King of the Stolen Lands

Building Blocks

Building Blocks

     So there I was. Standing in the village as it burned to the ground. The sound of men, women and children alike screaming in the summer night. Bodies strewn about, a few still clutching to life begging for mercy before me. There I stood helpless, only one man in the midst of chaos and death unable to prevent all which was going on. I fight through the orc bandits that are causing all of this death. It seems endless. I finally find Darius, slumped against a shopkeep’s wall, with several deep wounds, swords and daggers still impaled in his body. He smiles through his bloody teeth and says “I am done. Go get them for me”. He spends the last of his reserves to toss his cold iron longsword at me and spoke “I’ll be with ya buddy” as the glimmer of life faded from his eyes.

     I awoke from the terrible memory in a cold sweat. To often I recall that terrible night in which I lost a close friend and was unable to stop the destruction of that small village. It haunts me as one of the single moments where I truly felt weak. Useless. Defeated. I could not even save them. How could I have the strength to protect my party plus a new born nation. It all hit me hard as the notion of such responsibility weighed heavily upon me. Darius was right about one thing the night before. I couldn’t do it alone. I would need much help. To rely on others a bit more than I usually would. The start of that, would be my Goddess. I had to do something to show my conviction. To show my utmost loyalty to her, so that I may receive her blessings. So that I may use such blessings to aid those that needed it. Also, to use those blessings to destroy those who threaten the peace.

     When I got out of bed I instructed my family members that I needed their help with an issue. I asked my mother for the old family heirlooms. They were two brands that displayed the sigil of Dol Arrah. Used back before my grandfather’s time in which a few of the House’s clerics and knights would brand themselves to mark for life their devotion. My mother immediately protested against me branding myself, however most of my family was all for it. Some of them, too much for it heh. Stoney just shook his head saying “You be daft boy” as Tira chided me “If you yelp in pain, this doesn’t count”. I told them briefly on how I wanted it done and where. After some moments of debate, the procedure went underway.

     Randof, Stoney, and Reamus held me down to my bedroom chair. My cousin Armont and uncle Gafgarion at the same time, pressed the flaming hot brands of Dol Arrah on to the back of my hands. Excruciating pain surged through me as everything came to a slow crawl and a golden haze came over me. “This is barbaric. I thought this archaic practice was done for” my Goddess spoke. I said to her that I wanted to prove my faith to her, my utmost loyalty. “That is very sweet and thoughtful of you. No matter how silly such a thing might be. You were always loyal to me. You never needed to prove anything”. I snapped out of the haze when all the sudden one of the maids announced that Adra was present. She looked at me and asked what I had done and for why. I simply said I wanted to retain favor to Dol Arrah. Adra said afterwords to me “This is barbaric. I thought this archaic practice was done for”. Word. For. Word. After I stood there for a moment baffled, I simply chuckled it off as we spent the next few moments in a religious debate.

     Shortly after my mother came to inspect the brands but seemed more interested in Adra. She commented on how she held herself with a balance between toughness and elegance. This was going to fast in the direction of my mother asking if this was to be a woman I could court but fortunately for me Adra saw that notion coming as well as we steered my mother away from that topic. Adra came by and wanted to chat on how the kingdom would be taken care of, which I said staying with us for a day would be a start to such talks. Adra looked around at her surroundings for a moment with interest and agreed as mother spoke of having a grand dinner for us prepared.

     The whole day I spoke with Stoney and Adra on what would be needed of them. Stoney mumbled around that if the kingdom had an official armorer to the army but I never heard of such thing. I did bring up how dwarfs are great at making grand, sturdy buildings, that they had a knack for architecture. He sort of scoffed at the idea saying that he only had that was a tad racist and he studied it just enough in basic upbringing. I tried to detail what I wanted built and as to how. Stonehands unhappy with my drawings took over and began to elaborately sketch out a city district and building designs as me and Adra looked on in awe. My mother chuckled as she walked and took a look. She said dwarf basic architecture is by far better than a studied human’s. So after Stoney saw what he drew, what he had, he seemed a bit proud and said he wouldn’t mind helping in that department. We agreed he would be our kingdom’s Master Builder or Byggmesteren as said in the old language.

     Adra went over what her duties to the Church of the Silver Flame were and I tried to think of the best way to utilize said abilities to a position. I brought up that we needed someone behind the scenes to try to root out corruption. Someone who wasn’t really put much into public spot light or needed to lead anyone per se. She seemed fairly interested in the idea and I think joked that she was shocked I didn’t give her the position of “mistress”. My mother came around when she heard that line but quickly batted it away with “I can easily find a mistress. What I do need though is a capable woman like yourself in a job like this”. The discussion went on well into the night and over dinner.

