribes orchestrated by unknown power - Usurper)
13600BC - 6160BC Time of Aquila - Independence from the Garden
14500BC Last fleet from the Garden arrives at Aquila
20000BC Founding of Aquila (later to become Ninth & Greatest city of the "Garden in Exile" Kingdom of Prince Maldon)

Q&A part 4 - Miscellany

What the fuck is drashad?
I can't tell you because we have no idea what it is.

Who the fuck are the council of trees?
Some dude heard a rumour about a suspicison that someone had mentioned they might have heard another bloke talking about, but he's not sure: a cadre of elven mages looking to create their own power-structure (Navarre, that dirty sobak, had links to this group, ergo, he's not to be trusted. fortunately he's now dead). This is very much a hidden existence and not in common awareness. It is not known if the council still exists or has any influence. The council of trees are believed to be behind the ousting of house Velent'm.

What is skilling/how does it work?
It is a message out, a powerful transmission that requires much power, either through the use of a powerful device, of through extensive prayer. Certain individuals will have a natural proclivity towards this, certain powerful individuals can do this without additional devices. Essentially distance, number of receivers, ability of receiver, and the quality of transmission will vary. Two powerful practitioners may be able to converse, a more basic transmission would be, for example, the transmission of images and basic feelings from one person to another. This would still take extensive prayer and be exhausting to the transmitter and may have adverse affects on the receiver according to the emotions contained in the message. Crowsingers tend to have a natural ability for skilling. Spirit guides are able to skill to other spirit guides.

Who are the 9 priestesses?
The lead priestesses of Ashan in Aditu. They are the only full priestesses of Ashan, they are served by accolytes who are either simply temple servants or priestesses in training. See previous blog entry from Talnas.

Where does the warband fit in terms fit in terms of heirarchy?
The war-band are a mid to low-ranking group within the martial arm of the house however the nature of the house is that it is bound by its strength in arms. As such members of any war-band are accorded respect by the wider population, especially non-combatants.

And finally, just to clarify, Amerasu is Garden-born and ship-borne.

Q&A part 3 - The North

The North
Who is Blan-Kiaos?
Blan Kiaos "Blank" is a young warrior in Y'Dar's warband who is a favoured by arapey, at present he is simply an awesome fighter but has the potential to be a war-marshall even ascendant.

Who the fuck are the Krell?
Krell are a human tribe in the north aligned with Voice. These are not good people.

Do we have allies in the north?

Q&A part 2 - The nature of Sithi

The nature of the Sithi
Do we all agree with the creation story?
All agreed with John's introduction, as far as reaching Aquila.
Matt's chronicles follow on from the exodus.

Were the new houses / cities founded before or after the exodus?
The cities were founded after the arrival; Aquila was the final city "founded" though it is accepted that conurbations may have existed prior to the elven formal creation.

When did the second houses appear?
Second houses were founded shortly after Jao was started. Holds existed in the garden. some shit went down. your face was a racial division, that is to say, we split by deep, light, drow. That went pear-shaped in Aquila. So in Jao there was an attempt to return to a hold-like structure, the secondary houses were created as deliberate method of distributing power (shortly after the founding of Jao). Houses did exist in Aquila but only in the sub-context of noble lines - probably with a link to the strength of the blood link to the garden-born royalty.
House L'Retel were almost a separate house by the time Aquila was populated. This is likely to have stemmed from an attempted neutrality in the garden.

As Sithi are we a declining breed or are we at our peak?
We are not currently in a stage of decline, whilst we, as a species, may not be at the height of our greatness, we as house, are on a resurgence. For the members of the current warband (and most of the current active members of the house) we are stronger than we have been in most memories. We are Re-ant...

What the fuck are spirit guides?
Animal characters that have the power of speech to their chosen elf. The elf does not command the guide, vice versa. A spirit guide will rarely cause a conflict in purpose due to their ties to the elf. In general the spirit guide will just be a background influence however in extreme cases they might take direct action to influence a characters behaviour. A guide is normally a reflection of the personality of the elf. The only defined guardians are stag (for wardens) and Crow (guide). Amongst the Jao-houses, wolf is one of the most common, particularly amongst hunters (especially so within Aditu an Velent'm). Bears and Beavers figure strongly in Athuati. Birds are common guides amongst the more cerebral (rather than martial) elves.
L'Retel do not have spirit guides.

