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Information => Announcements => Topic started by: Howlando on January 20, 2019, 05:51:39 AM

Title: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Howlando on January 20, 2019, 05:51:39 AM
Chapter 1 - Escape from the Underdark (http://"http://www.efupw.com/old_forums/viewtopic.php?t=2005&start=0")

Chapter 2 - Escaped from the Underdark: Archipelago (http://"http://www.efupw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19806")

Chapter 3 - Escape from Undeath: Mistlocke (http://"http://www.efupw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55963")

Chapter 4 - Escape from Uncertainty: Revelations (http://"https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=63722.0")

And now the story of EFU breaks from its tales of the End & Apocalypse to turn to a different time and place, slumbering sleepers confronting a whole new region of the realms.

A recent surge of travellers through the Rings have descended upon Ring 99.....
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on January 26, 2019, 03:11:06 AM
The 99th Ring of the City shakes and thunders with the voice of the Herald.  But this eve, he does not announce the arrival of a dispense of the King's table... but the first of the royal taxes...

A tithe of blood and revelry is to be taken from all in the Ring, as the Tourney of Awakening is called.

The Five Houses of the Peerage convene, and as is their duty invested by the distant King, aim to compete for the prize...

...the right to claim the mysterious 99th Banner, the mystical artifact conferring stewardship of the Ring to whomever holds it.

A grand melee is called to ring in the week of Tourney, and Jagga Brissthbene emerges from the bloodied arena, soaring high on his victory.

And so the games begin...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Vlaid on February 01, 2019, 10:08:32 AM
On the heels of a long day of violence, bloodshed and scandal that ran through the streets of the Peerage unchecked, the Royal Archivist made a sending late in the evening.

City Sending by The Royal Archivist : Hark, Retainers and Peers of the ward. Gather yourselves before the old gates of the Peerage with steel away prepared to engage in a forgotten art of conversation. There will be a reckoning for the deeds done this day.

An elderly and singularly displeased figure stood just inside the gates of the Peerage in the dark of night, rain dampening not just the cloaks but the spirits of all in attendance as the Royal Archivist addressed the the crowd .

"Today many of you have forgotten who you are, you have forgotten yourselves in the preening for stature between the houses. I do not fault you for this, it is one of the oldest traditions to the Peerage, but you have forgotten today why the houses  stand over this ward and from where you draw you claim to nobility. It is not so you can send this ward into open war and stain it red with the blood of one another's houses. It is not so that you can send the streets into the chaos of unending war and strife in ever greater displays of violence. You have disrupted the natural order of this ward, the charge of all five houses."

The Royal Archivist rose a crooked and aging finger in the rain and wagged it at the the gathered crowd of the Peerage in a somewhat absurd display of admonishment.

"The houses stand to maintain this ward. Have you forgotten the tradition of challenge and duel? The prestige your houses strive for by besting one another in public displays befitting your houses? Do not answer, I know the answer. You have. Now we must lower ourselves, to replace once proud and old traditions with something lesser....laws. This Ward will have order to it! No more will the Peerage be stricken by war and bloodshed across our streets! Forbidden, these debase acts of violence between the houses through the streets of our Ward except by rite of challenge from this day henceforth!

This shall be known as the First Law of the Peerage, the platform from which all other laws will stand. You five houses will now decide how it shall be enforced and how all laws to follow shall be. I have done my duty, now you all /will/ do yours for our King."

At the end of the Royal Archivist's address to the Peerage, a scroll detailing this First Law was tacked to the wall of a guard tower and he departed to leave the houses to bicker and argue over how the laws of the ward aught to be.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on February 02, 2019, 07:43:53 AM
Whilst the Peerage's tourney events continue unabated, all has not been well in Ticker Square.

Today a swarm of oversized insects broke through the cobblestones of the Square itself, bursting out to attack all they could encounter. It was only thanks to a group of valiant defenders enduring the corrosive liquids spat at them and the sharpened mandibles lunged at them that the Square was held. The insects eventually were driven back into the depths.

Oddly, after the chaos subsided, witnesses spoke of strange details: the insects dragging the fallen back with them into the depths, along with anything else they could put their mandibles upon; an oddly shaped and differently coloured insect seemingly scurrying about, observing the whole situation from behind the rest of the chitinous hordes.

Whilst many took shelter after the onslaught in the Open Door, a few hardy souls ventured elsewhere in search of the creatures. Eventually they returned victorious, with a dead example of the odd observer insect, along with a few rescued fallen from the Square battle.

With the residents of Ticker Square growing afraid of potential further attacks, eyes have turned expectantly to the secretive Stonebuilder's Guild in order to repair the damage and to bolster the defences of their home. It is said that after some odd ritual involving some Ringrunners of Ticker's Square that the Stonebuilder's have stated that once again their ranks will open to new artisans and defenders: but only when the portents of the stone say it is the right time...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on February 16, 2019, 05:59:21 AM
The Tourney of Awakening has ended, and the Peers have their victor...

Destrier's panted and lances shattered, as the five houses pitted riders 'gainst one another in the tilt of the Joust; and the House Orza won itself no small prestige in claiming victory there... however...

Having triumphed in the preliminary games, and by the venomous blade of Errilam the Viper of Velstra, Lord Norbert's house now holds the sacred and ancient Banner of the King. 

Though much mystery surrounds the particular nature of this artifact, what is known is that the Houses all covet it; for the halls in which it flies are blessed with fortune, and the favor of their distant monarch.

And so with the close of Tourney, so too lift the bonds of peace (however tenuous they may've been!) between the five prime families of the Peeage Ward. 

The Banner hangs high in Velstra Vale...

...And flies boldly in the mind's eye of those who'd aim to steal it...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Abala on February 26, 2019, 12:23:54 AM
A great wedding was held recently at the Velstra Vale.

Errilam the Viper, victor of the King's Tournament, was allowed to take the hand of the lovely Emily Winespill, bastard daughter of Lord Norbert Velstra, in marriage.

Things began peacefully, with much feasting, merriment, and indulgence. The lords and ladies of the Ward were all in attendance. Just as the ceremony concluded, however, the "gift" from Kristoff Orza was unwrapped. A host of serpents came slithering out, stinging and biting at the groom. Soon after, reality itself wobbled over the slain reptiles, and terrible creatures of rot and disease spilled forth- creatures that were quick to kidnap the bride and abscond with her.

The groom lead a coalition of retainers from Sunpurse and Velstra, along with some members of the "Ordo Arcanum", through the opened seam, where they traversed a realm of boils and pustules. There they fought and defeated a hooded mage who spoke of the great powers held within the Banner of the Peers, and how the House of Velstra was quick to misuse them for pointless purposes.

While the bride was rescued, and seems hale and hearty, many accusations are now hurled across the Peerage Ward. Was this the work of the envious armies of Orza? The scheming sorcerers of Nephezar? Some outside party yet unknown? Few have any good answers, and all parties are quick to deny involvement.

All the while, the Banner billows high within the Vale...

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on March 17, 2019, 05:20:10 AM
Chaos has afflicted Ring 99.

It started simply, with a gathering of clouds over the Ring and a strange sensation filling the air. This was followed quickly by more oddities - individuals in all populated areas of the Ring reported sudden onsets of darkness and silence, before their senses returned to them.

This simplicity did not last long, as loud, mindboggling sound of tears in the fabric of the City's reality began to form. Grasping shadowy forms spewed forth seeking any of the living they could find.

Though the tide was initially beat back, a larger threat soon loomed. Darkness began to spill forth over the walls and through the gate to Ring 100 and perhaps even further afield through the Rings. Gigantic and monstrous warpings of reality soon followed in the wake of the tide.

Eventually the combined might of the forces of Ring 99 beat back the shadowy threat. Yet something has changed now. Nothing quite feels the same and many report feeling like they are being watched by someone or something.

Reports quickly began to surface of one, two, or even more shadowy duplicates of friends and relatives forming amongst the dwellers of Ring 99. Some act like those they have mimicked. Others seem to act as a mockery to all their originals stand for. Regardless, while many seem to be violent, the majority are at a minimum hedonistic - as if seeking to quench an endless thirst for experiences.

Into this chaos have stepped forth the Arbiters of the Hundred Scrolls. Nearly silent within their Cube for a long time now, the disruption and chaos inflicted by this planar and duplicate invasion has broken their meditation. Those residents of Ring 99 old enough to remember their last period of activity speak in hushed whispers about their deeds and likely activities. A mixture of fear and hope fills the heart of many, for while the Hundred Scrolls seemingly encourage its Arbiters to deal with things many would consider threats... they have a habit of viewing other, supposedly minor, matters with an equally baleful eye.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on March 31, 2019, 01:19:55 AM
Strange lights and ethereal music filled the rings last night. Now, all of Ring 99 is abuzz with rumor that a retainer of House Velstra has made a pact with the Laughing God. The details vary: some say one of their retainers stole the face of a more beautiful woman; others speak of a Nephezaar servant having undergone a strange transformation to suit Lord Norbert`s predilections.

Velstra is no stranger to scandal and gossip, of course. The dignified Lords and Ladies of the Peerage cluck their tongues, and dandies at the Groat laugh in their cups. Still, there are whispers that Changeling mischief has wormed its way into the Vale. Servants speak of fretful nobles  pleading for their children, or at least the heirs, to avoid the Endless Feast...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on March 31, 2019, 05:38:31 AM
It began in the early dawn of the day: multiple Doorkeeper Whispers made by the erratic and newly sworn-in Retainer of House Velstra, Sylyn Nine-Fingers demanding a duel with the equally erratic former Retainer of House Orza, Siobhan Diomasaigh, who was currently well known to be seeking shelter within House Nephezar's Refuge. Those Whispers were met with reply by the challenged and both parties met upon the Peerage Ward bridge.

In confusing circumstances involving a large group of on-lookers from Ticker Square and Retainers from Houses Orza, Velstra and Nephezar, rumours state that the two madwomen whispered and yelled at one another for hours in the rain, until they parted, seemingly having decided not to fight.

As many were preparing to depart, it seemed that Siobhan had not had her fill of chaos for one day, and chose this moment to heavily insult her betrothed, Adrian Winespill. Whether united in genuine outrage or feigned, the Velstran Retainers jumped at his demands to subdue his future bride, who was swiftly brought low - alongside an onlooker and a few Orzan Retainers who decided to protect their traitor, for reasons unknown.

It is said that his bride was dragged by him personally to the gallows of the Ward, perhaps to be hung, or at the least tortured with some sort of impromptu "trial". This was soon disrupted however by the arrival of Lord Norbert Velstra, who, in disgruntled fashion, berated his bastard son for seeking a way out of the betrothal he had begged his father for and summarily ordered that the wedding he had bestowed the two was to occur immediately.

The wedding was held swiftly and surprisingly uneventfully, given the name of the Lord of Revelry was invoked by the foul and obese priestess presiding over it. Yet those present report that the bride and groom were unhappily wed, whispering venomously at one another from the start to the very end of the ceremony.

Additionally, a public declaration was forthcoming from Lord Norbert that: Siobhan would join House Velstra as Siobhan Winespill, that she would cease wearing Orzan colours and that she would no longer seek shelter within House Nephezar.

What further chaos will come from such a union is unknown, but is eagerly anticipated by the gossip mongers of both Ticker Square and the Peerage Ward...

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Halfbrood on April 01, 2019, 11:40:11 AM
Over the past weeks, whispers of some manner of strange creature being released into the City were rampant, as well the involvement of the Ordo Arcanum; some speak of foul pacts with beasts from unknown planes, others speak of foolish errors these so called experts made within their ritual summonings, though none but those that were present truly know the specifics, tongues wag all the same.

Though the rumours swiftly died down, and in particular recently the creature seemed to have disappeared, they seem to have begun to be heard once more. The creature, it is said, is some manner of cat-like being from parts unknown, imprisoned by parties unknown for crimes equally so. More specifically, the rumours speak of how  the creature appeared to a representative of the Guild of Merchants and posed a simply bargain.

Planar secrets, artifacts and goods from the far corners of the multiverse, in return for the Guild's protection and resources as it completes its research into the City.

The thoughts on the matter are split, though few at this time know the Master's own minds on the situation, the people of Ticker are equally wary of such a deal, outright hostile to the prospect, whilst others find themselves drawn to the chance at profit-making enterprises such as has never been seen within the City, nor the Ticker Square markets at any point in the past.

What is certain, the deal will occupy much of the Guild's time in the coming days, and the outcome will have great impact , for good or ill, upon the Ward for much time to come.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on April 05, 2019, 09:48:44 AM
Ticker Square is abuzz surrounding the offer of the mysterious Ib'javi the Unbound and the rift between the Guildmasters made evident by it; to many less savvy of the Tickers and the newly Awoken who assumed the organisation to be a front united, rumours of their politicking and of a proxy struggle called by the Rumour Mill "the Groat Wars" comes as a great shock, with conflicts that had been long simmering under the surface come forth.

As to the nature of Ib'javi, there is little consensus; a small but vocal minority insist it is a creature of evil incarnate which dines upon the newborn and seeks to enslave the City with insidious enchantments, though the majority dismiss this as nonsense, stating the Guildmasters would not even be considering the offer if such were the case. Equally few, however, are those who believe it to be an honest and forthright being with the best interests of mortals at heart; claims that it is a Changeling queen, a ruler of some fiery Seam, or a Wizard whose magicks have twisted its form are common, with fantastical stories of the woe it may inflict or the wonders it might bring on every tongue.

Known vocal opponents of the deal include Ted Shopkeepson and the controversial Tristan Caerfal, though many view their arguments as overly moralistic; they have yet to strike a chord with the pragmatic mercantile mindset of the Square who fear no divine judgment and do not wish to be preached to. Another who stands against it is Beodda Aethwin of the Blooded Shields, whose public letter has fared a little better, though his sudden and mysterious elevation to Guild Member is whispered about often, with many guessing which of the Masters' pockets he lies in and some dismissing him outright as a puppet..

Though it is common knowledge that at least one of the Guildmasters is strongly in favour of accepting Ib'javi's offer, that side has been quiet so far. The gossip-hungry population has fallen back on rumours and hearsay; some guess that Guildmaster Tchammorar of the Adamantine Vault would want to accept the offer, with those arguing it pointing at the Kobold slaves already in his employ, and the Minotaur who supposedly protects the bank, to show he is no stranger to profiting from less savoury elements. Others say that Laura Bucklebeak and her Blackstone Mercenaries must be in favour of the deal, calling it the justification for the rivalry between her and Ted Shopkeepson in the first place. There has been no statement from anyone thus far though; in the silence, the name Ib'javi is slowly but surely sullied by its detractors with none come to its defense.

And through it all, the eager reporters of the Rumour Mill can be seen flitting here and there, interviewing the citizenry or joining the secretive meetings of the Guild Members, eager to stoke the flames...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on April 10, 2019, 11:08:48 AM
It has been a busy (and bloody) few days in Ring 99; across both the Peerage and Ticker Square spreads salacious gossip of honour, greed and murder.

In the Peerage, Velstra has stood ascendant for months now, the Banner of the King flying proudly in their courtyard. Errilam the Viper, their most feared retainer, has grown fat and contended in a life of luxury, unrivaled by any of the other Houses. All of this may be set to change, however, after a series of brutal raids performed by House Orza. Some speak of underhanded assassinations, others of open warfare upon the streets of the Peerage; one tale that has gained a lot of traction is of Kristoff Orza himself decapitating a Velstran presented to him. However, all that is known for certain when the dust settled is that Orza seemed to be the victors of the day, their name which had once been crowed mockingly through whispers by the Velstrans feared once more. Whether this was mere blind violence, or the beginning of a plan from the upstart House to secure the Banner for themselves is yet to be seen...

In Ticker Square, meanwhile, the Groat Wars rage on. With renewed purpose, the supporters of Ib'javi the Unbound have flooded the markets with posters in defense of free trade and a Ticker Square free from outside involvement; the Arbiters of the Hundred Scrolls are discussed often, with many citizens of the Square indignant at the idea of these foreign zealots meddling in their affairs. Despite this, a strong undercurrent of resentment still brews; although there are few big names beyond Beodda of the Blooded Shields standing actively against Ib'javi, there are many producing posters and sendings decrying the creature  and calling out to stop the deal.

More exciting to the gossipers are the whispers of foul murder done against a local Priest who was known to speak out often about Ib'javi. Precisely why he was killed is unknown, though many believe it obvious that the ruthless supporters of the deal are undergoing a campaign to silence their rivals. Others still tell convoluted tales of an Orzan spy sent to the Square to spread discord, blaming the entirety of it on the interference of the Peerage.

Of most interest to the adventuring populous, however, are the posters proclaiming a grand tournament hosted by a number of Guild Members in support of Ib'javi. The winner, it is said, will receive a grand prize crafted by the creature itself; however, this is not all they fight for. Whoever victors in these blood sports will also receive a front page interview with the Rumour Mill, and be given a chance to influence the ever-burning decision of whether the Planar being should be allowed in Ticker Square immensely...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on April 18, 2019, 02:57:56 PM
With the vote regarding the fate of Ib'javi the Unbound mere days away, Ticker Square is abuzz with trepidation. Rumours speak of tense rivalries between Guildmasters Webber and Tchammorar, of other Masters changing their allegiances at the last moment and of Guildmembers and outsiders alike busily working away at propaganda and skulduggery to secure their desired outcome.