     During dinner when Adra’s ear was not being directed towards my little sister Tira (who had oh so many questions about The Silver Flame and Tira Miron), we went over the last few matters. How I wanted Kesten Garress to lead our military. Since Kesten was shunned and I felt like I developed a certain bond with the man over a small amount of time, I thought he could and would take that position. I brought up how I thought it would be good for Akiros to go forth redeeming himself and become a Warden of sorts. Command the town guard and work in conjunction with Adra and Kesten. Adra wasn’t fond of that idea but I implored that I felt the man deserve a second chance and he could be a valuable asset.

     The talk of Kurgar coming back was held in a bit of a strained conversation but I noted how for all of Kurgar’s flaws, he was at least honest and always completed the task. I noted how I wanted to be a loved and respected ruler but know that sometimes some acts had to be carried out for the sake of good and for the law. Kurgar I wanted to designate as our our Royal Headsman. The priest who helped us out by the name of J’hod I thought would be great for the job of head clergyman for our kingdom. Adra and Stoney thought that was a good idea considering since he was a priest of the host, that it would make it easier for the area to get acclimated since most of them followed the Host as well. Talks of Treasurer and Councilor were brought up and I just threw out Oleg and Svetlana. Mostly cause Oleg ran a business and thought he would be decent with money. Plus Svetlana seemed very kind and sweet so would be good working with the common people. When the matter of what we were to do with Boris came up, I was far to drunk into the family dinner to really come up with any good ideas for him. The rest of the night after that was a bit of a blur as I know at one point Adra left, Stoney started wrestling with my family in the dinner hall, and I started “wrestling” with a few of the housemaids in my bedroom.

     The next morning I was rudely awoken far too early by a housemaid after only so very little sleep. I rose from the pile of women I found in my comfort to see that Adra was looking at me in disgust. She instructed me that I was late on our run. Oh crap, did she mention she wanted that last night…man my head hurt. With a moment of meditation and a slight whisper, my fatigue went away and I was able to concentrate finally. I apologized and said I would be out there soon as I got up to retrieve my pants, wherever they were. Adra blushed and practically ran out of the room as I searched for my lost garments. The maid went on apologizing to me that she didn’t originally want to wake me and instructed that there were ways for her to make up for it. I yelled out to Adra to give me an hour.

     After my impromptu morning interruption and the maids went back to doing their chores, there came a knock at my door. “So help me if the girls are still in there still, you and them will be punished” I heard my mother say outside of my door. I laughed and said that I was clothed and alone. A few moments later my mother and a few other men came into my room holding chests. My mother smiled and informed me that my armor was finally complete. The men opened the chests and inside laid the part of my armor. I had to go on the early morning run with Adra still but I HAD to wear this immediately.

     The armor quality was impeccable all on it’s own. Though what truly made it feel special was the designs laid into the armor. On the front of the armor on the breastplate was a huge engraved itteration of House Fellstorm. In the middle was a giant mountain with a lone wolf howling at the top as several other wolves were at the base of the mountain with a few others running up. The arms were strewn with many carvings of The Host and prominently with that of Dol Arrah with my family crest being on both of the shoulders. On the back at the top between the neck and shoulder blades was a design of half of a human woman with the other half turning into a dragon. This was the representation of Dol Arrah. On the armor she was overlooking a furious woman knight on a valiant steed. Horse bucking in the air, the knight herself raising her sword defiantly to the sky with Dol Arrah looking over her. This knight is the famed Tira Miron.

     After hastily equipping my armor I made my way outside to a very much peeved Adra. She stopped and looked over the armor to much amazement and said it suited me better thought it would slow me down. I didn’t care, I wanted to break this new suit in, so I merely shrugged and said it wouldnt slow me any. I took my time and ran at a decent pace as Adra took off running until she was out of sight. It was nice taking in the sights of Brindol as people waved to me as I passed by. News spread quickly in the city as people knew they were waving to a would be king. After a while I found Adra sweating profusely and out of breath. I laid my hand onto her and brought her back up to my level. This seemed to make her angry. “You are a cheater. It is unfair of what yo do with your gifts” she remarked. This led to yet another religious debate. Mostly involving that she talked how much she didnt believe in my gods and they had no power but was concerned on what I supposedly did with this power from gods that did not exist? All she did was smile and said “Fair enough”. Then, with as much grace and speed, she tripped me onto my ass. She stood over me and laughed saying “I could use whatever gifts I may have to cheat then” and took off running back to my family estate.

     When I finally got back to my estate I held talks with Stone and Adra that I wanted to leave as soon as possible to the Greenbelt to get to everything as quick as possible. Stoney said it would be best so he could survey the land but Adra seemed dismayed and announced that more time in the city resting might be best. I said I wanted no room for error and we were to leave the next day. I had word sent to Boris and Kurgar saying for them to be ready to head out. From then on for the whole day we discussed what the new nation was to be called. All of them were terrible ideas. A name is important. It has to be something that people can agree upon. That speaks of hope and captures your attention. Great of all things to be concerned about right now about, I am more worried about my kingdom’s name. Yea, what a wonderful leader I am going to be.

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Armont

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