Q&A part 1 - Aquila

First of a few posts documenting the background stuff discussed in London. Add any extra questions or corrections into the comments.

How do you spell it?
single L (plagiarised from LadyHawke. This sickens me. Utterly.)

How old is Aquilla?
21010 years since founding (see the revised timeline)

When did it fall?
7000 years ago

What does it look like?
Walled City (single wall), Citadel with stone of farewell protruding over the walls. White Stone walls, always cleaned. There are three major towers, not including the tower of shadows, this was, in someway hidden (within the cathedral?) but is now open to normal sight. Towers are Moon, Sky and Sun. Rivers runs past it, with water gates. Originally there were broad travel ways with large marble buildings etc. At present though, the entire city is in a process of renovation, the only thing that has definitely been kept are the remains of the cathedral (as a reminder for our hubris) and a Human church that we have kept as a memorial to our allies.
Currently it is a mix of timber/stone framed buildings but there is extensive sithi use of canvas lodges within the city. Areas around the temples are being renovated according to the aspects of the gods.

How big is it?
2.5 miles by 1.5 miles, approximately elliptical. Significant vertical variation and extensive layers of city underground (as developed by drou and deep).

How many people live there?
2500 Aditu in Aquila (approx 500 Aditu still in Jao). Frequent visits from other elvesas and when they choose. at certain holy period this may double with members of other houses.

What's the deal with Ulunat?
Ulunat and other areas have sworn fealty to Aquila and provide a tribute to the city in the form of foodstuffs. the reconstruction is largely being paid for by the sale of the vaulables and spoils of war found in Aquila. The city is net importer of produce and aggregates.
Ulunat is spread around on the mainland outside. Populated by humans who have not left the area.

How is it viewed by the other houses?
Other houses have changed their tune from seeing it as the precipice of a genocidal war to becoming almost the equal of Jao and being a symbol elven greatness again. it is now recgonised as a great achievement by Aditu, and the right thing to have done. It is now a site of pilgrimage for elves from all houses (except L'retel).

Who are the bronze guard?
They are the Gaetasae who are asigned to the defence of aquila.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Renewal Interaction

I would like to put forward 2 ideas for the Renewal 1110 event.
We all pay a substantial fee to go in order to mix with a variety of class of people / role players and these suggestions would give us a good base to build our own confidence from to then take ourselves out into the wider picture ...

1. We build bridges within our own Faction by visiting the Thornruin as a complete warband to present ourselves in friendship and in respect of the previous Aditu-Thornruin alliances and ties of friendship.
We can use this moment of role-play between us to properly explain our new group set-up (in-character, as we are not gay role players who quote rulebook ver batem) and just reaffirm our ties as elven race with new leaderships.

2. The Franconians always make invites and have their open hospitality often 'abused' (dare I say) so suggest we invite them formally into our camp ground by written missive giving a day's notice. This will enable them to interact within the Al-Gaia camp and specifically the elven elements.
I think we could host them under our own awning and then move it into a more interactive role-play situation by including the Lazuli and Thornruin.

Discuss, in no more than 4000 characters ;o)

The Nine Ladies of the Night Sky

Luthiel - Ulariae Kandila Noni Aditu (First Priestess of Aditu)

Erurana - Tenciae Kandila Noni Aditu (Second)

Matissa - Telliae Kandila Noni Aditu (Third)

Tanna - Kendiae Kandila Noni Aditu (Fourth)

Maelondwen - Falliae Kandila Noni Aditu (Fifth)

Rinwen - Hensiae Kandila Noni Aditu (Sixth)

Faelwen - Settiae Kandila Noni Aditu (Seventh)

Hera - Onariae Kandila Noni Aditu (Eighth)

Aireiel - Noniae Kandila Noni Aditu (Ninth)

Friday, 6 August 2010

Caran Bara

His blades are seen in the warband
in the struggle with the hard foe.
Before the rumble of his shield there is flight:
innumerable men fled before Limmer’s hill-fort.
As his hand did grip
his sturdy lime-board shield.
He pushed, he was pushed.
Those that he struck,
did not strike back,
but were slain.