The consequences of the Ticker Tournament, held last week, are still echoing; the champion Wilbert Thornspike spoke high words of praise for Ib'javi and for the freedom of Ticker Square trading for all to see on the front page of the Rumour Mill, and is rumoured now to be in the employ of Mr. Blacks himself, a well-known advocate of the Unbound and the host of the tournament. While some call the whole thing obviously rigged, this and the interview with Ib'javi that stood alongside it seem to have dispelled some of the concern regarding the creature.

While those within the Guild opposing Ib'javi seem to have fallen silent, gossip of their backroom dealings is plentiful; where precisely word first came out nobody is quite sure, but it seems common knowledge that Uld's convictions have changed after a meeting with a number of them. What has followed this absence of vocal opposition from the establishment of Ticker Square is a series of anonymous and defamatory posters and publications; images of Ticker Square in thrall to the feline creature are common sights on publication boards, and a grotesquely named "Tumour Mill" paper in the same style as its more reputable cousin is passed around, replete with vicious accusations of foul play from those who support Ib'javi, accusations that have even found their way into the Rumour Mill itself.

All of this, alongside the somewhat labyrinthine voting system employed by the Guildmasters, means none yet are certain on the outcome. Whether free trade or common decency shall win the day, there is still more to be seen; and more to be done by those few cunning enough to act in the last few decisive moments...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on April 22, 2019, 01:35:39 PM
The matter of the vote is settled at last, in a spectacle that was, to many, the first time the Guildmasters had been seen together; all, that is, but Webber, whose seat was absent and whose daughter instead stood beside it. Though it caused some stir among the citizenry, to the seasoned merchants this all seemed expected, with some of the more outrageous rumours claiming that the intensely private and elusive Guildmaster has not left the workshop beneath her shop since the Square broke for independence.

The Chamber of Commerced where the debate and vote would take place housed not just the more prestigious merchants and historical Guilds of the Square, but also its citizenry, Peers and even creatures from stranger shores come to witness the discussion. From the Guildmasters, fiery words were spoken by Oscar Tchammorar, who put forth a philosophy of bare greed to the cheers of a number of the richer merchants and the fearful silence of many of the public, who instead favoured Valentina Webber's well-orated words of caution. Following that was Ib'javi, and then the Guildmembers.

Stepping up to speak were not just the new and influential merchants who had been so active in the debate on Ib'javi, but also the more established traders and the leaders of the petty Guilds; even the rag-shod 'Chief Beggar' of the Worshipful Guild of Alms Askers took the stage to give their opinion and cast their vote. Though a small coalition of traders in the more magical or curious stood up against it, many put this down to a fear that Ib'javi would act as competition. Standing in favour of Ib'javi were a number of the Guilds, including the much feared Solomon Krown of the Butchers.

With the final vote tallied, it became clear that the once controversial notion of allowing the supposed Demon to trade in Ticker Square was no longer quite so alien thanks to the persistence of its proponents. Still, though, it was not quite enough to force a clear victory,  and with the last call finished the vote sat upon a tie. It seemed as if both sides would have to disperse in an effort to sway a thus-far unaffiliated Guildmember when from the crowd emerged a man dressed all in black who refused to speak and left as soon as his vote was cast; a vote that ensured Ib'javi's trade with Ticker Square, a man later revealed to be the Head Accountant of the selfsame Guild, whispered bitterly to be in the pocket of the Adamantine Vault.

With the matter at last complete, the Tickers look forward with trepidation to the first arrival of the curious merchant, and wonder what crafts she will bring...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Mort on April 22, 2019, 10:34:56 PM
...The alleyways beyond the Peerage and the pond shifted and twisted giving birth to a forsaken district of the 99... The Mongrelwoods...

Away from the King's watch, into the shadowy streets, thick vegetation has grown giving a natural wilderness of its own. Stray dogs run wild. Gutter cats hunts, and the Mongrelmen, deformed humans stuck between man and beast live in the abandoned houses living a solitary life.

On behalf of Silas, the owner of the Open door, a group of courageous adventurers traveled into the Mongrelwoods in the search for the missing children - there - a sinister truth of the Ring 99 was learn - that the families of noble and common-folks alike abandoned their children in these woods should they bore any deformities or malformation that might mark them as a Changeling - an old legend speaking that if such children were gifted to the woods, their bloodline would be kept pure of the Changeling curse.

While the path to the shifting alleyways of the Mongrelwoods are hidden to most, some say that this venture is only a sign that they open up oncemore to the people of Ring 99 bringing this wilderness district back within reach of the common men of Ring 99 ... For the better or worst, as powerful and vicious shapechangers are said to dwell in the depth of the woods, and their return would surely signal more dangers for the Ring.

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on May 19, 2019, 04:59:09 PM
It has been a tumultuous few weeks in Ticker Square. Magnus the Manslayer, now with a 35,000 groat bounty to his name, bought low the beloved Laura Bucklebeak and Wilbert Thornspike. Meanwhile throngs of brave, avaricious, and immensely stupid adventurers – including the once beloved Captain Adamantine – have thrown their lives to fate at the Feast and lost. But with the loss of so many long-standing Pillars of Ticker Square, new opportunities present themselves...

Today, the sharp, youthful voice of Oscar Tchammorar rang out through Ring Ninety Nine--

City Sending by Guildmaster Oscar Tchammorar : Ahem! With the unfortunate retirement of Laura Buckbeak? Bucklebeak! And the sad, sad fate of Antoine o` Hara, known to you all as Captain Adamantine [He pauses, sounding almost sad...] Both the Ticker Square Apothecary, and Hall, are now vacant. I encourage the ambitious, enterprising, and daring among us to join the Merchant's Guild and claim these properties.

City Sending by Guildmaster Oscar Tchammorar : For that matter, the owners of ALL properties under Merchant Guild protection shall submit to the Guildmasters a report of your activities and verification you are still alive, and not simply using our beautiful square as some warehouse. Fail to do so within ONE WEEK and you shall lose protection of the Guild.

City Sending by Guildmaster Oscar Tchammorar : And lastly, I ask that Stone Builders be -extra vigilant- in the matter of removing riffraff and miscreants, from these properties. That shall be all.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on May 29, 2019, 09:22:22 PM
A dark and terrible night in Ring 99, with the curse of Tchun set on. It started with a chill wind and a panic spread through the people even before anything stirred; but before long, a series of ominous whispers from the insidious Doctor Mench, long known and feared as the right hand of Magnus the Manslayer, who had been defeated in a duel mere days before. Having seemingly taken over a Doorkeeper's headquarters, she spoke of the terrible ailment that afflicted the Ring, and announced triumphantly and madly that she had defeated death itself and now came to bring salvation to all.

What followed was a night of terror; the sleeping dead marched upon the Peerage Ward from the Ponds while the beasts and outcasts fled and hid, even climbing out of the Druthers to assail the brave band that held the tide. Horrors stitched together by the doctor and sinister shadows routed and slew many of the defenders, but many of the Peerage's finest warriors, and even the distant Arbiters, stood their ground and saw an end to the invasion.

With the creatures finished, those who yet stood sought to bring the Mad Doctor to justice; marching upon the Manslayer's old manor, there they were met with his headless corpse made animate, Mench's last defender, and fell into a final struggle in which, even with the Doctor unconscious, her abomination fought on, taking the combined might of all those present to defeat.

Though she was finally defeated, it seemed the madness of Tchun persisted; as they dragged her to the Peerage Ward to be hanged, it is said that Errilam the Viper was overcome with infernal bloodlust and in cold blood butchered a Squire of Glitt, before sending a mocking letter to the House gloating about how much he enjoyed the murder. Many have lost any faith whatsoever in the Knight and whisper that he has lost himself to Tchun's sleeping madness just as the Mad Doctor did, though few are brave enough to say them to his face...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on June 10, 2019, 06:28:29 AM
Resentment toward the Stonebuilders had been stewing in Ticker Square for quite some time. With the robbery of merchants in broad daylight, and the rampages of Magnus the Manslayer and other Orza Enforcers, the competence of the strong men of Ticker Square had long been in question. The five guildmasters of Ticker Square made known their own thoughts on the matter:

City Sending by Guildmaster Oscar Tchammorar : Quite honestly the protection Ticker Square has received over the past few months has been -disgraceful.- Merchants are robbed in the streets, one to the point he is even afraid to open his sad little shop. Geriatric nobles cloying at relevancy send their thugs at our merchants pretending to go to war. It has been irksome. Your pretty coins are safe in my Vault, but where would I be without your valued patronage? I am simply thrilled to announce the Ticker Square Guarding Contract shall is now up for review.

City Sending by Guildmaster Silas Sparrowbroth :Thank you... Oscar. The Merchants Guild will be making a FORMAL announcement in the Chamber of Commerce atop our Guildhall. It will be in fifteen minutes. Ticker Square is invited to hear us out.

A tense meeting was held. In one month's time the five guild masters would put the question of who stands guard at Ticker Square to vote. They touched briefly on what it would take to earn their vote (https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=693882.msg709531#new), and a public forum erupted. The Butchers and Stone Builders emerged as the main contenders for the contract. Solomon Krowne, a former lieutenant of Orza, made the bold claim only his Butchers could could stop the tide of Peerage influence and grizzly perversions of Ruul Velstra. But the Stonebuilders told a different story, one of overlooked victories at the dispensary, kindness toward the awakened, and common heroism in the face of the Nephezar's coterie of inbreds.

How these Guilds expect to earn the favor of all five Guildmasters remains to be seen. Oscar Tchammorar of the Adamantine Vault has created a competition of who can collect the most debt on his behalf, from Ticker and Peer alike. The Daughter of Walda Webber suggested her mother has an interest in the beautification of the citizen and its culture, and that the salvage of Prestigious relics would be much welcome...

The surprise of the evening was the arrival of the elven brightmage Amonkas Inaran. The wizard boasted of the victories and martial prowess of Ticker's elven population, most notably their recent defense of the Adamantine Vault against a planar invasion. This comes at a time where the Temple of the Lady of the Moon, the cornerstone of elvish culture in the ward, was tasked by the Guild with recovering the golden prosthesis of one Adrian Winespill. Some do whisper that elves only care for their own, and this is merely a gambit to avert conflict with the Peerage. It is unknown how the elves of Ticker shall organize themselves, but the prowess of the fair folk is not in question...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on June 13, 2019, 06:04:57 PM
An open brawl erupted in Ticker Square last eve following some business on behalf of the Cheese Baron Khur Uld, who is said to have for some reason confronted a group of Stonebuilders. Tempers rose, with insults flung on both sides, until at the Baron's insistence the Butchers intervened and chaos broke out. In the aftermath, the Stonebuilders are widely believed to have emerged triumphant, knocking down both Uld's guards and their rivals the Butchers before retreating to their headquarters.

The Builders stand triumphant for now, though with a Guildmaster now set against them, many in the Square whisper of an inevitable comeuppance; Khur Uld is a Dwarf not known for mercy or rising above petty slights, and already the Baron's thugs are seen roaming the Square more frequently, jeering and threatening the Stonebuilder enforcers who guard it. Most believe more violence in the coming days is all but a certainty.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on June 19, 2019, 08:14:42 PM
It has been two weeks since the announcement of the reevaluation of the Ticker Guarding Contract. Much to everyone's surprise, and delight or disappointment depending on who you ask, the competition between Guilds has been shockingly civil and with few street-brawls. But it has been an eventful two weeks, with much weighing on the minds of the minds' of Guild masters and Tickerfolk:

The opinions of Silas Sparrowbroth, owner of the Opener Door, remain a mystery. Pleasant but tight-lipped he has declared for neither Guild yet. Some say he shall base his evaluation on their performance in the upcoming Ticker Tournament (https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=694019.0). But will such frivolities really prove the Butchers or Stonebuilders more suitable as protectors?
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on June 22, 2019, 11:17:28 PM
Though there were many conflicting narratives about what came to pass in recent days, what is known for certain is this: that Ruul Velstra managed to obtain the Ritual Stone of the Court Wizard Tower from deeper within the Rings, and that he intended to use it for some ritual involving the condemned and haunted Oldspyre in the Peerage Ward.

What occured when he started his ritual however, is well known to all.

It began with a fantastical display of wizardry enveloping Oldspyre as Ruul seemingly attempted to create his own wizard tower within the Peerage Ward. Whatever once haunted Oldspyre has been exterminated and the building would certainly be fit for habitation if what had followed had not occured. For it is said that soon after the cleansing of Oldspyre that Ruul lost control of his ritual and instead of creating a new tower, he somehow instead managed to summon the old one... tearing a hole in the fabric of reality between the two Rings in doing so...

Through these rifts in reality also came strange beings of faint form that hungered for the living, proceeding to attack all the gaping onloookers to Ruul's folly - all the while, high above them, the broken and shattered form of Isiratuu Tower floated above them, raining rubble down onto the Peerage Ward. It is said that through the rift, all of Ring 99 could hear the screams of agony and fear of the residents of Ring 93, as they clearly suffered the brunt of the invasion of the strange creatures.

Out of this chaos appeared a strange magical projection, that of a giant head. Condemning Ruul for his wreckless destruction of the City, the projection announced itself as one of the King's Architects and proceeded to imprison Ruul within a magical sphere, cursing him to remain in place until the damage he had wrought to Ring 93 was completely repaired. In an incredible display of power it then proceeded to close the rift that had opened and reformed the fragmented and shattered floating remnants of the Court Wizard's Tower into a staff that subsequently disappeared...

Though the damage to Ring 99 was repaired, the departure of the projection and news from Ringrunners made clear that Ring 93 has been severely damaged and continues to be plagued by the rift that is slowly consuming it and all nearby living beings. It is unclear as to how, or even if, the destruction there could be repaired or ended.

One final mystery was resolved later the same day however, with the Royal Herald announcing that the Court Wizard's Tower, now know by its old name of Warrenwatch, would be placed as a grand prize at the end of a Certamen Tourney to occur in the future - for the King long ago decreed that there must be a Court Wizard, and therefore there would be one.

Many wizards, initially frightened and turning to hiding after the destruction wrought by their colleague, Ruul Velstra, have subsequently re-emerged - their greed ignited by the possibilities of the staff of Warrenwatch. Some frenzied rumours spread speculation suggesting that it is not just a staff of great power, but perhaps a key to somewhere, or something... perhaps to another plane, perhaps to a great treasure, or perhaps to another version of the Tower itself. Whatever the truth, only the new Court Wizard will be able to say...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on June 28, 2019, 05:43:52 AM
A brawl between Butchers and Stonebuilders has errupted into Ticker Square. The merchant Maldon Kirkland, and several Butchers, were seen marching on the Adventurer's Mart with the intent to evict Ted Shopkeepson. Ted had been tasked by the Merchant's Guild of doing -anything- significant enough to make the Front Page of the Rumor Mill, but failed to deliver. All were expecting his quiet eviction on Saturday. But Maldon and Butchers came Thursday.

A brawl errupted in Ticker square when "Sorcerer Lyon" and Stonebuilders loyal to Ted stormed the shop, retreated, and were pursued by the boystrous Alexander Tallstag and Rivirsh Amblerblade.

The cause of the brawl remains unclear. Some say it was because Maldon failed to present documents indicating Klink had allowed him to evict Ted early. Others report the temperamental Stonebuilder known as "Sorcerer Lyon" ignored the document, or simply was unable to read. There are whispers the eviction notice was a cheap forgery, or some stunt by Klink to cause confusion in the name of the news.

"Dumb oafs might be good for laying bricks, but if you can't read and mess up orders you have no business at guard duty." - Gawking shopper

"Ted made all the right moves. He was good to those Stonebuilders, even paid his way into the Guild, and what did it get him? Lord Norbert and Lady Sunpurse wouldn't do that..." - Anonymous Tickersman

"That Tallstag boy is a menace! Gave my son a whole box of cigars. And matches to light them! Is this what Krowne's men stand for?" - Fretful mother
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on July 09, 2019, 03:53:35 AM
After a series of brazen assaults on merchants of Ticker Square, the Guildmasters had declared they would be looking for a new mercenary company to guard Ticker Square. Interested mercenary companies were given one month to impress the guildmasters and secure the contract. The Butchers' and Stonebuilders' guilds emerged as the frontrunners of the race, with the Elves of the Luminous Order a distant third.

The hour of the vote now soon approaches (https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20190709T23&p0=179&font=cursive). It seems so far Guildmasters Tchammaror and Uld are for the Butchers. Walda Webber has been quite silent through the entire affair, her daughter Valentine offering polite thank yous now and again to the Stonebuilders for their efforts to beautify and preserve the square and City. Sparrowbroth appears undecided. Stonebuilders proved their prowess in the Ticker Tournament, and the Butchers managed to recover a rare vintage he coveted. Klink, similary, has kept her mouth shut. Perhaps she is impressed by neither, or simply holding her tongue until the final day...

The sudden expulsion of Manus Opalstone hangs heavily over the Stonebuilders, however. Despite his interest in masonry over mercenary work the dwarf garnered a reputation for being level-headed and fairminded during his tenure as assistant foreman. His loyalties came into question after aiding the Arbiters against the elven seer Teniluae Saefril.  The spirit of the masons seems to have broken since, and not recovered...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on July 10, 2019, 06:32:13 PM
The Guildmasters have met and a vote was cast. Solomon Krown and his Butcher's Guild shall now serve as defenders of Ticker Square:

Grinning Wolfishly, Solomon Krown and his men departed the guildhall to celebrate for one night before beginning their duties. It is said Krown simply spent the evening brooding, smoking a cigar and sharpening his cleaver. The usual jovial Foreman Burnside, nervous and sweating, trudged with the Stonebuilders to their guildhall in silence. A number of prominent Stonebuilders, known more as thugs and adventurers than masons, seem to have left the guild entirely. Some worry what will become of so many now unemployed strong men...


Shortly after the vote Manus Opalstone lead a march Pauper Ponds to capture the Rat Queen and take control of the Old Manor. There was a great brawl joined by Tickerfolk, Pondsfolk, Elves, and Arbiters. Now, the cursed manor sits in the hands of the former Stonebuilder and Arbiter Duncan Lovejoy is dead at the hands of the Rat Queen. Rumors and accusations begin to fly about who fought on behalf of whom...

Flyers begin to appear in the open door... (https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=694345.0)
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on August 21, 2019, 10:46:14 AM
Word quickly spreads that the long awaited, or feared, Tourney of the Peerage has come about again. This time with a twist. It seems that the mysterious Architects have somehow beseeched the Royal Court and seen fit to punish the Peerage for the mess made by Ruul Velstra with regards to Ring 93 and his failed ritual. Or at least, that is how many residents of Ring 99 are interpreting matters.

Regardless, it seems now that not only is the Grand Tourney of Ring 99 now open to all within the Ring, but also it seems so too is the Banner of the Peerage up for grabs. With House Velstra's rise from complete joke to now-weakening powerhouse coinciding almost entirely with the late Sir Errilam Winespill's grand victory in the most recently held Tourney, greedy eyes from all walks of life look forward to obtaining the Banner for their own purposes and desires.

Yet, perhaps the one spanner in the works is the identity of the strange new host for the Tourney. An unfriendly, drunken fop of a gnome whose last event held in Ring 99 was the disaster of the Certamen Tourney - where a battle to declare the Court Wizard of Ring 93 ended up being won by an elf with no magical powers. The Gods, and perhaps the King, alone know what sort of farce the upcoming event might descend to at this rate...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: ShadowCharlatan on August 25, 2019, 04:17:40 AM
Tensions in Ticker Square are rising as the remnants of the Stonebuilder's Guild troubles Ticker Town with protests and blockades. After the recent speech (https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=694807.msg712442#new) from Foreman Burnside, the struggling guild has been busy. Rumours spread of Stonebuilders seeking work throughout Ring 99, in all sorts of places, from all sorts of people. Meanwhile, those tired of trying to quench their thirst at dry wells have turned to wallowing and bloody-mindedness. They despair for how their lives have turned out, or lay blame on Merchant, Butcher, or other figures around Ticker who helped decide on the contract.

Today, Stonebuilders led by Alharim Khora blockaded the Merchants Guildhall with boulders and rubble. For now, the Butchers seem reluctant to get involved, and the Merchants Guild is far from caving to the Stonebuilders. A few Rumour Mill reporters question Stonebuilders about what the guild actually wants, hearing only a litany of mumbled complaints and desires for assistance. Few of the working men and women can articulate clear demands. Nevertheless, the wretched mood among the Builders shows no sign of abating, and all sides are only hardening in their stances.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on September 07, 2019, 12:08:15 AM
The Grand Tourney has finished leaving all with an unsurprising result - except for the manner in which it was obtained. Old House Sunpurse holds the Banner of the Peerage once more, as they have many times in the past. Yet it is doubtful that it has ever been claimed through such means as this tourney.

The Least Fool lived up to his reputation however, with the gnome delivering farcical scenes throughout the entirety of the tourney.

First to come was the sight of the Shootout, ostentibly meant to be a display of skill and talent in archery. It instead devolved into a display of magical supplies and talents as various spellcasters of all types proceeded to outdo archers who had been pulling bowstrings their entire lives. From the rubble of this display however emerged a victor, one Sastan Highsworn, an elf who surprisingly declared that his victory would go towards House Sunpurse. Rumours abound that the likely source of this is the fact that a group of elves have taken to squatting in the Sunpurse Manor of Ring 98...

Following this came the Brawl, an event that saw some thirty odd contestants squeezed into a small section of land and told to fight one another. Chaos inevitably ensued, with some unexpected results as otherwise strong contenders for the victory were mobbed and swarmed down into the sand. Yet, in the end, a victor emerged who had managed to avoid such a swarming - one Sargon Zuadaram-Sin, Retainer of House Orza, who obviously declared for his House. Sadly the Retainer did not live many more days after his victory, likely assassinated in a fit of pique by competitors attempting to prevent his futher participation in the tourney.

Finally, on the first day of the tourney came the Joust, an event that should've been a martial spectacle... became instead a farce. As the Least Fool screamed at those who complained however - he had been sent, not a knight. As such the display involved: a love story between an elven runner and a hairdresser of Ticker Square; Sargon Zuadaram-Sin carrying his steed into battle; a wizard reciting poetry as they flailed ineptly with their lance - until, at long last, a victor was declared by the Fool. Lance Huxley, Retainer of House Sunpurse, who declared for the same, was named champion of the Joust for striking a final blow via throwing his lance at the competition.

So ended the first day of competition with House Sunpurse on two victories to House Orza's one.

The second day commenced with the Melee, whereby the audience was greeted with the sight of teams of warriors facing off four at a time... while being painted garish colours for the Least Fool's amusement. Through the many twists and turns of this event, where strong contenders such as the Devils of Ticker Square and House Orza eventually felled each other, the ones to rise from the ashes were none other than a team from House Sunpurse - Retainers Lance Huxley, Antoine Durand and Veradith Durothal together proclaimed their victory for their House, though there was some initial confusion, thanks to Retainer Durand's womanising, that perhaps he had declared instead for House Glitt...

Afterwards came the Magebrawl, where many demonstrated skill, luck and talent, while others displayed a distinct lack of all three. From the amazing come-from-behind victory in the initial round of House Glitt's broken old janitor-wizard, through many displays of overdressed ponces slipping about in puddles of grease, the battles of the arcane raged. A rivalry was even sparked between the Inquisitor of Ring 97 and a wizard of House Sunpurse - one that was fated to end a few days later when the Inquisitor beat the man to death with his bare hands. Eventually a victor was declared, one Vai`cairn of the semi-stable seam of Teohoto became victor through his effective use of the elements. Strangely however, even he declared for House Sunpurse, leading many to ponder exactly how much planning the House had put into possible outcomes for this tourney.

Finally came the Duels. Though the Banner had already been won by House Sunpurse by this point, even the Least Fool took them seriously. There were many brave deaths this day, from contestants who either refused to yield or were not swift enough to do so. By the end of it, two contestants faced off - Genovalio de Rossa of House Glitt, who had cut down a number of friends and acquaintences who had refused to yield in a fight... against Janne the Ogre of House Orza, who had mercilessly slain all opponents except for a very, very lucky Lance Huxley who narrowly avoided being smeared into paste. In the end however, it was the mighty Janne who triumphed in the final duel, proclaiming his victory for his House - House Glitt being forced to drag their lifeless champion off to the Shrine of Waters to beg for mercy from the Gods.

In the end the overall result was House Sunpurse with four events and House Orza with two. The Reeve of Sunpurse has subsequently been seen in public talking proudly of the three victories of House Sunpurse... conspicuously not mentioning the event won for them by an elf. What House Sunpurse will do with the Banner remains to be seen, and though there were many twists, turns and a variety of possible outcomes (after all, this was the first Tourney where non-Peers could've declared their victory for organisations other than the Peers) for this Grand Tournament of Ring 99, tradition triumphed in the end.

When the next tourney shall occur and whether the Least Fool shall still be in charge of it however is anyone's guess.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Howlando on September 13, 2019, 02:32:19 AM
Rumors spread of the coming of a large group of escaped slaves clad in rags and broken chains who escaped from a large and dangerous settlement of Lizardfolk located distantly on the Canal of Ring 97.

According to some, the Lizardfolk will doubtless soon be coming to look for their former slaves and whatever they may have escaped with....
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Howlando on September 14, 2019, 06:00:49 AM
Rumors speak of the coming of an armada of Lizardfolk that has docked in the long-abandoned Old Harbor of Ring 97. From the largest of the Sauriod Travel Barges disembarked the richly robed and bespectacled Emissary Ks'k.

Ks'k sought audience with the notables and grandees of Ring 99, and in turn large numbers of important representatives from Ticker Square, the Peerage, and Pauper Ponds came for a meeting.

Quote from: The Emissary
Greetings, warmbloods! Greetings, respected denizens of Ring 99! I bring to you the most cordial salutations of Master Szka'zul, servant of our Sublime Empress, and reprentative of her will in these lands.

He bids me deliver to you a message, which I will do so now.

We understand our custom of enslavement is odious to you, but I assure you - many of your customs are equally deplorable to my kind!

Master Szka'zul is anxious that further bloodshed be avoided, and he bids me travel here so that a peace can be realized....

He requires, above all else, the return of these gemstone fragments.

The return of the slaves would also be welcome.

He bids me offer the cold hand of friendship if you will accept this arrangement.

But also a warning...

You people are not united, and few in number.

Regrettably, if the slaves and shards are not returned....

... my Master will find it necessary to unleash....

Warlord Yozkhiss.

His legions will burn and devastate your Ring.

Thankfully, today it is I - Emissary Kz'k that comes! With all good will.

Now, I ask you.... what is your response?

And some of the responses...

Quote from: Mairead Glitt
Um, uh, House Glitt will, um, do whatever we can to make you go away.

Quote from: Grace d'Ottaviani
We cannot tolerate the return of slaves.. but to return what was stolen of you in exchange for preventing war.. that seems reasonable.

Quote from: Druss Ironstone of the Arbiters
The Cube has weathered worse than the ire o' a pack of lizards who refuse to accept their time has passed.

Quote from: Claudian Sadalfus
Is the blood of Dorvant and his heroes cowed by lizardmen? Let us see these monsters dead.

Quote from: Guildmaster Oscar Tchammorar of Ticker Square
My best minds have several times reviewed and calculated the impacts of your fallen race's temporary rule. Vain unproductive construction projects, unnecessary cruelty and practices of enslavement, rigid unmoving hierarchies.

Your small brained species led to nothing but dissipation and waste, and your demands are as laughable as your threats are empty. The wealth of your age was produced by the men and beasts you enslaved, and still today you are nothing without the slaves who have fled you.

It is becoming that your treasures have fled into our lands, the Ring of 99, and there they will stay.

The Guildmasters of the Merchants Guild will richly reward the one who delivers the gemstones into the possession of the Adamantine Vault, by raising them to become a fellow Guildmaster.

Baron Uld is said to have inquired as to how much the Lizardfolk would offer for the gemstone-shards. Then announcing:
Quote from: Barond Uld
FREE CHEESE FOR LIFE, for whoever assembles these gems for me! Hear that? Beat that, Peers!

Quote from: Outis of the Ponds
You made a mistake in coming here, I am sorry to say. 

You could have just been a myth, a whisper from a bunch of bedraggled new folk spouting half-truths. I doubt anyone would have listened, that is frequent enough here.

The free folk at this end of the Rings did not know you existed, but now we do. We know, now, that newly awakened are falling into your nets, becoming slaves, even as we speak.

And for those of us who matter - not these gilded lillies and groat hoarders - I assure you, this will not just be a matter of your lost treasures, or escaped slaves.

The war may start here, but it will end on top of your ziggurats. We will not rest until your community renounces it slavery, or is dispersed to the four winds.

Quote from: Reeve Jodfry a'Valar
I wish to offer you my assurances, Emissary, that -- should your people find it necessary to breach our Ring...

We of the House Sunpurse, and the Peerage Ward, will ensure to make all the traditional arrangements.

Courtesy is key, and we value our history highly...

...And I think we have a mantel that would just fit you.

After negotiations, the Emissary announced that he would remain in his barge for seven more days to receive stolen gemstone. After which point, the Warlord would come.

What will happen to the gemstone fragments of the Eye of the Serpent?

How will the disunited residents of Ring 99 face the coming of that most ancient of old enemies?

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Howlando on September 19, 2019, 03:03:42 AM
In recent days it is known that the Commons and Ponds were disturbed by the shocking presence of a huge, baleful, and enraged Spider Demon from the darkest webbed pits of the lower hells.

According to rumor, the demon was summoned by the master artificer Eowadra Te`fer in an act of vengeance against the feared Inquisitor Xvim who was responsible for the killing of the Elf Priest Sastan.

The battle raged for a time across Rings 99 and 98, until - at last - Inquisitor Xvim was able to kill the elf-artificer with a spell and... after long, grueling battle.... the Spider Demon was eventually dispatched by a huge crowd of adventurers from Ring 99.

Among people of the Peerage, there is some talk of the latest Inquisitor; and many speak approvingly of his aggressive chastisement of the changelings of the Ponds who have lately been responsible for the killing of several well respected retainers of the Noble Houses. Many say that too many changelings have grown over bold with their forbidden practices and that the tolerance of such is certain to bring the displeasure of the King.

Among Ticker, opinion is more mixed; with some declaring that the summoning of the Demon only proves the untrustworthy ways of the changelings and those who choose to dwell in the disreputable Paupers' Ponds. Others, however, say that the Inquisitor has been too zealous; and that with a Lizardfolk invasion perhaps mere days away it is more important that the Ponds and communities of Ring 99 broker some kind of peace.

In Paupers Ponds itself, word spreads among those who dwell by the campfire of a reward for any who would succeed in slaying the feared Inquisitor and cast his body to sink among the reeds....
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on September 20, 2019, 01:23:36 AM
What began as a summons to speak of peace ended in bitterness, and death.  The Merchants Guild of Ticker Square assembled to lay down a plan of defense against the looming threat of the Sibilant Remnant, only for violence to slip in and make the proceedings it's own.

Amidst the pouring rains, the Butchers guild and their ofttimes benefactor Maldon Kirkland pursued an alleged traitor from the halls.  As they stood over the broken and bleeding Beodda Aethwin, they proclaimed that he had been guilty of treason -- that he had conspired to secret away a shard of the Sibilant's precious gemstone somewhere deep in the rings, where Solomon Krown and his Butchers could not reach.   Before they could finish their sentencing, a crowd began to form - and a host of objectors led by Stonebuilder Buck Wambles let their own accusations fly -- that Solomon and Kirkland are allied with dark powers, and that they are servants of Devils and Knaves and a dozen other damnable things.

In a violent clash between Stonebuilder and Butcher, the infamous devil-blood Verata Bosque struck a keening blow and buried her axe deep into the long-time servant of the people -- and Wambles fell, his neck severed near end to end, never again to rise.

The Stonebuilders have taken their dead and murmur promise of revenge.  The Butchers relish their victory, as drunk on bloodshed as kinder men might be on wine.  Banished from the square, the hero Beodda licks his wounds -- the Stonebuilder's sacrifice having bought him time to flee.  Fiendish powers grip tight Ticker's heart and soul... and all the Ring wonders what new terrors tomorrow may bring.

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Howlando on September 21, 2019, 05:41:43 PM
Accounts spread of a terrible battle against the Lizardfolk of Szk'zul in the Old Harbor of the Grand Canal on Ring 97.

It is said that the Ironbuckle Mercenary Company, specialists in siege weaponry, were hired to prevent the Lizardfolk Armada from landing on the docks.

It is said  that a large contingent of Ticker-folk, Pondsmen, independent mercenaries and adventurers, and a handful of scattered Peers bravely fought as the Lizard armies swept in to claim the docks.

The battle raged on, but all the while the vast majority of the soldiers and retainers of the Peerage... did not come. With their offers of alliance and cooperation against the Lizardfolk spurned, the proud peers instead decided to host a grand feast in Velstra Vale.

As men and women died on the docks, the Peers made merry.

As the siege weapons were taken, the Peers partied.

And as the Old Docks were completely overrun... the Peers enjoyed the catchy tunes of a tambourine and clapped along.

In the end, utterly outnumbered and outmatched, the defenders of the docks were forced to retreat into the Muckboy's Ward and driven nearly to the Ponds.

Desperate the save their home, the Muckboys had placed a large supply of alchemical explosives along the unsteady wall of the breach leading from the Old Canal into their ward. It is said that there was a final act of sacrifice in which CEYRIOS ALWENWYLD blew the bombs, collapsing the breach... and preventing the Lizardfolk advance.

The Lizardfolk armies have been temporarily halted, although there can be no doubt that with a little time they will dig out the breach and continue their steady advance towards Ring 99.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Howlando on September 28, 2019, 05:07:28 AM
According to rumor, the Bloodbeard Gang - working directly on behalf of Baron Uld - disrupted the uneasy peace of Ticker Square and committed an act of brazen and shocking robbery..... breaking the door down Mr. Krown`s butchery itself and making off with a large, sealed safebox.

Mr Krown, away at the time for a meeting, has been seen stalking through the square in a rage. Violence has, however, been averted after a series of sendings from Guildmistress Webber herself. But there can be no doubt that Butcher Krown will neither forgive nor forget.

Meanwhile - there is the soft, distant booming sounds of explosive charges..... as the Lizardfolk Army blasts away the last of the rubble impeding their progress... delaying their campaign of conquest.

There can be no doubt that Ring 98 and Ring 99 will face the advance of the Armies of Szka`zul all too soon.

// Shooting for around 3:00 PM EST Saturday 9/28 //
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Howlando on September 29, 2019, 03:08:07 AM
Not since the age of heroes has Ring 99 since as much violence and epic battle as has occurred this day.