With red-sided blades
filling the ground.
Wearing gold at the forefront of battle
the laureate Gaesatae does slay men.
The Sereg in his station, the boar of the company,
Ydar violent in slaughter, the reddened manslayer in fury.

Composed by Greyus Club-foot, Skald of King Breor Barelegs, after the Battle of Limmer Hill, Ashanor 1107. The subject rewarded him handsomely

Thursday, 5 August 2010

My father’s path

I am my father’s son. In my manner, my looks, my path through life. Every step I have taken is in his footsteps. He beckons to me from further ahead the road we both walk. I do not begrudge this; I am my father’s son. But my father is dying now; shall I become my own man at last?

This day began the same way as every day in the last month. Waking cold and hungry, my sleeping roll damp from the dew. No time for breakfast, no time for anything but donning my armour and weapons and rolling up my bedding. It will still be damp if I un-roll it tonight. We will eat on the march as we have done for the last few days; every meal on the march, each night spent cold and dark, no fires, being woken to take watch. They caught us once in the dark and we suffered for it. We cannot let them catch us again. Short cold nights; long cold days. Sleep and march. Our captain will allow us to do nothing but. To slow is to die. To turn and fight is to die. To make for the Great Wood is to bring death to our homes. So we woke this morning to continue running. If our captain started the day with a plan then he did not share it and it has surely gone terribly wrong. My father said nothing of his opinions on this or any other morning. He did not complain so I did not complain. If I have opinions now may I venture them to the captain? Must I remain silent as my father?

Though he is not silent now. His screams reach me. Is that my name he is calling?

They are tenacious our enemies. They tracked us from the moment we entered their territory. They herded us and sprung their trap. Their only mistake was to underestimate the strength of a Sithi. By the grace of Ugedi they made that mistake and we escaped. They have not made that mistake again. Their numbers are now overwhelming, their assaults brutal, they hound us at a relentless pace. When they come again I will not be able to stop them. Will I die here like my father? Do I still tread the same road as him?

We made a wrong decision at noon. We turned north not south. The injuries of our friends cloud our thoughts and we make wrong decisions. Our own injuries slow and distract us. We cannot survive our wrong decisions. When we knew we had made a mistake, that we must turn back, we knew we would meet them face to face again. We knew it would cost us. It was our scout’s fault but no-one blamed him. No-one had seen him sleep since the ambush. He is dead now. Our tired scout. He lies forty paces ahead of me on his back. Three great shafts point up from his body. He failed us again and gave no warning before he fell. The priests of Jkohl say you cannot blame the dead; only atone for their mistakes. I do not believe we will atone. Only pay. When we saw his body, his failure, we knew we had been ambushed again. Knowing made little difference. The captain gave his orders, we followed them in silence. My father made no sound so I made no sound.

He will be making sounds now. Thrashing. But I cannot hear that over the screams.

They came in a wave and we stopped them with our backs to the tree line. Claws scrabbled at our shields, jaws bit on arms and legs, thick hide stopped all but our heaviest blows. Our long swords were less than useless. Unable to injure them, a danger to ourselves in the close quarters. We knew that before the fight. We too can learn from mistakes. Most of us had drawn shorter, stabbing weapons. Brutal work. Four of ours were down. A dozen of them. Too many and not enough. We fell back into the trees, dragging our wounded, breaking our line round the boles. It made no difference to their attack. Their ways are based not on tactics but on animal cunning. They stopped attacking allowing us a moment to recoup. We followed a trench in the forest floor that led to a clearing. Baradan must have guided my arm during the fighting for I was untouched but had killed many of the beasts. I think before they called off their attack and since then they have begun to fear me. I doubt this fear will hold them back much longer. I was the last to reach the glade, the last to hear my father’s screams. I nearly screamed myself but did not. The first time I have not followed where he led.