The piles of the dead lizardfolk are heaped ten high, the acrid stench of their burning corpses fills the Commons. Tales of the battle and the great heroism of those who did battle  fills the reverent and awe-struck people of Ticker and Peerage both; the folk of each ward more accustomed to tales of back-alley knifings or brutal accounts  of single combat duels. Only in crumpled and damaged tales of heroism and the old fantastical stories are writ the legends of such immense and exhausting epic battle.

It is said -

That the Lizardfolk, led by the Warlord Yozkhiss  himself, claimed the Ponds after terrible and terrific battle - but its residents simply hid away.

It is said -

That the Stonebuilders blocked the gate from the Ponds to the Commons with huge mounds of stones, forcing the Lizardfolk to go around through the Mongrelwoods and the gate of the peers or risk significant delay.

It is said -

That an emissary of the Lizardfolk sought permission from the people of the Peerage to pass through their lands and around into the Commons. But that the lesser envoy was simply murdered, and the general scene descended into wild battle.

It is said -

That the Lizardfolk pushed through the Peerage, forced the Peers back to their gate, and managed to send the bulk of their forces into the Commons from that direction.

It is said -

That after terrible battle, the Commons were claimed, and scaled feet trod upon Royal Plaza once more.

It is said -

That Warlord Yozkhiss entered into the Open Door, and faced with the threat of complete destruction, Guildmaster Uld - despite the howling protests of the tavern's defenders - turned over the shards to the titanic lizard.

It is said -

That the huge Warlord took the stones and withdrew to the Canals, pursued all the while. With renewed energy the defenders of Ticker and a fresh battalion of Peers led by Maximillian Orza followed the juggernaut of a Lizardfolk; a terrible and running battle from the Commons to the docks of the Old Harbor.

At the last moment, moments before being cut down from ten thousand wounds, the huge Warlord flung the sack of shard-fragments to a waiting Lizardfolk vessel. There the tiny Emissary Ks'k collected the shard and watched with cold reptilian eyes as the Warlord was cut down and its head removed.

The little emissary offers a bow to the frustrated people of 99 on the shore, and gave  orders for his vessel to depart home - to return to the Ziggurats of Szka`zul.

Tensions continue to run high between the Wards, and the people of Ring 99 are exhausted with horrific battle and one further tale of how one final gemstone shard was collected from the dead dwarves-smith Vargot and spirited away to the Peerage.

Meanwhile, a solitary female figure is found nailing a sign to a stake (https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=695349.msg713954#msg713954) within the Commons itself....
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on October 09, 2019, 08:54:08 PM
It is an uneasy time in Ticker Square. Over the past few months, with the introduction of Ib'javi the Unbound and the Butcher's acquisition of the guard contract, tensions have been high between the various powers and brawls have broken out often between the Butchers, the Builders and Uld's private mercenaries, the Bloodbeards, including most recently two attacks on the same day, both centred around a representative of the Unbound. Worse still, rumours of Knave involvement is common on many lips; many accusing either the Butchers or the Bloodbeards of being in league with them and assisting them in open robbery and murder in the streets of the Square, most notably of the ex-Knave Maldon Kirkland.

Public opinion on the Butchers is low; many see them as having done little but protect their own power since becoming guards of the Square, and the brazen assault upon their headquarters by the Bloodbeards in recent days proving to many their incapability of even protecting themselves. Though some support them for their hardline stance against the Peerage, many more question them and the Guildmasters' decision to give them the contract; only the intimidating presence of their men stationed around the Square quiets the whispers.

The Stonebuilders are not doing much better, however; with many of their number leaving the Guild without stable pay and more still engaged in acts of protest, they are a shell of their former selves; and of those who remain, their loyalty to Ticker Square is doubted by many. Their harbouring of the divisive Beodda Aethwin and the more recent brazen acts of violence in the streets against the representative of Ib'javi has left them with a few supporters, but many more who once viewed them as a staple of the Square now discussing them as anarchists and vandals.

Behind all this, the Guildmasters are silent; after Webber's unpopular support of Uld's surrender of the gem fragments, nothing more has been heard from her, and Tchammorar stirs not from behind the heavy doors of his vault. The people feel unprotected, vulnerable and ignored while the political feuds erupt into bloodshed around them.

It is an uneasy time in Ticker Square indeed; and an unstable one.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on December 06, 2019, 05:32:23 PM
Ticker Square is abuzz with rumours after last night when the Wakefield Detective Agency, hired and aided by a group of Planar Prospectors, returned one of Belacq's travelling companions from imprisonment within the Seams. Zelia N'dare, known to the Square's older residents as a deadly warrior and matchless planar explorer, has only been back a day and already caused quite a stir.

The Stonebuilders have been given a new contract renovating the Prospecting Hall; as she recovers within, a steady stream of visitors have been seen coming and going, including Valentina Webber herself. Supposedly she has called back every Prospector in preparation for a meeting in a few days time, a meeting whose topic has become the subject of much gossip across all of Ring 99. While many think she is looking for a new crew to continue her jaunts, others suggest she intends to reform the Guild into an active presence in the Square; though those who knew her and her reputation from before her disappearance laugh at the idea of the fearsome planar pirate entering into politics.

What will come to pass is uncertain; but for a volatile Ticker Square, the addition of yet one more unstable element is keenly felt. To all, it is plainly obvious; change is upon the wind.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on December 08, 2019, 12:34:47 PM
A time of relative calm is giving way to new beginnings in the Rings.

Rumors abound...

...Of Necromancers and black magic, of the name Blacksmile being whispered darkly in places of ill repute.

...Of Knaves, pinching purses and pursuing their shadowy aims, preying upon the good folk of the 99th.

...Of Changelings, moving throughout the City in great numbers, engaged in strange rites in hidden places under the light of the moon.

...Of a Lord who again stakes a claim upon the cursed Manor of Pauper's Ponds

...Of the House Sunpurse, issuing decree and dictat, dividing up the Rings to serve at a feast of bluebloods.

...Of Prospectors and Seams, and the riches to be found in planes beyond our own.

...Of Runners in the Rings, who stumble upon realms untouched for centuries.. disturbing halls long quiet, raising up dust that long lay still. 

Awakening things, that ought been left slumbering.

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Vlaid on December 13, 2019, 06:42:54 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

From the lowly beggar of Ticker to the Noble of the Peerage, rumors are heard that the Ponds have grown increasingly active with all manner of dwellers and visitors. Strange stories drift from the muck ridden Ponds...

A small group of clear eyed, Arbiters searching for something or someone was seen patrolling the grounds. Their patrol was interrupted by a tense meeting with the local Pondsmen and Groundskeeper, questioning their purpose to approving nods from men and women warming their hands over trash fires. Whatever their purpose it wasn't clear for a sudden duel broke out between one Visimar Stormchild and a dwarven Arbiter Dovan Ashenforge. The duel did not last long, some heated words followed.

Broken rumors swirl as to the nature of the duel, some claim Visimar was reclaiming some fell object taken by the Arbiters from one of his retainers or lovers, other claim it was over some slight said against Meredith Winespill, yet others say much more certainly, that the duel was over some twisted love triangle between Visimar Stormchild, Dovan Ashenforge and the local Groundskeeper, the object of his desire a number of personal love letters he did not wish seen by his dearest Meredith Winespill.

Whatever the cause of the duel, it did not last long. After but a few moments of recovery the Arbiters set upon a visiting man with steel and spell. With little explanation the whole of the Ponds burst into a running battle onto the narrow walkways of the Willow Ways with unclear divisions of loyalty. Spellfire erupting from the fingertips of one Arbiter as bloodied axe swung from another. More than a few men were heard to have been sent careening into the murky water to either side, so packed were the walkways with the bodies of those thirsty for a bit of bloodshed.

The strange and violent night came to an end with few outside the Ponds having a clear understanding of what just had transpired that night, but leaving many a tongue wagging and speculating.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on December 14, 2019, 06:45:17 AM

...The Peerage Ward is electric with hearsay and gossip, worried looks and murmured threats.  Something is happening, between the Great Houses.  The proclamations of one Visimar Stormchild have not gone unnoticed. 

The man raised up by House Sunpurse, it seems, now dons a Velstran doublet.  The question of his holdings -- the Manor of Lord Desmond Sunpurse -- and how it shall be answered, are on the minds of socialites near and far.

 ...somewhere in the gloom of a dusty crypt, a thin man mutters a hateful prayer. 

But the spite of those unmentionable is irrelevant, as commisserations are in order.  The union of Stormchild and Velstra is nigh at hand! Cups are raised, in spite of uncertain tomorrows!
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on December 23, 2019, 07:04:52 PM
The feud between the Houses of Velstra and Sunpurse has cost each dearly.

Merredith Velstra, legitimized in death, has been struck down by assassins before her marriage to the ambitious Visimar Stormchild could be officiated.

In revenge for her slaying, her betrothed as ended the like of Steward Melkoth of the House of Sunpurse, an elderly sorcerer who was as much decorated and loathed in the Peerage Ward.

So far, the bloodletting has teetered on the brink of war, without tipping over the edge.  As the aggrieved and grieving lick their wounds and tend their funerary rites, the other Great Houses and Powers of Ring 99 look upon two hamstrung giants... and in the gloom of mourning, it becomes difficult to tell if neighbors brandish knives.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on January 08, 2020, 11:49:05 AM
It was a quiet morning when, from nowhere, a colossal explosion shook the City. Visible from everywhere in 99, some particularly violent aberration of the Rifts broke through beneath the ground and rose high into the sky, before coming tumbling down once more. A band had already assembled to witness the event and defend against whatever new threat might come from that unstable place; and when it finally crashed back to earth they were confronted with a titan of fire and steel that went on a rampage. The motley crew was quickly broken and scattered to the winds, unable to stop the beast, yet they held it long enough for the powerful magic that animated it to dissipate; just as quickly, there was nothing left but corpses and burning debris.

As the survivors collected themselves and returned, unpraised and unrewarded for their heroism, a series of whispers rang out seemingly related to the event. First was a warning from veteran Arbiter Alexei Harlowe, accusing a strange device called the Needle of causing the chaos and warning the city's adventurers to not meddle in such things. The second was from Oscar Tchammorar; in it, he warned against meddling in the seams, and named Zelia N'dare, leader of the Prospectors, directly.

In return, there is nothing but stony silence from the Prospectors; though travelers come back reporting suspicious news, that already at the site of the explosion, a team of labourers working under the Guild's surveillance can be seen digging...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on January 30, 2020, 01:00:53 PM
At last, the fruit of the Prospector's labours can be seen. Gathering in Prospect Hall for an announcement, the Needle was declared operational and a group of brave or curious citizens made their way to the Rifts to join the prospectors on their maiden voyage, which to the surprise of many went smoothly.

The news is the talk of Tickertown; merchants dealing in more curious wares speak excitedly of the guaranteed link to the seams and the Guild has experienced a minor boom, with more come to try their luck in the chaotic seams. It is not all positive, however, with both the Arbiters and Oscar Tchammorar speaking out against the foolishness of tearing open seams, a response that has struck a cord with many of the Square's terrestrially-bound citizens.

Though the announcement has had little effect on the lives of most of Ring 99, it is clear that the Guild of Planar Prospectors is emboldened; they look toward a future of bright opportunities and fortunes, the calls for caution unheeded...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Letsplayforfun on February 22, 2020, 10:57:27 AM
Seams appear more often than not, leading to strange places, some unheard of before...

The breaches in reality mostly seem to lead to dire dangers to the Rings, and to little else...

Although some adventurers look forward to such opportunities, common folks, and reasonable folks, fear that the day will come when some outworldy outbreak will not be stopped by whatever defenders happen to be there on time...

To most, it is only a matter of time before some foolish wizard calls irresponsable deaths upon many....

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on March 04, 2020, 05:10:44 PM
Year ?-?-? DR - On what will come to be known as "The Coming of The March"

The thin stream of pilgrims from the inner rings has broken the floodgates of the 99th on this day.  Early in the morning, a ramshackle barge of rotting planks made landfall in the old harbour of the 97th.  Stepping unsteadily onto the shores, a man in rusted armor and a cloak of silvery-white proudly boasted of his comrades speed -- but no sooner could these poor fellows spread their libations, than another vessel dared the mouth of the harbor -- and another, and another, and another.  A panoply of ships, some proud but most humble and ill-cobbled, rushed into the harbor like a stream of occupied driftwood.  Men who looked to have been hard on campaign, rough and disheveled formed the multitudes, all bearing some scrap or shift of white cloth to mark their allegiance.

Here and there among the masses could be seen silver specks, tall and broad-shouldered men in armor bearing the tell-tale sigil of the long forgotten House of Moonspear.  As the midday sun burned high over the Rings, two more seaworthy ships cut a smooth line through the flotilla - bearing billowing sails of azure, they were moored in the harbor.

And from the curious throng that had by then gathered on the shores, Prince Trystan Moonspear deigned to welcome a treasured few into his counsel. 

There were bold proclamations,

There were daring thrusts into the heart of the Sibilant,

There was tragedy, and the flapping of putrid wings,

All these things the Prince and his March brought with them, when they came to Ring 99.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Arc on March 18, 2020, 03:27:56 PM
Year ?-?-? DR - The Shattering of the Sibilant Empire.

Late in the night, a whisper echoed out over ring 99. A declaration of war, a signal of the end. And promptly, Ticker Square dissolved into riot and panic. Commoners burst into stores, taking non perishables and bashing down windows.

And above, far above, a cry pierced the night sky. The dreaded Emerald Wyrm. The gates of 99 burst forth, as the sibilant empire marched on Ticker square.  The great wyrm of the empire swept down upon ticker, as the multitudes of the empire's forces broke down Tickers few defenses. Ticker burned, white hot. Men and women died, and the butchers marched, or fled. Great siege weapons were unleashed upon the beast, to no avail. Ticker, to all appearances, had fallen. Hope was gone, and now was to be the time of occupation. Just as all hope was lost, for the city, a last whisper escaped. Paps Stone's voice echoed: "Prince Trystan! We are about to be overrun! For the love of the gods, SEND THE SILVER MARCH! Help us!"

And in response, came three blasts of a silvered horn.

Without hesitation. Without fear. Without thought to history, between himself and Ticker, the Silver March came in force, at this call. And so, too, upon hearing this call, rallied the surviving men and women of Ticker Square. And in a sea of white cloaks and shining blades, the empire was driven off Ticker, and in doing so, its defenses weakened. And so, as the lizardfolk fled, Prince Trystan Moonspear gathered to him his companions. His allies. Ticker square and the peerage. A vast army, to strike at the very heart of the Empire itself. And so, this army set off, on Muckboy raft and broken ship, to face the might of the sibilant empire. The battle was long, and fearsome. Names beyond counting were lost in the timeless muck of the swamps, but ever did the party push on, until finally, they broke their way through to the great Emerald Wyrm itself. Its decomposing wings blotting out the sky, and empowered by the sacrifice of many slaves, it descended in fire and blood upon the company, and the company was decimated. However, Maxwell Moonspear and Prince Trystan Moonspear strode forth, and met the beast head on.

And so too, did their company fall upon the beast. Tearing, and ripping. And as their numbers winnowed, so too did the beasts strength. Until, finally, with a last thunderous collapse, it lay dead. However, in the battle, the Prince was gravely wounded, and could not continue safely. And a select few remained, to march inside the ziggurat before them, to face Master Szka`zul, the Second Scale himself. Led by Ser Vladislav Orza and Maxwell Moonspear, they stepped forth into the ziggurat that would become their grave, and met the guards of Master Szka`zul himself in battle. One by one, the remaining host fell, or retreated. They broke their way through the mighty defenses, breaking spell and trap alike, until they met Master Szka`zul, the Second Scale. And upon him, they were broken. What few who did not flee, killed. The knight himself tossesd carelessly over the ledge, by the master. Who then strode above, definitely, to pursue those who fled.

However, as he ascended the steps of his ziggurat, he met not those fleeing him but the Prince himself. Limping, and wounded, pulling himself up the stairs. Contempt clear in his eyes for those fleeing, he limped up, to face the Second Scale.

His blade in his shattered hand, nearly limp at his side, his gaze fell upon the creature. And he spoke:

"Your Empire crumbled long ago. It is time this revolt was put to an end."

And, as he spoke a misty white wreath formed over his head and with a voice like that of the heavens he commanded:


".. Kneel, before your king."

Caught by some force far beyond him, the master of the empire kneeled before the prince and bowed his head. And the prince spoke- "I have crossed ninety-nine rings, in search of men with faith in me."

And, with a harsh motion of his hand, he callously opened the lizard's neck with his blade. The body fell, and tumbled down the structure before him. As he watched, he spoke

"It seems I must cross a hundred."

And he departed. And so, the Sibilant empire.... has fallen.

And Ticker Square, so diminished by the battle, begins to rebuild.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Abala on March 19, 2020, 08:34:47 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

With the Butchers decimated and in shambles, the people panicky and anxious, and small protests and riots breaking out nearly every day, Ticker Square has increasingly been forced to rely upon the dozens upon dozens of mercenary companies that call the settlement home for protection. These mercenary companies, as varied in morals and scruples as they are in colors, partake in a series of complex contracts with various businesses and establishments in Ticker Square, which results in various territories coming under their influence and control. Almost overnight, the ward has seen its defenders transformed from a civilian guard-force to a heavily divided military-industrial apparatus. This state of affairs commenters have taken to calling the Blade Boom, and the forges have never been busier.

The unspoken truth just barely grazing the lips of these mercenary companies is that in the end there can only be one to "protect" Ticker Square. So they sharpen their knives, and prepare for the battles and negotiations to come. Some partake in the Great Ring Race in hopes of earning a place among the Guildmasters, while others plot instead the downfall of their rivals... making dark bargains with old and new foes alike.

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: whyemmdee on March 21, 2020, 01:52:06 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

There was destiny, first. Then there was courage. Then came the dark. And now there is Nothing.

Prince Trystan Moonspear crossed ninety-nine rings in the hope to find worthy men, worthy subjects, to fill his new kingdom, but after his Pyrrhic victory upon the invading forces of the Sibilant Empire he decided that the courage of all within the inner rings was not enough. Danebluff, Wakefield, Silver - such names to forever live on in infamy as the titles of cowards, living testimonies of the decay of the kingdom. The Prince rallied what remained of his Silver March and went on to finally break down the broken gate of the one-hundredth ring, only to uncover the stark truth that there was but the precipice of the abyss: beyond the gate there was roiling black and fading world - a shadowy principality of the feared Nothing and somewhere amidst the fade an empty throne void of a ruler, with subjects, beautiful in all their lacking,  desperate for a worthy man to take it. Who could deny such a plea for help? And so the promised king became the Prince in Shadow, demanding those that came to attend his coronation to kneel and those that didn't were made to, one way or the other. Now  prince Trystan sits atop his lightless seat, playing with a dark crown in his hands.. longing for the other.

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on April 24, 2020, 03:13:34 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

There are whispers throughout the Peerage Ward of a new Lord; they say the well-known wizard Aethelwine Silver has, through some technicality, been bequeathed the title of a long-gone bloodline of the Peerage. Calling himself Lord Aethelwine Sothilde now, the news has garnered some interest from the masses. However, to many of the ward's higher classes the landless and retainerless wizard's title is little more than a technicality, and quiet jests about the pauper-lord can be heard even in the Square...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on April 24, 2020, 10:36:51 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

Yet more rumors spread within the Ward of the Peers, that Bernard Glitt has risen from his drunken stupor... and with sobriety of body and clarity of mind has begun to rebuild his destitute house, with his young daughter at his side and his noble retainers at the ready... the Ward is afire with talk of the Old House Glitt, and some hearts quail to see them rise anew. 

The drunken buffoonery of yesterday has given way to the brash heroics of today... and who can say what tomorrow will bring?

In the Ticker Square, there are similar upsets.  The infernalist Mede has disappeared, finding a gruesome death in a forgotten place -- and now his partner-turned-rival Luke Danebluff sits on a Guildmaster's chair.  The Square is in uproar, as commerce from the Inner Rings and promise of golden bounty are the talk of the day... but what sleight of hand has the new Guildmaster concocted, that a man who has scarce run a single Ring should be the beneficiary of far-away Baz'eel?

All this and more... as somewhere beyond the horizons, a black cloud forms.. a looming thunderhead which speaks of designs too foul to speak aloud.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Howlando on April 25, 2020, 08:09:12 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

A confrontation in the Peerage's bare and sparsely used trading plaza was subject to a strange scene today when a number of Retainers confronted the notorious mad mage Cynthia Catsby over her affection for slaadi & other matters relating to the possession of Warrenwatch. Finding her guilty of treasonous words in describing His Majesty the King, the Retainers laid her low. In a fit of pique, the Mage set to croaking forth some manner of powerful conjurative spell....

Seeking to prevent it, the Retainers attacked young Mage with sword and hacked her to pieces, but not before the spell was cast. Perhaps her death at the moment of incantation made it all the more powerful... or perhaps not.

Regardless, the consequences were nothing short of disastrous. Dozens of Seams appeared throughout the Peerage and a veritable army of enraged, croaking Slaaki emerged - seeking vengeance. The Slaadi slew dozens of residents of the Peerage and did considerable damage before sufficient forces were mustered against them and Ruul Velstra himself was able to close his former-Apprentice's portals.

With many dead, and the acrid stench of burning slaadi-pyres still filling the Ward, the mood is one of great tension and hostility....
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Arc on April 28, 2020, 12:32:16 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

A dark day, for the peerage. Tales of Marcille Riley butchered in the streets by one of the newly emerged "Recondite". Tales of outraged retainers, demanding blood. Tales of men garbed in black, dragging the corpse off after...

The Recondite are, as always, quiet. But now... the Peerage seeths with cries for vengeance.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Arc on May 01, 2020, 10:13:46 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

Violence in the peerage. What began with a single death has escalated into something much greater. Whispers in the streets as retainers sharpen their blades and make ready. Patrols are reinforced, and steely eyed men assigned to watch the night.

It is said that the estate of the Marquis de Savary was bombed, and a large bounty offered on the Recondite. It is said a retainer was slain in the streets of the peerage the very next day, and the hatred became loathing. A sense of dread settles over the peerage like the miasma of death, and patrols once undertaken alone are done in sets of three.

One thing becomes increasingly clear to the retainers of the peerage: The first one to exact vengeance upon these recondite shall find their name much celebrated.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: SkillFocuspwn on May 10, 2020, 04:30:05 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

It has been a long and bloody day in Ring 99, and many are uncertain how to feel. What is known for certain is that Ib'javi, a fiendish merchant allowed to trade in Ticker Square, has been slain by the very Guildmasters of that place.

It began with a ritual in the Rifts, which drew the attention of great crowds of people. A coterie of sinister wizards under the direction of Guildmaster Danebluff began their incantations, offering up fiendish instruments and infernal incantations to tear a seam to Ib'javi's Bronze Palace. Citizens looked on in fascinated horror as the magic did its work, and a group of Ring 99's bravest and best marched through the portal opened to wage war upon her very home.

Before the dust had settled, however, the fiend had sent her own soldiers in retaliation. What began was a brutal fight across two fronts, with citizens of the Square and the Ward alike fighting to protect 99 from the vengeful wrath of Ib'javi while those few sent to kill her struggled epically through her labyrinthine forges. War was waged for hours, against devilish mercenaries, the weapons of war she made her fortune from, and even through strange pact the spirits of her mortal servants who once haunted the City and fragments of her own power come to life.

In the Rifts, line after line was broken under the brunt of her assault. The battle drew on for many hours, with many lying broken in the streets, yet Retainers, Stonebuilders, Prospectors, Ringrunners and mercenaries alike returned time and time again, drawing new lines of battle, refusing to allow her forces ingress into the Ring. New challenges and weapons of Ib'javi's devising kept coming, however, testing the survivors sorely; and at the end of many struggles the battle seemed all but lost. Ib'javi had gained control of the Rifts, turning the magic of that place to her service and tearing further seams for her soldiers to pour through. A scant few stood against her newly replenished forces, the last line between her vengeance and the City.

It was during this fated last stand, however, rumoured to be held by two lone soles against her forces, that the tide turned. A great scream came from the simulacra watching over the battlefield, and her mercenaries retreated as quickly as they arrived, vanishing into the seams without a trace. Without her soldiers, the rest of her creations broke quickly; and from the Bronze Palace emerged two broken, bloodied and triumphant heroes, in time to wipe out the rest of her forces. The dust settled; Ib'javi the Unbound, ally and enemy to Ticker Square, was dead by their hand.

In the aftermath, rumours of events in the Bronze Palace spread quickly; of a terrible trap laid at the entrance to her home which slew many of the attackers, already weary from their push through her Forges below. Of a much-diminished group battling through the rest of her domain and slaying her favoured servants one by one. Only three, from the eleven that left, stood before Ib'javi in her Throne Room; the Guildmaster Luke Danebluff, and the Ringrunners Eupraxia Pherenikoulou and William Thorne.

What happened next is of some debate. While the most popular story is of a great duel, where Danebluff slew her just as her dying words annihilated him, another circulates of a fateful bolt, fired before she could even finish talking. All that is known for certain is that from out the portal Danebluff did not join the other two; and, when the last of her forces were swept away, Ib'javi was dead.

99 is not certain what to make of this situation. Oscar Tchammorar congratulated and rewarded those who protected the Square, though many whisper of the hypocrisy in his well-known support for Ib'javi in the first place, and others even more conspiratorial claim the whole thing was nothing more than a plot to remove two rivals, both Ib'javi and Danebluff. The rest of Ticker Square is as divided on the matter as they were at her arrival, with many wondering what business they have attacking a supposed ally, while others are simply glad her influence is ended. In the Peerage, the news is met with approval at her death, yet the general consensus agrees it is yet further proof of the insane politics of the Square and of the damage caused by putting groat above honour.

Across the Rings, life carries on.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Arc on May 14, 2020, 01:38:25 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

A long and terrible day draws to a close in Ticker Square. A tale spreads of horror in the streets. Of the Needle, the great device of the prospectors, erupting in violet light. Of a great seam opening over Ticker Square- a huge maw to some unknowable place. A great eye peering through and watching the bloodshed as planar hordes spilled forth upon the square. Of the prospectors barring their doors and refusing to shut down the needle as the great calamity transpired. And of Angvald Khauzat-Gaur, a warden of the Stonebuilders, stepping forth to lead a mob to smash the Needle to pieces.

Angry eyes and accusations turn upon the prospectors, and many call for blood. The prospectors call mercenaries to themselves as the smoke rises in Ticker Square. And the square itself sets about the now familiar and grim task of rebuilding... Tension in its bones.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: whyemmdee on May 26, 2020, 01:22:56 AM
Madame DuRange.. the name is laden with meaning and history throughout the rings; legend has it that she managed to reach the King's Keep in Ring 1, but turned back at its very gates, drawn by something even  more magnetizing than the King's allure somewhere far beyond the outer rings where the Nothing has stolen swathes of the city. More regular rumors mark her as little more than a trouble making troubadour, a herald for chaotic events to come, as trouble inevitably seems to follow in the wake of her little circus troupe that travels the rings. Now she once again intends to return to Ring 99  (https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=698116.msg72306), causing great anxiety and general misère among the vestigial remnants of both the small and greater houses of the Peerage Ward.. for the last time she left Ring 99 in a hurry, freedom was won for Ticker Square not soon after...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Arc on June 02, 2020, 06:13:01 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

A peaceful day torn asunder by the Outriders of the Copper Torc- the scouts of a great looming horde.

Tales of a massive shockwave tearing through the 99th ring. The open door leaning and groaning in protest against the sound. Terrified screams from Ticker Square. The great hall of the Merchant's Guild buckled, and cracks... The very stone from which its foundation is hewn splitting in half. The Merchant's Guildhall, the great symbol of Ticker Independence... fell. And where it once stood a massive maw stood. A screaming horde pouring forth upon Ticker Square. And so began the Ticker Square's darkest day, in the memory of most.

A bloodthirsty mob of barbarians looting, burning, killing. Their great beasts breaking even the greatest defenses. But Ticker Square's own defenses stepped forth, and the Torc Outriders were slain to a man, driven away. One party confronting the leader of the Outriders, Hathus, above while another below cut off all reinforcements. Many were lost, but finally, Ticker stood once again independant. A few names began to become known, in Ticker:

-Silver Hat Artus von Watchorn - The tip of the spear of the defenses in Ticker Square, many citizens now know him as the first face they saw driving away the Torc.
-Guildmember Dorian Raventree - The shield of Ticker Square- a recent figure in the square, it is said he brought the people of the Square hope with his sermons, in its darkest hour.
-Boundryman Jeffry Guillelmus - An impossibility... of the many boundrymen sent in, somehow one survived. It is said this boundryman has been given a massive raise, and become influential in his company.

In the aftermath, however, Ticker did not fare the tragedy well. The Merchant's Guild, long time governing body of ticker square, could not survive the loss of the hall and its secretary. It is said a massive argument broke out, between them, and without the calming presence of Secretary Bhesk... the guildmasters were unable to work together. And so- they have begun to carve up Ticker Square. Any who wish to own property now must obtain permission, not of the guild, but of a single guildmaster. The mercenary companies wear massive grins, as contracts grow more plentiful.

It is said Webber, however, has gone totally silent... and her daughter has controversially fled to the peerage. Sheltering in the vale of House Velstra, instead of the square. Cries of traitor followed her, and Webber's Wonders is found most morning plastered with graffiti.

In all this aftermath however, an undercurrent of terror. Ticker's great defenses shattered... not by the Torc's army, but by its forward outriders. Many whisper that to fight, now, is hopeless, and the square is lost. Other, more level heads say only that if Ticker's defenses wont do... new ones must be found.

It is a new day, for Ticker Square. And what lies ahead, for the square, awaits to be decided....
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Halfbrood on June 05, 2020, 11:27:15 AM
Rumours over the last few days speak of strange occurences in the Swamps of Ring 95. Strange trolls are said to have started appearing, quite recently, more vigorous and harder to slay than the norm... how or why these creatures are appearing, none seem to know; various researchers and gentleman scholars are said to have hired mercenary bands to discover the truth of this new phenomenon.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Hound on June 07, 2020, 11:21:27 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

A grim portent of dark days to come took place in the main thoroughfare of Ticker's Square. Following a popular vote, the electorate of the Square determined that they would welcome the Arbiters of the Hundred Scrolls into their city - a faustian pact, perhaps, as the price was paid in agreement to adhere to the Arbiters' zealous and uncompromising doctrine of religious confirmity rather than a sum of groat.

On a gloomy, rainy evening, the Arbiters made their appearance under the leadership of Monitor Alexei Harlowe. Marching through the Open Door with dour determination, the Arbiters erected a gallows in full view of the trading plaza as their first act as so-called protectors of Ticker's Square. Promptly shutting down any 'heretical' commerce taking place (including the hawking of divine potion bottles), the Arbiters gathered a crowd of concerned onlookers as they set about arresting the alchemist Augy Baxter and his apprentice, Boris. Amidst much cacophony and high tension, an allegation was made that apprentice Boris had been conspiring with the hated Copper Torcs to smuggle high quality Ticker potions into their warchest.

One brave Silver Hat by the name of Dorian Raventree was the lone voice bold enough to stand against this tyranny, and challenged the Arbiters. He paid for his valour with the brutal humiliation of a beating, brought to heel and trapped beneath the heavy brass chausses of an arbiter standing on his back as he was forced to watch the execution. Several other Silver Hats came to the defence of their comrade, and a small riot broke out - though it too in turn was quelled by the iron fist of the Arbiters, and perhaps in no small part by the inaction of the silent majority who watched in quiet distress.

Boris is dead, and Augy is crippled from the savage beatings and lashings he received at the hands of the Arbiters. They now stand as grim-faced sentinels over Ticker's Square, quick to reprimand 'heretical' traders and upbraid those who mis-speak against their presence.

For certain, the Arbiters have demonstrated their immense strength of arms, and many Tickers sleep more soundly knowing they are so well defended from the enemies outside their precious Square... Alas, that they are in bed with what may well be another foe.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Vlaid on June 09, 2020, 07:37:52 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

A clerk of Baron Uld breaks the silent night with a loud and boisterous announcement. A grand quest has been called and any and all have been called to action for the search for a holy set of tomes known only as "The Whey of the Curd". It is announced that the Baron shall reward handsomely in treasures anyone who brings him the collected works. During the announcement it was said that the tomes may be pivotal to feeding Ticker during and past the conflicts ahead, some kind of vague "problem" with the supply of cheese is hinted to but not revealed in full to which these tomes are the answer.

The announcement, it is rumored, was also interrupted by the loud protests of one Kanna Vauntz. In response to this Cheese Thugs were dispatched to shut her up for good. By all reports the mission was a great success, the thugs barely breaking a sweat in bloodying the incompetent detractor of the Baron Uld. Or so say the Baron's loyal dwarves.

//OOC: The tomes are in the game world and can be found and assembled without DM aid.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Arc on June 21, 2020, 01:38:31 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]
The End of the Blade Boom, and the Fall of Ticker Square

Timekeeping is illegal. Years ago... less than a generation, more than a tenseason, a number of Guildmasters came together. Under the yoke of excessive tax, and distant, apathetic lords... Ticker labored not for their own good, but for that of distant rulers. Gold was gathered, seals broken, and a dream forged....

Today, that dream has ended.

The week began with a ground shattering betrayal. As the vast army of the Copper Torc arrived, Lord Euric Freward's right hand man stepped forth... Solomon Krown. The former leader of the Butchers of Ticker Square, revealed in full copper armor, with total knowledge of the squares defenses. Several battles took forth over the coming week, leading to the day....

The day began, as so many others of recent, with a demanding call from Guildmistress Priscilla Klink. Worries that the Torc were on the move, and calls to the allies Ticker had managed to gather- only the Arbiters, and Third Company. A warmeeting was held, and decisions were made. The Third Company would take to the field, and take on the majority of the forces in 104. The Arbiters would strike towards the copper torc's stables, and kill their horses. The adventurers of Ticker Square would divide into two forces- The Defenders, and the Attackers. The defenders chose to hold in 101, and the attackers chose to attack the Queen of the Kasseax, to forever deprive the Torc of more insect beasts.