A rake of claws across his stomach. His armour was in ribbons. So much blood on his legs, his hands, pooling beneath him. Not red blood anymore but black. His liver was torn. Jkohl had grasped my father’s hand and was pulling him towards his halls. Dying while I was living. Bleeding while I was whole. Lying in the dirt while I stood. Was my father proud of me then? As I stepped away from his path? I will ask him soon I think. In the halls of the dead. I made to go to him but my captain stepped between us.
“Elohath” he said.
“You must hold them back for us. You must give the priestess time.”
“There is an old ritual Elohath, using old magic. It can get us home but it requires a lot of power. More than we can normally call upon.” He paused, considering his next words. Amren always considered his words. “There is a lot of power in a life. Power that can be used when a life ends.”
I understood his meaning. The others were only injured. My father was dying.
“Where should I stand my Sereg?”
“At the entrance to the trench , where we entered the glade. Hold there Elohath. You are touched by Baradan this day; I know this to be true. You will hold until we are ready.”

And so I stand here. At the mouth of the trench as I was ordered to. There are bodies all around me. Those beasts who attacked me and those who tried to get past. Not one has reached the glade. I stand and fight while my father bleeds. My father is calling, crying, for me. But I do not move.
His screaming stops.
He is dead. I am alive.
The trees are growing pale, ghostly. The ritual is working.
I am surrounded by the dream road. Embraced by it. It is familiar to me. My father’s embrace.
It is the final path he will forge. A path home. And now I will follow it.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Weekend Discussions

Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone for the weekend. Some tough things said and some tough things taken. We've got a lot to do for next time.
In terms of the background stuff we covered, i'll be grouping the Q&As into logical sections and posting them so people can expand / challenge etc in the comments sections. I'll try and get that done over the next few days.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Enos the Maul

Enos the Maul has the distinction of being given his name by Amerasu herself rather than one of the Marshals as is more common for a warrior.

In 957, during a ceremony of rebirth at a ruined temple on the edges of the Indus forest, his actions undoubtedly saved the lives of several priestesses of Ashan and allowed the prayers to be completed without interruption.

The temple, abandoned during the Usurper Wars and desecrated by generations of Sudhod’ya since then, was to be re-sanctified in Ashan’s name. Mid way through the great hymn though the foul magics practiced by the local Sudhod’ya tribe disturbed the Sithi ritual and the stone guardians of the temple who stood in niches either side of the door, were animated for the first time in millennia and descended from their plinths and marched up the temple nave to attack the priestesses. Struggling to contain the backlash and complete the ritual the priestesses remained kneeling in front of the alter as the stone warriors slowly advanced upon them wreathed in flames from the Sudhod’ya magics.
Most of the warriors who had accompanied the priestesses were outside fending off occasional attacks from the local so it fell to the few within the temple to hold back the attack. Seeing his sword made no mark upon the stone skin of his opponent, Enos Aditu took up a great flint-headed war hammer that had been taken as a trophy from a Sudhod’ya chieftain who had opposed the Sithi advance on the temple. Leaping into the midst of the half dozen flaming statues, Enos swung the brutal weapon in great swings and brought it crashing onto his enemies shattering limbs and heads with each swing. The magic animating the statues was of the time of Aquila Te Lunashed, powerful and raw, and the stone men moved with disturbing speed and struck with great strength. However Enos was quicker and his violence more deadly.

So quick was his execution of the wardens that the warriors outside never knew that a battle had occurred, the priestesses were never aware of their danger and Enos’s fellow defenders in the temple stuck the attackers many times but none were brought down by any other weapon than the hammer swung by the Aditu warrior. It is said that Hiska Aditu, Comitati and bodyguard to Amerasu, standing at First Grandmother’s side at the alter, did not even feel it necessary to draw her weapon such was her confidence in Enos’s abilities. Though First Grandmother's back was to the fight, and though she led the prayers to cleanse the temple, Amerasu knew what had occurred and once the ceremony was over and the priestesses and other warriors were exclaiming at the ruins of the old wardens that lay scattered across the temple floor, she named the Aditu warrior Enos the Maul and sang his praises to the other Sithi and to Ashan above.

The weapon now sits in the great halls of Aquila, the head nearly split from the haft after Enos brought it down on the head of an orc warboss attacking the Great Wood in 1014. The maul, and the warrior who carried it, are blessed by Ashan and many Sithi warriors touch the polished hide of the handle for luck whenever they enter the Hall of Artefacts in the palace. Enos himself now serves as a warrior in the warband of Amren the Fair.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Oath at bottom

Very, very minor point, after much discussion if you recall we went with "sarn nan dorn" - "die by my hand" for the last part of last line in the end to avoid using megil - blade too much.