The defense began excellently. Brave men, shoulder to shoulder, held against an endless tide of Copper Torc. A wall of Ticker Flesh upon which Lord Freward's horde was to break. The attack, likewise, went well, the egg hatchery of the Torc burned effortlessly, without a single loss. Tides began to turn, with the first betrayal. A notice sent to the torc, a letter telling them of the plans. The arbiters walked into a trap, and found themselves surrounded by alchemist's fire, failing their mission. At this time, in almost perfect concert, a second- darker- betrayal unraveled. The Knaves of 99, contracted by the Copper Torc, struck out against Guildmistress Priscilla Klink. A blade in her gut, she died on the floor of the open door. And from her body was taken the contract that assured payment to the Third Company. Sneaking past the entire defensive line, the Knaves managed to reach the camp of the Copper Torc, and deliver their dark payload.

Above, the defensive line began to shatter. Pulling back and losing men at a rate they could not recover from, the defenses of Ticker began to fail. Below, the Assault fought onwards, Ticker's best and strongest men. They came to the queen... and at great cost, and the loss of many lives, they slayed it. As they made their way back, a sending echoed out:

Lord Euric Freward
Your defiance has been admirable. I commend your warrior-spirit. I shall have need of it in the days to come, sons and daughters of the 99th Ring.

[A rustle of paper...] But now it comes to end. I hold here in my hand the contract for command of the Baz'eel Third Company. I order you to stand down, and bring your swords upon any who continue to resist the Copper Torc.

As the assault returned, they came to a defense broken. An army, missing. And, with all hope lost, another sending came in reply:

Silas Sparrowbroth
So... It is. Klink dead, the defense broken. Only the Assault... [a choked swollow] Freward. We... We surrender.

Lord Freward. We accept you, as our rightful lord. Ticker Square... is yours.

And, with those words ended the dream that had begun so long ago. With those words ended an independant Ticker Square. The Torc streamed into Ticker Square, a new occupying force, a new order. And Lord Freward came forth, and spoke chiding words, like one would speak to a child. And, as the Peerage came before him, to offer lordship, a position as a peer- his reply:

"Show me the man who has conquered a hundred rings, and I shall name him peer."

and refused. Leaving Ticker, independent once more.... but now occupied by a great army. An army too vast to feed, men too used to raiding to settle down. Uneasy voices begin to echo that such a situation cannot remain stable. However, for now...

It is done.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Hound on July 03, 2020, 11:55:21 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]
The Peerage Musters

-- New political developments among the High Society of the Peerage, as the political arena shifts and circumstances change to reflect recent events, and the persuasive efforts of retainers... --

-- Following a barely-defeated steadings raid from the Copper Torcs, fuelled by the desperation induced by starvation, House Velstra finds itself flung headfirst into the battleline alongside the Nephezarim. --

-- Lord Norbert - or, in this case more specifically his spokesman, the estate butler Thomas - has declared that his house shall formally answer the Nephezarim call-to-arms, though this was scant more than a formality after Nicholas led the defence of the gatelands. --

-- With the wedding on the horizon, Velstra finds its attentions divided between war and peace in a curious dichotomy of attitudes. Meanwhile, House Orza begrudgingly admits the necessity of fighting the Torcs after the raid on the farmlands, and likewise commits to aid. --

-- The only hold-out, still, remains Houses Glitt and Sunpurse - in Glitt's case, more due to the fact that they simply have nothing in the way of soldiery to spare from defending the Highlands against a curiously growing threat of savage monster-men and insidious Dwarves. --

-- Sunpurse, on the other hand, decries Nephezar as having 'snookered' the rest of the Peerage, forcing them to join in a war that Nephezar provoked by attacking and burning the Torc granary. The Reeve remains incensed at Lord Adaion's actions, though his retainers have their own views. --

-- Finally, House Nephezar continues its curious preparations for some manner of Grand Ritual. Retainers of the holy house have been seen stockpiling numerous conjurative foci and summoning reagents for purposes unclear. --
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Arc on July 06, 2020, 05:00:25 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]
The signing of the Clocktower Accord, and the refounding of a united 99th ring.

As Ticker Square first met the Torc, Valentina Webber left to the scorn of all.
As Ticker Square was rid of their flames by her plans, Valentina Velstra returned a hero to Ticker Square.

The wedding proceeded with much festivity. It is said Beauxregard Winespill vomited on Saibhon Dumein, in front of the entire nobility, and many grand gifts were presented. The wedding was officiated by Archivist Alfonso Winneseph, and it is said, by all accounts, it was a tasteful and pleasant wedding... by the standards of House Velstra. And in its closing minutes, an announcement was made... Ticker Square would be retaken. The Torc, long starved by the efforts of House Velstra and House Nephezar, came to the field with what little they could muster. Men weakened by long starvation came out to meet the entire, united peerage ward- and after a long battle, they were crushed. A few names echo, amoung the many: Jouvander Don Vindascas, slayer of Solomon Krown. Muggbert Skudge, self-proclaimed hero of all. Dorian Raventree, the last Silver hat.

But in the end, as they gathered to face Freward- It was not their hands by which he died, but that of his trusted general, Solomon Krown. And Krown, in turn, died by a betrayal of his own. And, at long last, Ticker Stood- pacified.

And so the Guildmasters and Lords of the Peerage gathered, and a document was signed. The Clocktower Accord.

Of which Article One became quickly known to all:

Article 1

The former merchants guild and Guild Masters of Ticker Square shall now and forever cede all legal ownership of Ticker Square to the Lords of the Peers, under terms here outlined. All current organizations, ranks, deeds and titles given by the former governing body of Ticker Square are henceforth dissolved. All property not currently owned by a signatory guildmaster or the doorkeepers shall be ceded to the Guild of Lessors. At all times Ticker Square shall accept the legal authority of the King, and through him, those he declares to be Peer.

A parliament was formed, and Ticker Square set about the achingly familiar task of rebuilding. But this time... with the entire ring, behind them. Politics in Ticker Square begin to emerge. The Merchants, freed of the need to cooperate for governance, dissolve into competition and backstabbing. Under the hand of the peerage ward, might alone can no longer govern contract, and so scheming begins. Of the guilds, the two signatory guilds each begin to form a political coalition. Alike only in their methods.

The Weavers- Wizards, Socialites, and Diplomats, increasingly find themselves the voice of change within Ticker Square. With a deep disregard for tradition, and ties to the Velstra family, their supporters call them the way forward for the Square. Their detractors, however, label them manipulative, without scruples, and as having a total disregard for any of low wealth below their station.

The Accountants- Enforcers, Spies, and some say- assassins, ever more speak for a more static square. Pointing to the many changes of the past year, and the suffering- and more importantly lack of profits- it brought, the Accountant's Guild argues what is best for the square is a strict adherence to the traditions of the past. The rebellion of Ticker Square failed- they say- the time of change is past. Their supporters call them a pillar of stability within the square. Their detractors, however, accuse them of being a ever-present source of violence and tyranny within the square, with no regard for privacy.

These newly emerged guilds, barely in their infancy, waste little time turning to the accord with hungry eyes:

Article 12

Should at any time a single Signatory Guild become so generally dominant and powerful within the Ticker Square so its collapse would result in a major cessation of economic activity, such guild may petition the Lords of the Peerage for the right of coterie. Should any one lord affirm coterie, all other signatory guilds shall be dismissed, and their votes given to the Signatory Guildmaster of the guild in coterie.

With hope of absolute economic dominance in the guilds, Ticker Settles into a peace... but a complex one. While the blades have been put away, it seems a different type of war begins, deep under the surface.

And, as the Parliament's door close for its first session, men mutter of a inky black storm in the distance.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Hound on July 07, 2020, 08:34:39 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]
The aftermath of the Torc War...

-- New developments in the Peerage Ward, in the aftermath of the blood-letting and political upheaval of the Torc War... --

-- As the great hero-or-tyrant Euric Freward, the leader and sole unifier of the great Torc Horde, lies dead on the bloodsoaked cobbles of Ticker Square, much has changed. --

-- The great copper-clad Torc army has disintegrated into many factions. Though a vast number have fled for the outer rings, or taken to pushing deeper in small bands as little more than glorified ringrunners, some Torc clans remain in the near proximity of Ring 99, feuding amongst themselves for supremacy. --

-- House Velstra, having led the charge of the Peerage and their motley of mercenary allies against the invaders, enjoy a position of immense prestige and social dominance among the Great Houses following the Clocktower Accord. --

-- Sir Nicholas and his newly-wed spouse, Valentina Webber, stand at a curious crossroad of controversy and glory, as Nicholas has both married insultingly below his social station but also achieved a great military victory. --

-- Valentina, for her part, wields a natural charisma and innate charm that beguiles many of her new social equals. Conversely, traditionalists and hardline aristocrats bristle angrily against the ascension of a peasant household to the nobility. --

-- In particular, the Reeve of Sunpurse and Guiseppe Orza are by far the most vocal opponents of the new Lady Velstra; condemning the unorthodox marriage as an insult to the Ward's values and a blatant powergrab. --

-- Indeed, there has been much a-do in the household of Orza. In the wake of Solomon Krown's killing by Kristoff's knife Jouvander, rumours have escaped the castle of a ferocious late-night row between Kristoff and his father Grigori on the subject of Krown's demise, which Grigori seems less pleased about than his son had anticipated... --

-- The House Sunpurse enjoys the unexpected favour of the Royal Archives, who have bestowed much clemency and favour upon the Bannerhouse for their work in restoring several lost manuscripts to the sacred library. The Reeve Jodfry's denunciation of Nicholas Velstra's offensive seems to have proven valid, as many of the returning militia who marched to war returned to a bridge soaked in changeling blood and the corpses of monstrous goatmen littering the steadings and outskirts; a terrible raid, fended off only by the shrewd wisdom and strength of Sunpurse. --

-- Tensions between Sunpurse and Velstra are high following the Reeve's political insult, and House Velstra finds itself soaring on the crest of its triumph yet also politically isolated as a result of its success. The Nephezarim have been friendly enough, for now, since they had been the first to take the fight to the Copper Torcs - though time will tell if that alliance of mutual interest survives Velstra's economic dominance. --

-- House Glitt is deeply troubled of late - lacking any measure of strength to wield meaningfully at home, near all of the mighty thanes and highlanders of the House are committed to defending the pioneer outposts of 94. Hopefully, this strategy will pay dividends in the near future with the development of new mines and farmland - provided they can survive the ominous threat that lurks beneath the Silverspike... --

-- The situation remains tense and dynamic in the Peerage Ward. Most eyes are on Velstra, as they wait to see how the House will wield its newfound strength - and others are on House Sunpurse, and the Banner it holds, as whispers of a coming Tourney grace the lips of many a commoner... --

// Retainers who wish to make use of their prestige in an attempt to influence the agenda of their House may continue to do so by contacting DM Hound.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Arc on September 07, 2020, 12:51:11 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

With little reason or cause discernable, a seam to the Plane of Fire opened in the very heart of "Trash Island".  Fires began to spread, and many efforts were put towards closing it-

But the seam remains.

And as the day ended, as all other seams blinked in and out of existence....

The seam of fire remains. Trash isle smoulders.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on September 07, 2020, 06:29:08 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

Promises, promises. The City is rife with broken oaths and meaningless tokens of love and fealty...
What is one more, men might ask themselves, amidst a countless sum?
What is one more hallowed rite, untended?

Perhaps we have reached the end of death, the end of horror and the weeping of widows. Perhaps the City has seen the final tolling of the bells, the final observation of perhaps the the last of our Old King's esoteric demands.  Or ...Perhaps it is His morbid design, that men's hopes should be denied.

Overhead in the 99th, the grey sky gives way to black thunderheads and rain, as a decrepit man in a crimson robe, attended by fussing lessers with ink-stained fingers, takes his first ponderous steps toward the Chamber of the Doorkeepers.

To announce to all the realm that the season of Tourney is again upon us.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Hound on September 16, 2020, 07:33:01 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

A large assembly of retainers begins to gather outside the Velstra Feast, in the small courtyard. In a rare public appearance, the portly Lord Norbert Velstra has made a showing - accompanied, as always, by his 'fair' maid and daughter, Joan Winespill...

... In no small part a subject of mockery, and oft abused by the socialites of the Ward for her less-than-comely features and unfortunate heritage.

In an unusual show of clemency, the gate guards do not challenge any nonhumans who enter the Peerage Ward at this time - though the socially astute might notice a certain sense of grim restraint in the plaintive lack of hostility. They've had a talking to, evidently...

Lord Norbert stands in amicable silence - apart from a whispered word to the Winespills attending him - as he waits for any stragglers and latecomers to arrive to hear his address.

Briefly distracted by a dalliance with a plate of food, delivered by a Winespill, Lord Norbert remembers why everyone is gathered in front of him, and prepares to begin his speech...

A large cadre of Nephezar Retainers draw arms in the Peerage Ward...

Nicodemus Nephezar: ARREST THIS TRAITOR!

Velstra and Glitt retainers move to defend the threatened Lord Norbert, whose chubby jowls drop open in horror...

The few Sunpurse retainers, ever traditionalists, begin laying hands on their own weapons. Bound to defend the honour of the ward against those who would defy tradition...

... But tradition, in this case, is threatened by Velstra. Nicodemus gives the order to charge, and a melee ensues!

A mayhem of violence in the Peerage Ward. Glitt and Velstra do battle with Nephezar and Sunpurse...

As the violence continues, the King's Banner begins to smoulder. With Lord Norbert escorted back into the Vale during the fighting, and Nicodemus nowhere to be seen...

-- The Royal Archivist emerges from the Archives... --

As the Royal Archivist implores a warning of kingly wrath, the bacchanalia of violence comes to a pause. The smouldering banner's white flames flicker out, testingly, as many battered and bruised retainers nurse their wounds on the floor of the impromptu battlefield.

As the dust settles, and the Archivist returns back to his demesne, after declaring a royal amnesty... Nephezar and Velstra retainers limp back to their lordly estates, glaring daggers at one another. A new feud in the ward, written in blood and wounded pride.

In a controversial new development, Lord Norbert Velstra has decreed that non-humans that once served the Weaver's Guild may now join House Velstra. In a show of religious outrage, Nicodemus Nephezar demanded Norbert's arrest, leading to the outbreak of violence.

// Any players who were a part of the Weavers within the past 2 weeks may contact me and request to join House Velstra. I am also accepting a VERY SMALL minority of requests to play newly-made non-human PCs in Velstra. Such PCs should be considered to have been administrative staff in the Weaver's Guild up until this point. Contact me on discord if you are interested. Spaces are few.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Hound on September 19, 2020, 04:14:53 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

A crowd gathers on the bridge of the Peerage as the scandalous and infamous Kastian of Sunpurse faces the Gawn of Glitt. The ward holds its breath for what may decide not only the future of the banner, but quite possibly the future of these two houses and the ward at large....

The bridge, stained with the blood of both combatants. Gawen has slain on the bridge. Glitt retainers begain to bray for blood, accusations of cheating, shouts of 'TICKER FILTH!' ring out...

Tensions rise as houses array themselves on one side of the bridge or the other, displaying their loyalties plainly. Men reach for their potions, anticipating more blood to be spilled....

-- The roaring, furious tenor of Lord Bernard Glitt decries the honour of the duel as illegitimate, and that his champion had rightfully won. Demanding the arrest of Kastian, and promising his demise for his supposed crime against the Ward's honour, the aggrieved lord enters the Spinning Groat... --

-- To get himself a hard drink. --

The cries of many a woman across the ward can be hard, shrieks of anguish for the loss of the noble Gawen of Glitt. A duel steeped in scandal that shall go down in the history of the ward. An act of honorable mercy repaid with death.

And as the ward retreats to tend to their wounds and celebrate their victories...

A discarded bloody greataxe remains on the bridge...

-- Lord Bernard Glitt, followed by a loyal retainer desperately pleading with him to stop, barges into the Sunpurse Manse... --

-- Peerage socialites quickly gossip about the frothing rage of the drunken Bernard Glitt in the foyer of the Sunpurse Manse, where he violently brandished a sword at Kastian and demanded he kneel and apologise for his 'crimes'... --

-- Having refused, he promised a knighthood and a fief to any man who brought him Kastian's head. A high prize indeed. --
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on September 28, 2020, 07:13:57 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

The black storms above Ring 99 have swelled and grown fat on aether and wind, and the endless ink-dark rains they spill out onto the commons and beyond now fall sharp and angry.  It has begun to hail, and the sun can scarce be seen behind the clouds now. 

And then this morning, things take a turn for the eerie.  A great hole in the heavens opens up, and what would be the eye of any natural storm now holds steady over the 99th.  A vast, empty, dark hole into and endless nothing.. affixed in the skies above.

Children and sages both swear, to the lamentation of their fellows, that if they stare long enough into the black abyss above.. they can see shapes and ripples moving in the Dark.

The Tourney has drawn on long, and each day the terror above yawns a little wider.

Time is running out.

//https://tinylink.net/6xkr5 (https://tinylink.net/6xkr5)
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Hound on October 08, 2020, 09:10:48 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

In the wake of House Nephezar's resurgent triumph in the contest of the Banner Tourney, much has changed in the political landscape of the Peerage Ward.

The Ticker Parliament - ever an institution of dubious effectiveness, considered by many to be little more than a marionette show between Oscar Tchamorrar and House Velstra's proxy, the Weavers - has been dissolved by decree of House Nephezar. Few grumbles of dissent were heard from the powers-that-be; Oscar never much cared for the arrangement to begin with, and the other Lords of the Peerage only saw the Parliament as scant more than a charade for Velstra to disguise its dominance over Ticker Square.

A more controversial development was the dissolution of the Council of Peers. Although never actually a body that possessed genuine legal authority in the Ward, it had become something of a cultural keystone for the retainers of Ring 99; it represented a means by which they could emulate the high grandeur and respectable civility of their betters, and offer advisory decrees to their counterparts that were generally respected and obeyed more than they were shirked, despite the lack of any legal 'teeth' behind the body's declarations.

Regardless of the practical lack of meaning behind the Council's dissolution, hackles have nevertheless been raised among the other Houses - who watch the new Bannerhouse with skeptical paranoia as a resurgent wave of zealous piety underlines every public declaration made by the Nephezarim. House Velstra balances awkwardly on the precipice of a formal inquisition, as Nicodemus Nephezar's ominous accusations of "heresy" and "treason" against Lord Norbert Velstra for his induction of non-humans into his household still hang heavy in the air. The recently-knighted Dame Eleleth Einhardt has called for House Velstra to stand trial, though whether her words carry sufficient political gravitas to make such a thing happen remains to be seen.

Lord Adaion Nephezar's attention, however - as well as his treasury - seems to be directed elsewhere than internal politics at this time.  Peerage gossips tell a tale of two dignitaries from House Nephezar and House Sunpurse being hosted in the estate of lesser House Greywood in the Burgage, where a transaction was negotiated for the purchase of a leasehold. At enormous expense to its coffers, House Nephezar has begun the reconstruction of the Grand Vestry, an ancient cathedral in the Burgage that was abandoned during the Merchant's Rebellion, when it was besieged by Silas Sparrowbroth's Sappers and looted by Oscar Tchamorrar's avaricious minions.

House Nephezar has announced a bounty on precious gemstones and minerals to all of Ring 99, willing to pay in hard groat for things of beauty and splendour that will restore the forgotten glory of the Grand Vestry.

Older members of Peerage high society stare glumly into their cups, as many of them still remember the days before the Merchant's Rebellion, when the 'True Faith' held sway in the Ward - and now they grimly resign themselves to its inevitable return under the royal auspices of Bannerhouse Nephezar...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Hound on October 10, 2020, 09:42:05 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

An Old Faith, Renewed

After much labour and intensive work, the citizens of the Burgage can finally stop complaining about oxen droppings covering the streets and loud banging from stonemasons echoing through the night. The Grand Vestry, a religious structure long abandoned by the Peerage Ward after its sacking during the Merchant's Rebellion, has been restored at great expense by the work of House Nephezar. With its restoration comes a renewal of traditions that had also been forgotten, such as the Rite of Fealty and a lack of tolerance for religious outsiders...

Some resistance to the new movement remains, with the Lords of House Glitt and House Velstra having yet to formally commit to the Rite of Fealty. House Sunpurse has pledged their support and converted in nearly their entirety, as has House Nephezar. A handful of retainers and lesser vassals from House Orza have converted, though no official word on the matter has come from Lord Grigori or his advisors...

A new chapter has begun in the Peerage Ward - and it is underlined with the blood of the zealous.

The Lord & Lady
Associated Domains:  Nobility, Law, Sun, Travel, War, Protection

Focus: The Peerage

Special Characteristics:
Peerage Citizenship, Monotheistic

The faith of the Lord & Lady is the organised religion of the Peerage Ward, endorsed by the Royal Archives and (publically) practiced by all members of the nobility and their sworn vassals.  The centre of the mythology revolves around the Lord Departed, who once ruled over the Peerage Ward but left to undertake a quest of errantry to vanquish a Great Evil, leaving his newborn child (often interpreted as a euphemism for the Peerage Ward) in the care of his Lady-in-Waiting - with a Promise made through the blood of their child that he would one day return to her.  Several different interpretations of this myth exist, though all of them revolve around this core plot and character archetypes.

This broad religion is the parent faith of three component parts - the Lady-in-Waiting, the Lord Departed, and the ancient sun deity known as the Promise.  As the primary foundation on which the social structure of the Peerage Ward rests, all citizens of the Ward are expected to profess devotion to this faith - to do otherwise is to invite suspicion, social rejection and potentially even accusations of heresy or dreaded Changeling witchcraft...

Followers of the Lord & Lady are expected to adhere to several commandments, which form the cornerstone of the faith:

1. To obey their sworn liege, and defend them and their honour unto death.
2. To be loyal to the King.
3. To attend Communion.
4. To be true to their word.
5. To condemn other faiths and Changelings.

Essential to correctly following the Lord & Lady is rejecting other religions as evil and sinister. Only the Lady-in-Waiting and the Lord Departed are bound by the sacred Promise, and so all other deities who seek worship and prayer are tricksters and charlatans who threaten the feudal order and the lawful oaths between a liege and their vassals. Whilst Peers are not expected to be violent towards the unfaithful, it is socially frowned upon to be seen in the company of heretics and making use of their magic or blessings is perceived as sinful and potentially even criminal.

Crucial to being seen as a 'proper' devotee of the Lord & Lady is regular attendance at Communion, a sacred ritual which sees the entirety of the Peerage Ward gather at the Grand Vestry to receive a sermon from a member of the ordained clergy. During this ritual, attendants will perform the Rite of Fealty, wherein an offering of blood is made before the altar as a renewal of oaths and promises - be it to friends, family, business partners or one's liege. As the left palm is commonly used as the cutting place for drawing blood during the Rite of Fealty, having a 'Fealty Scar' on one's left palm is generally regarded as a sign of piety and is an easy way of checking whether another person is a member of the faith. Attendance at Communion is almost always rewarded with prestige, and also serves as an opportunity for particularly noteworthy individuals who have achieved deeds of merit to be acknowledged and praised by the faithful community.

Players of this faith should generally be superstitious and pay close attention to the piety of other practitioners. A culture of 'competition' to be seen as the most devout is encouraged, and the sacredness of blood as a symbol for trustworthiness and unbreakable promises should be represented in roleplay. Members of House Nephezar and House Sunpurse are the most likely to have this religion feature heavily in their roleplay and faction portrayal, though players from other Houses will also have this religion feature in their roleplay - be they devout practitioners or otherwise.

Practitioners of the Lord & Lady faith have a small selection of religious gestures unique to their culture:

1. Placing three fingers over the heart when an oath is sworn indicates a pious intention to carry out this duty, and a belief that the oath has been witnessed by the Lord, the Lady and the Promise.
2. Tapping the underside of the wrist several times is considered a gesture to ward off evil and bad omens.
3. Pressing the forefinger and ring-finger of the right hand into the palm of the left - where the Fealty Scar usually sits - indicates a plea to the Lord & Lady for courage and strength. Often done before a dangerous undertaking or a battle.

NOTE: Practicing secretive heretical doctrines, unorthodox behaviours, and otherwise being subtly deviant/controversial is allowed if it is suitable for your concept. Understand that doing so is likely to have severe IC consequences if discovered, but is likely to be narratively interesting and fun. Conversely, if religion is not a major theme of your character, it is encouraged for you to practice the religion dutifully and normally if you are a Peerage member.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Hound on October 13, 2020, 12:41:02 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

Ever a nest of vipers, the culmination of intrigues within the Peerage Ward came to a violent and destructive head in the Battle for the Steadings. A distressing narrative of a traitor within the Ward opening the gate of the Gatelands to allow a huge marauding horde of vengeful Copper Torcs into the Steadings comes to light among the social circles of the aristocracy.

As the story goes, several of the Peerage Houses had been engaged in subterfuge and diplomacy entreating three rival Torc khanates locked in a civil war to determine which leader deserved to inherit the prestigious crown of the late Euric Freward. With one of these khans having defeated a rival in battle and absorbing the other tribes' warriors, their numbers became large enough to pose a distinct threat to the Peerage - above all, House Velstra, whom Khan Uirdan allegedly holds a fierce enmity against.

Despatching his once-rival and now-lieutenant, Khan Ulgu, to lead a fearsome warband into the Steadings, the Torcs took advantage of their swift movement and the Ward's unpreparedness to burn and slaughter their way through vast swathes of farmland. When the retainers of the Peerage finally arrived to give battle, they did so surrounded by the raging flames of torched farmhouses and smouldering wheatfields.

The fighting was fierce, and saw much death and chaos. Archivists who attended the site of the battlefield afterwards were unable to tabulate the dead, as the scorching heat of the fires had charred the bodies to the point where it was nigh impossible to distinguish between Torc or Peer.  Condemning rumours tell of a tactical withdrawal from House Glitt during the battle, allegedly to seek out and secure the wellbeing of the third Torc clan that had aligned itself with them. Lord Bernard has yet to make any official statement, but has suffered from allegations of cowardice and selfishness for his House's questionable prioritisation of outsiders over their own kin. There is a small, rarely-voiced counternarrative exonerating Glitt as acting under orders from House Nephezar, but neither the aristocracy nor the enraged peasants of the Steadings seem inclined to accept this alibi. House Sunpurse was also conspiciously absent, shamed by detractors who sympathise with House Velstra that accuse Sunpurse of sacrificing the lives of Velstra's commonfolk for political advantage - a wholly unpious and selfish act in the eyes of the newly-established church...

In the end, only the arrival of Ser Nicholas Velstra and the entire retinue of Lionguard managed to stop the Torc assault from rampaging over the entire Steadings. Helped by heroes and mercenaries from Houses Orza, Velstra and Nephezar, Ser Nicholas rescued what little he could of his family's ancestral holdings and drove off the attackers.

Alas for him, that an enemy from within was waiting for an opportunity to strike in the unguarded Vale. Slipping into the Velstra estate whilst the Lionguard were absent, an unknown assailant laid a terrible hex upon Ser Nicholas' newly-wed wife, Valentina Webber of Ticker Square, and spirited away her soul. Now a lifeless, pale-eyed husk incapable of speech or thought, she lies comatose in a bed, trapped in a vegetative state. The Velstra family mourns her as if she had died - with the exception of Ruul, who has been absent for several days without explanation. Blackjack attempts to investigate the matter have been viciously rebuked by the House, who have been angered of late by the King's Militia.

Burgage taverns tell another, parallel narrative of a major scuffle within the barracks of the Blackjacks - an attempted coup or regime change, apparently put down by the Captain of the Militia with no small amount of difficulty.  Meanwhile, in the Steadings, veteran of the battle Leopold Sobol has been engaged in talks with a merchant by the name of Evrart Ichalard in an attempt to secure much-needed supplies and relief aid for the suffering smallfolk - ever the last thing on the minds of the scheming lords who take them for granted.

Curious pamphlets have been appearing in the Steadings in the wake of the conflict, demanding justice for the fallen and forgotten who have seen no meaningful acknowledgement from the Peerage proper. Time alone will tell if such simmering animosity can seed the growth of something new in the ashes of the burnt fields...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on October 16, 2020, 04:42:48 AM
With the rise of the Peerage any vestiges of democracy in Ticker have vanished. Now, once wealthy merchants are expected to scrape and bow before the Five Houses like everyone else.

Tonight there was a stir in Tickertown when a knight of House Flevas tried to requisition potions from a the Black Cauldron Brewer. The proprietor refused, resulting in a scuffle and destruction of his shop. The blackjacks were called in and, according to onlookers, inspector Fowler further fined the gnome for planar contraband. The issue was settled by the merchant Evrart Ichalard, and Thayan Athazar Szonech, who recouped his losses.

The people of Ticker Square remain suspicious of their new masters. The poorest grovel for a bit of noblesse oblige. But, the adventurers and working men much used to freedom have begun to wax poetic about the days of stonebuilders casting out the fops and dandies. A group of rabblerousers have even begun calling themselves ‘Patriots’…
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Howlando on October 19, 2020, 03:52:01 AM
There has been an interesting development in the Peerage, which many are found to be commenting and speculating upon.

It seems that the Lords of the Peerage, along with the Royal Archivist, met in conference and surprised House Sunpurse with a solemn warning.

Young Phelan of House Sunpurse has been declared presumed dead.

And in his absence, it has been found necessary for the Lady Oriana of Sunpurse to put aside her feelings and choose an appropriate suitor to marry.

She has been warned that if she is unable to select a worthy husband, one will be found for her....

But all wonder: who shall it be?
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on October 25, 2020, 05:54:40 AM
There was a large brawl in the steadings between ticker square rowdies and several retainers. It began when the blackjacks arrested Merin Carrestol, a Tickertown alchemist, for the murder of Sunpurse retainer Evrart Ichalard. The blackjacks claimed that Merin sought revenge against Evrart after losing a great deal of coin in a dispute with House Flevas retainers. However, the pleading gnome and several onlookers pointed out that Evrart had actually given the alchemist thousands of groat to make up for his losses - so where was the motive?

To make matters worse one of the 'Ticker Patriots', William Parsons, confessed to the murder. And then Lady Bishop Eris Hale provided new information that neither man could possibly be the murderer, but that both had surely defiled Evrart's corpse. The befuddled executioner settled for taking both Parsons' and Merin's left hands. At that point several of the Ticker Patriots rushed the stage, trying to free their comrade from this miscarriage of justice. They were soundly beaten back.

No lives were lost today, but the smallfolk of Ticker and the steadings are beginning to talk. Any one of them, after all, might lose life and limb in the next of the great houses' convoluted conspiracies...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Hound on October 29, 2020, 09:45:57 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

The loud, sonorous ringing of the Grand Vestry's bell marked the commencing of Communion, as hordes of peasants and artisans flocked to the building. For the lesser folk of the Peerage, such an event is essentially an excuse for a minor carnival - street vendors flog trinkets and baubles, others sell food (at a wretched premium under the looming shadow of possible famine) and more besides clamber onto scaffolding and peek into windows to watch the events inside.

Within, retainers and their liegelords listened a sermon by the Bishop Alathea, otherwise known as Eris Hale, and observed Finn Darker of House Velstra being ordained as the Bishop of the Promise - a surprising turn of events to many, with commentators baffled by Finn's selection by the council over several other more qualified candidates. Cynical observers noted that the appointment of Finn Darker took place shortly before Ser Nicholas Velstra pledged the Rite of Fealty and formally announced the conversion of House Velstra to the new faith.

Meanwhile in the rural community of the Steadings, the growing spectre of starvation and homelessness continues to eclipse the daily lives of the peasantry. Scuffles and brawls over food donated by the likes of Dougal Maclaren of House Glitt have become a semi-regular occurrence, and one man was even hanged at the gallows for stabbing a yeoman over a disputed bag of oats.  Vagrants who lost their homes in the Copper Torc attack have been found begging in the streets of the Burgage, or worse - turning brigand and attacking travellers in the Weald. A handful of retainers and other well-to-do city dwellers surveyed the Steadings in an attempt to determine a solution to the challenges, but little meaningful progress was made.

The peasantry have been heard of late gossiping about the latest sighting of a 'Blue Faerie', who many claim to have seen frolicking on their croplands and urinating on their livestock. Several serfs swear by the Promise that the Blue Faerie is a blessing, and brings good fortune and bountiful harvests to those who are visited by it in the night. Supposedly, a small cadre of Orza retainers under Stelian Orza attempted to capture the strange creature, but were bamboozled by its capricious shenanigans.

In the wake of the visitations by strange fey, some farmers mutter under their breath when deep in their cups that the Willowmasks and Groundskeeper might well be able to help them heal their burnt fields and butchered animals. With Changeling witchcraft being strictly outlawed and deemed blasphemous by the faith, such controversial suggestions are almost never voiced in the presence of retainers or outsiders.

Old traditions die hard, and as conkers begin to fall in the Weald and the leaves turn orange, the first chill winds of autumn begin to sweep into Ring 99. The pitiful harvest of the Steadings has already been gathered, and many yeomen sit forlornly on tiny bales of wheat and barley, smoking their pipes as they bitterly watch the Great Houses' taxmen come to take their yearly tithe. Carved pumpkins sit in the windows of many a Steadings farmhouse, decorated with garlands and marked with ancient symbols. Much to the annoyance of the Nephezar priests, the peasantry still cleave to their pagan fear of Yevethax, the Tree of the Dead...

It is now autumn in Ring 99.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on November 08, 2020, 11:27:50 PM
The Peerage ward is rife with rumor after a shocking revelation by Dame Eleleth of House Nephezar. The holy knight announced it was discovered that Lord Berneard Glitt has sired a mongrelpig child which was left in the grove of Balelful Stillborn. Nicodemus Nephezar himself was said to have obtained its afterbirth and used his magic to unveil a hideous beast stalking the Mongrelwoods. Fear of changeling taint within the honorable House, Nephezar and the True Faith have declared they shall hold an inquisition at the next council of peers to investigate these claims…

House Glitt has remained silent on the subject. The House has only recently risen from disgrace after Mairead Glitt dispelled the scheming steward Skudge. It is well known that Bernard’s late wife, Meredith Glitt, did die in childbirth some ten years ago. And Bernard Glitt was a wretched drunk for many years after. The Lord released a single proclaimation on the subject, but has spent many of the days after brooding in his chambers.

City Sending by Bernard Glitt: It is true my family has suffered at the hands of changeling sorcery, much like others of the ward. My wife, and what was good of my son, both died in childbirth. Glitt has, and will always, stand tall for Ring 99. All of you know that. And you know not to listen to whatever venomous SHIT Skudge spews forth.

The Ward is split on the issue. Many remember the rowdy young lord with kindness and chalk the scandal up to some failed blackmail attempt by Steward Skudge. Others, weary of changelings and witchcraft, pine for the days when there was an Inquisitor to set such matters right.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Hound on November 13, 2020, 05:12:02 PM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

An intense row in the Velstra mansion sparked a sequence of events that almost led to war within the Peerage. Following a scathing shouting match between Nicholas and Ruul Velstra, the latter promptly teleported out of the mansion - fed up of dealing with his sibling's apparent wroth. Afterwards, Nicholas brazenly mustered the retinue of his Lionsguard and a handful of siege engines, before marching out to surround and besiege Castle Orza - to the surprise and horror of many onlookers.