I assume that after everything has been sorted we will get rid of all the OOC stuff and just leave the cool IC stuff...? Or was there talk of a sep website for that...?

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Stuff to sort out.

Extract from John's mail here. Add your thoughts in the comments box and refer back to which of the points you're referring to or whether it's a new thing.

1) Background stuff - I wrote a lot of stuff prior to last event and I know a couple of you said it would be good to go through and understand what I meant and also to point out contradictions, mistakes, changes and just holes in the thinking.
2) Character concept - what is each person's character all about and what are their goals. This runs the risk of removing some of the spontaneity from the play but I think will add more than it takes away as we will know what the hell Llofan, for example, is all about.
3) Aditu plot - what do we want to see happen to the house story? Where happens next basically and we can then fit play at day events, national events, IC letters and on-line discussions around this end goal.
and finally, given the above:
4) What do we see happening/want to see happening to our group? This is the real key to the meeting but I think the first three things need to be covered first so that we know where we are trying to take the group. This is where we will need to find a happy middle ground between differing ideas. Eg J has a more adventurers ambition, John has a more unimportant grunts ambition. How do we meet both as much as possible without one of us being bored or the other one not feeling they can play the character they have created?

Monday, 1 March 2010

The Indus War

The Prajda of Indus, self styled The Masked Tyrant of the South, was largely ignored by the Sithi until 412 when he claimed to be descended from a union between the Usurper and Prince Ineluki’s bloodlines. Subsequent acts in 414 and 415, denying the divinity of the Elven gods and displaying two captured Sithi in his Court of Masks, sealed his fate and War Marshal Thelion the Bold of House Aditu was dispatched with 200 Sithi warriors from four Houses to end the Prajda’s rule. Of his army of four thousand slave warriors, the much vaunted Jevlah, barely 200 were still fighting when Thelion led his Gaetasae to the foot of the Ivory Throne. Convinced of his own immortality, the Prajda chose to engage Thelion in personal combat despite his great bulk and a life of indulgence and excess. He rose from the throne and advanced swinging the Sword of Indus, his badge of office, in a slow, ponderous manner. His hand was separated from his sword-arm a heartbeat before his head was separated from his neck. Despite extortions to surrender, the Jevlah chose to fight to the end and not one of these bonded warriors lived by the end of the day.
A flourishing civilisation lay in ruins, it’s greatest city is now over grown by the jungle and populated by beasts, the wealth of the Prajda, the output of this jade and emerald mines, left lying in the streets. Thelion returned to Jao and presented the Council with the head of the Prajda, still wearing the ornate golden mask of the Tyrant.

Fifteen Sithi warriors had died and many more were injured in the brief war, not least Hathken Aditu, the ranger who had lead the army south. His brother, Beorn the Whole, took his shattered body to the Gorge of Res-Nela to plead the Bone-witches and the High Priestess of Glandu-Gen herself to intercede and save Hathken’s life. Hathken survived but as a broken being, not the ranger he once was. Confined to his home he is sought out by alchemists and healers for his knowledge of plants and herbs outside the Great Wood. His brother meanwhile remains in the Dead Guard, protecting the valley where Glandu-Gen is strongest, paying off his debt to the diseased goddess for his brother’s life

Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Tunnels

Drip drip drip.
We liked the tunnels. The sudhodya can’t see a thing in the dark, they lose their bearings as well; even their veterans struggled down in the black.
There were other things down there with us, neither sithi nor sudhodya, but they were giving us wide berth now. We’d run into a few darker beings earlier but they came up against the Retan and Fearbane, two wide in the tunnel with our shields over their heads and Valine dancing between us with his spear darting death like a god’s whip.
Drip drip drip.
I can’t remember when I started hearing that beat under our near-silent passage, I couldn’t trace it in the tight confines. The walls were dry, we made this after all, and so was the floor but it was ever present now, just on the edge of hearing.
Drip drip drip.
I cocked a questioning glance at Etan but he shook his head. In the dark he looked pale and grim, but we’d been going for hours now and I suspect we all did.
A tap on the shoulder, passed forward, and we paused. The Dogged gave a hold-fast sign to the Retan and then ghosted back. We waited.
Drip drip drip.
More waiting.
Sudden violence behind us. The Dogged had sprung whatever rude surprise he had planned on whoever was trailing us down here.
Eyes front still, lucky that, as a sudden flare illuminated the tunnel. Etan and I turned and leapt to the rear to replace those who’d lost their vision. A Sudhodya mage, mid-cast, with two marines, our people backing off, blind shields high. My brother’s axe took the caster in the teeth from ten feet and we dealt death to the marines in their sudden darkness.
More waiting as our eyes re-accustomed and joints and blades were checked.
Drip drip drip. Back to the front and slow steps forwards.
No tunnel now, a room, large, so much so that even our eyes could not see the corners. The smell of men and blood, but old and less pungent than that which we carried with us. Spreading out, a circle of shields now, one deep, as always.
Etan to my left, as always.
We knew then that it was a most likely place for an ambush, but we would have walked on anyway; Grandmother called us home, so home we went.
Drip drip drip went with us.
They came with a hail of arrows and a spellcaster. The sudden light took away our advantage; their advantage was numbers. They closed swiftly following the arrows, marines again, more of the Inquisition’s best. Shields and short-swords for the close quarters, still some archers to their rear and their mage plotting who knew what.
Valine took a shaft and had to discard his spear, dropping behind he started to cover for Etan who was slowing. Soon I was not attacking at all but simply trying to keep my brother alive, he was lost and wavering. A nothing blow, off his shield, to his helm, took him down.
It was only when I stepped over him that I saw his entire left side drenched in blood.
No more drip drip drip.
He had not breathed a word.
A shaft rocked my shield back and two marines followed quickly. A jab low to my legs cost one of them an eye but his friend came over my shield with a bastard sword. As I fell I wondered where that had come from, I’d not seen it until that moment.
I remember seeing Anlus charge into the gap and Fearbane turn to cover us as amber liquid began to fill my eye. Damn that’s not good. I need that. It ran across the surface of my eye and fell from the bridge of my nose.
Drip drip drip.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Landing on the Shores

And when we had landed on the shore, our captain ordered us to fire the ship. The flames were as a beacon to the Sudhod’ya of those lands that the Sithi of Aditu had arrived. From miles away the flames could be seen and the glimmer of fire upon the helms and swords of the Gaesatae. By the burning of our ship the sky itself was painted the colour of blood. That is why they call him the Red.

They pushed, and were pushed. But the men of the tribes had gathered to push the Sithi back into the sea and soon the waves licked their heels and their backs were to the burning hulk. Y’dar Caran called for a warrior to break the Sudhod’ya line and Llofan, most pious of the Gaesatae, stepped forward and declared that in the name of the gods, he would strike down the Sudhod’ya. Then did Llofan stride up from the sea and break the captains and champions of the Sudhod’ya one by one. He pushed but was not pushed back. He struck but was not struck himself. The Sudhod’ya broke around him for the gods love those who do battle in their name…

But then came the Sudhod’ya King and his household and once more the Sithi stood on the beech and held back defeat at the water’s edge. Many were wounded or captured by the Sudhod’ya who valued slaves above all property. The mortals would risk all to take a Sithi captive and they would pay with their lives for this desire. Y’dar Caran ordered them to stand just one deep and kill until none were left to kill anymore. In the dark, with the ship behind them, only the curves of the helms and shields, only the lines of spears, axes and swords could be seen. In the dark, all that could be seen was coated in the blood of those who resisted Y’dar. That is why they call him the Red.

Now the last stood alone on the beach; at their feet lay the King and his household; but those Sithi left could not defeat the horde that remained. Then a cry went up from the Sudhod’ya host for more ships now rode the sea. The Gaesatae of Neyad Prelgur and Anlus Bechal stood upon the decks of their ships and drew back their great yew bows. A flight of arrows so great as to rip the clouds into the tatters rose up from the ships. One further ship drove forward to the shore and a great warrior jumped from the prow as it grounded, landing square on the shore as the arrows fell. His helm had the wings of eagles on its sides. His cloak was of the deepest blue, black it seemed in the firelight. His axe caught flames in its shine and reflected death to the Sudhod’ya who saw it. He said “E-em Amren Jelass, Telen Amal a Aditu.” And the Sudhod’ya fell dead on the beach.