The situation swiftly escalated, owing no small thanks to the savage personal rivalry between Kristoff and Nicholas that had been festering ever since Maximilien Orza's death at the hands of the latter in a duel. Tensions heightened to the point where a ballista behind the Velstra barricade shot the castle several times, causing some property damage and even a casualty to one of the arbalests on the roof. Just as the Lionsguard were preparing to bring up the battering ram, a reluctant Guiseppe Orza leaned over the machicolations to explain something to Nicholas.

The Red Lion had, it seemed, been informed by one of his courtiers of the conspiracy behind his wife's malaise - her soul had been stolen by Guiseppe Orza during the Battle for the Steadings. Promising to kill the Orzan warlock for his crime, the situation became more complicated when it became apparent that Guiseppe no longer had the soul of Valentina - because it had been released into the aether.

To the growing horror of Yashan Sarde and Ser Nicholas, Guiseppe revealed that Valentina's soul had been claimed by the Nothing. Kristoff, who knew nothing of this, shifted tact and instead negotiated a truce with Nicholas; in return for offering some of House Orza's best soldiery for an expedition into the Nothing, a ceasefire would be agreed for ten days. Rumours of this planned expedition, a joining of forces between the retainers of two Houses to rescue a lost soul from the shadowy grip of Trystan Moonspear, spread like wildfire in the Peerage Ward. Dubbed the 'Forlorn Hope', owing to the impossibility of their success, willing volunteers prepare themselves for the challenge of their lives - and perhaps the last...

// This event will take place on Saturday 14th November, evening GMT, approximately 1 or 2 hours from the time of this rumour's posting. This event contains permadeath threats.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on November 17, 2020, 06:16:14 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]

The Realm is in an uproar.  The Steward of House Nephezar, Adaion, marched into Ticker Square to oversee the seizure of the Adamantine Vault.  Rebuffed by the Guardians, he awaited the arrival of the infamous banker... who arrived in spectacular fashion.

The Steward was immolated in a brilliant flash of fire and light.  A crimson-scaled dragon soared down from the skies, and flashed a rictus grin.  In but moments, the drake shifted and shrank -- and  standing atop the charred corpse of Adaion Nephezar was a familiar man.  A ferocious man.  The Man About Town, the one and only Oscar Tchammorar.  The Dragon of the Vault, and the new Master of Ticker Square.

Still smelling of char and roast suckling pig, he addressed the crowd -- and declared the establishment of a free and independent republic in Ticker Square... a land of the truly free, where men can take as they please ... can claw over each other and murder and maim, so long as the groats continue to flow.

Shaken to the core by the loss of its abiding Steward, the Nephezar retreated to their refuge...

...and unlocked the shackles of their reclusive Lord. 

What followed next even rumormongers in the Groat refuse to divulge.  All that can be gleaned is that both Ticker and the High House are under new management... and the realm shall suffer for both.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on December 06, 2020, 02:58:02 AM
[ :: Day ??  Year ?? :: ]


It was writ on the faces of the Ward's bravest as they marched to liberate Ticker Square from the Dragon, Tchammorar.  Under the banner of High House Nephezar, the shining host would leave as men and return as heroes, under the command of Dame Eleleth and her closest companions they set out for glory and for justice. 


Was all that awaited our heroes in the Tyrant's Square.  They slew the Dragon's slaves and servants, they battled bitterly with Tchammorar the Neoteric himself - in all his gaudy majesty.  And then the beast tyrant did as his kind so often do when pressed...

He ascended into the skies and rained down fire and smoke, destroying his subjects and devastating his foes.  Nothing remains of Ticker Square, no wares will ever change hands there again, no beggars will beg no blackjacks bark and no thrift or grift proceed.  Nothing remains of the Dame and her band, either - for in dealing mortal blow to the Dragon they gave up their lives one and all.

And in it's death throes, Tchammorar avenged himself upon his slayers by descending - like a bleeding comet - down onto the Nephezar Refuge, where he was embraced by their Lord, and both were lost amidst the terrifying collision.

A smoking crater is all that remains of House Nephezar, and a ruinous mound of slag all that is left of Ticker.  The free folk who once called the Square home have now become refugees, fleeing back to the Peerage Ward that they once spurned. 
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on December 06, 2020, 03:03:06 AM
[ :: Day 1 Year 1 :: ]

'Th'feck do we do now, Duggie?' a coal-smeared dwarf asks the other.  Duggie Grum, impetuous survivor, shrugs. 'Make cheese, I reckon.'  Grimacing at his empty tankard, he muses. '...what goes with cheese..'

Somewhere damp and far away, a ruddy haired man adjusts an old half-jacket. It has faded over the years, once a smart jet black now all frayed and graying.  He smooths his finger and calloused thumb down the collar and turns it out halfway - the orange inside is still as striking as ever.  He smirks to himself in the mirror, runs his thumb along his chin. He looks like his father at that age; though a tad shorter.

Who wasn't shorter than the giant, though?

Somewhere quiet and undisturbed a suitor allows himself a rare smile of satisfaction.
Donning an old doublet, feeling out a new suit.
...fastening on two cuff-links encrusted with dark, red gemstones.

It would not be long. No, it would not be long now at all.

Against the odds, against the heat of the evening and in spite of the flame, a cold wind picks up from the south.
It billows and turns, blowing inward... flowing Kingward.
An imaginative mind might wonder how far it goes.
In a flight of fancy, some imagine the King himself might shudder in that breeze.
Bitter, bitter cold. Cold to chill the bone. Cold to wake the dreaming, cold to rattle the teeth and clap shut the jaw.

The chill wind billows through a hidden grove, stirring up songbirds and sending a shiver down a small boy's spine.
He glances askance at his tutor, and a thin hand tousles his dark hair reassuringly.
With an air of unease neither can shake, they resume their lessons
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on December 06, 2020, 03:05:29 AM
[ :: Day ?? Year 1 :: ]

Time passes..

Refugees from the now utterly destroyed Square take what meagre belongings they have and begin making new lives in the Burgage and Weald.  The Houses welcome some with open arms. Velstra and Orza swiftly find use for elven harpists, and half-orcan labourers.  Long has it been since Velstran wine was paired with fine Cheeses!

The metaphor does not ring hollow in the weeks to follow the uneasy relocation...
A throng, hungry and desperate, has come to the Ward. Some work the fields, some cling to their own, while others sharpen spears and hew bows from yew.

The Nephezar do not emerge from their ruin. A disparate diaspora of retainers and former servants cling to their tattered belongings in the Ward, but they will not rise again.
They are a broken and diminished House.  A fifth seat lay open now, on the Council. The Royal Banner is nowhere to be found. Ticker Square is gone... but there is a vacuum to be filled, and opportunity on the wind for the ambitious.

No longer is the 99th Ring host to two divided people. Now, it has become something else. A burgeoning new society. Old hierarchy, and new faces.

...it has been two weeks or more.

Manservant Duggie Grum scratches at a gaudy purple jacket. Gazes down at his old ale mug, now filled with Velstran Velvet.
It's itchy. He thinks, but he can live with that.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Arc on December 06, 2020, 04:38:26 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Rumors spread of changeling madness afoot.

Tales of strange chaos far off in the rings. A mad ringrunner attacking men  in the ward, nearly blind from cataracts. The disturbance was swiftly put down... however.  Something is wrong. Deeply so.

In the ponds, men who before walked with slouching backs now walk with purpose.  Conversations around the fire grow ever quieter, with suspicious and hostile looks given to outsiders. Bug infested and rotten bread is shared more freely. The muggers of the ponds seem almost a touch thoughtful as they open their subjects bowels. And with the fall of Ticker, the number of men in the ponds begins to swell...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on December 10, 2020, 08:35:01 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

The Royal Archivist, custodian of the Peerage Ward for innumerable years, on behalf of the King...

Now lies dead upon the bridge, with his body impaled by death made steel.  In the midst a fiery decree against the machinations of "the Harborman", the long term institution of the Ward had his life stricken from him by a shadow in the shape of a man.

In the wake of his death, the Archives themselves burned.   Against the protestations of the scribe, Rosalia, the young Lord Morgan of House Flevas led a coterie of men into the blaze and stole away with a dusty tome - as did others.  A Golem in all its fury unleashed stormed through the Ward until all the pages were returned, but none know what the intrepid may have learned.

In the wake of the carnage, Drayson Sparrowbroth made it known that henceforth the Spinning Groat Casino would "manage the paperwork" - harkening to its auld duties and his own much subdued position as Master of the Guild of Lessors.

The smell of burnt vellum and charred timbers fills the air, along with another scent -- that of Change on the wind. 
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on December 15, 2020, 03:32:32 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A parade of exotic beasts and foreign men in crimson clothes arrived in the Peerage Ward this evening.  At the head of the train was an elephant, gargantuan in size and bearing atop it's back a Howdah shaded with scarlet silks.  Welcomed into the Ward by a crowd of men, and escorted by Orzan spears in great multitude, the parade came to a halt before the high estate of House Sunpurse.

Sitting upon the windowsill there was the Lady, Orianna, who was soon greeted by her Suitor on his howdah on high.  One by one, the Suitor's servants - the Knaves of 99 - foisted up the prizes she dared all the world to bring her, and bit by bit her mourning frown gave way to a tearful smile. 

Count Zarono Senuspur, the Suitor and the last claimaint to the House of Kings, accepted the hand of his longsuffering bride atop an elephants back. 

Offering but a single ducat and his coat to the waiting Reeve, the Count - and new Lord of his House - vanished into the gloom of the old manor.   His Dark Servants were dismissed one and all, and have dissolved into the populace of the Peerage.  The Count's vizier, a thin and pale man of strange stock, pronounced that the Old House of Senuspur would now be reclaiming its seat as the premiere family of the Ward, and lead them in full revolt against "The Usurper King".

The Orzans under their new Lord, himself once a leading man in the orchestra of the Knaves, battered their shields in uproarious cheer.  The Sunpurse dutifully applauded, welcoming their new master home.

The Houses Velstra and Glitt sent no emissaries, and rose no glass or tankard in salute. 

The Lord has returned, but the Ward holds its peace uneasily...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: LiAlH4 on December 23, 2020, 12:55:25 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

The past day has been spent by many mulling what was a strange, dangerous scene at the first Council of Peers to be held since the marriage of Lady Oriana Sunpurse and Count Zarono Sensupur. All the Houses were in attendance, including minor houses seeking to curry favor in their quest to perhaps fill the seat of Nepehezar, with one of the Bishops of the Faith of the Lord and Lady, Eris Hale, presiding for Sunpurse.

Little of note had occurred beyond verbal sparring between the battle lines of Sunpurse and Orza against Glitt and Velstra, the latter of whom have raised their voices in opposition to the Count. Tension was writ through the room, then, just as it is writ through the ward at large, as a troupe of strange figures entered the Council chambers. They were lead by none other than Adela Nephezar, seeming in a daze amid powerful sorcerous magicks, in the company of two exiled Lords: Schwarzenkopf and Willows. In a moment of clarity, she uttered a grievous curse, accusing Sensupur of corrupting the faith of the Lord and Lady with false idols, damning them in the eyes of the Lord Departed and all who bore witness.

She then disappeared in a cry and flash of spellfire, leaving the scene to swiftly descend into bedlam. Chaos reigned, at least one man in the service of the Count was brought low, and as the dust cleared both of the Exiles lay slain upon the ground. Rumors seethe about the cowardice, or disloyalty, of many in the chamber who chose not to aid the defenders. Others, more quietly, speak of the actions of what may be the last living scion of House Nephezar as something resembling a savior of the ancient traditions against a usurper and tyrant. In any case, Adela Nephezar was nowhere to be found.

A manhunt followed, but all the steading homes and hidden places thusfar looked-in have not revealed the woman who once tended the Almshouse of in the Mongrelwoods, that of the Sobering Spirit. She is hunted even now by the retinue of the Count; though what shall come of this blow to his prestige remains to be seen. Dark talk spreads through the Steadings and the Weald of what may happen if the Count oversteps the limits of his newfound power. Meanwhile, even as the diplomats had met to discuss the situation, as Velstra and Glitt are quietly seen to stockpile the supplies and implements of war.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on December 23, 2020, 02:05:52 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

As the winter snows began to fall in full force across the Rings, the Count and a single Ruby were seen to depart their manse and walk among pale paths in the moonlight.  In celebration of their return, it was decreed that a night of gladiatorial games would be held.. and that the victor in such a contest would be granted a single magnanimous favor from Senuspur himself.

Combatants grappled and spat and fought.

Lives were staked, and a champion declared.

No gold or riches or fame or title did the bold victor ask, however... instead it was knowledge they sought. 

The Champion stood before their Count, and asked to hear - spoken aloud for the first time in living memory - the Name of the King.

And the good Count did oblige...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: whyemmdee on January 06, 2021, 11:57:03 PM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

The infamous Grand Harad, one of the King's personal prisoners recently jailbroken by a group of wayward and rebellious elves, has been known to have finally met final justice. His sentence of exeuction was meted out during one of his infamous bloodthirsty parties somewhere in an ancient prison deep beneath the undergrounds of Ring 99 by a motley collection of courageous retainers and brave ringrunners, helmed by the unlikely 'Hero Hare', Camedyr of the house of Haremarch. Harad's destruction was followed by an immediate, somewhat ironic, jailbreak of many of the ancient prison's long-locked away prisoners, giving rise to the belief that despite the tremendous achievement of ridding the King's domain of such an infamous outlaw, the consequences of such a death may end up doing far more damage to the City in the long run.

Eye witnesses of the event have been heard saying that it had been "one hell of a bash".

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on January 20, 2021, 06:28:42 AM
In the dark of night a gaggle of commoners and retainers made their way to Scarbeak steadings. Dubious and cranky to be in their smallclothes out in the cold. They found their cold, hard, fields to be soft and tilled. Already fresh crops were beginning to breach the soil. The serfs sang their praises to the King, but keener eyes see small figures dancing in the woods. Masked men watching.

It is rumored Madilyn and Camedyr of House Haremarch worked some hedge magic, and struck an accord with changelings. Some of the great houses look on with unease. In such times, of course, it is best to give such rumors the benefit of the doubt. For now, there is a shred of hope in the steadings.

City sending by Gwenllian Haremarch
The chill of winter fades early, before it even arrived. The Mists swirl and the King's will finds prey. Till soil, you good folk of the steadings. Hunt the plentiful animals that wander now. Catpure the water, fresh from the night skies. Do so and know that the Cornu-Ceinach and House Flevas have brought such upon you with ritual, with sacrifice, and by taming masks of green, by keeping oath to the -King-.

Kneel and give your blessings to our King in his mists that swirl when they stir by your lands. Give your thanks to he who bestows his power to us. Bury your gems of red for they are worth nothing, and in their place may grow crops of endless bounty. Kneel, and give your praise to our King, Owain of Aberdenn, of lands long lost, lands long ago, lands forgotten. Return your gaze upon us great King, wrap us in the Mists you have claimed and controled, shroud us within them, and let our blades strike upon the menace that stirs.

City Sending by Greenmask of Willowgrove
[The sing-song voice of a young man] Oh, speak not as if we were tamed by force of arms, little rabbit. The world changes and you and I with it. Eat, drink, and be merry. But you will remember this is our gift to you. Let our gifts and kindness beget your own in the days to come.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on January 30, 2021, 04:53:15 AM
It has been one week since an early spring brought life and crops back to the steadings.  The fears it might be changeling mischief subsided quickly, at least among the common-folk, given the prospect of food and safety.

One warm day, however, a Man in a Green Mask appeared at the edge of the steadings. Behind him stood an army of walking trees and Clifford Farrier, Groundskeeper of Ring 98. He identified himself as a student of the Lost Oaths, and rather politely requested the ear of the Great Houses. The changelings were met by Camedyr of House Haremarch, and a number of retainers.

Seven days ago a bargain was struck with the Hare. The Duchess of Dawn and Duke of Dusk have brought bounty to your fields. Your people shall know full bellies and warm hearths this season.

Now we ask a favor in turn. For long generations we, who keep the secrets of this land, have known the hate of your King and your Count. For long generations this world has known sorrow.  In return for your harvest we ask that one of your young be sent to us, be they a babe, a child, or grown but not gray. They shall learn what it is to fly, to swim, to put down roots, and more. In one year they will return unharmed. House Haremarch may choose as they see fit.

We shall collect our student in three days. May you walk beside us as friends, some day, and know your place in an ever-changing world.

As the druids made to leave they were interrupted by a drunken Morgan Flevas, shouting curses, and hungry for revenge of some kind. The huntsman took a swing at the Greenmask, but was summarily beaten down by changeling and retainer alike.

With House Haremarch barred from the Peerage ward, the Great Houses' stance on the matter seems rather clear...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on February 02, 2021, 01:39:48 AM
The Hour soon approaches when the changelings claim their tribute...

This will be 2/4 at 10pm EST. (https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/easter?iso=20210204T22&p0=179&font=cursive)

(I am sorry for the delay. This was meant to be tomorow. I've had to change things around because of the snowstorm. If this is not good for anyone looking to participate let me know.)
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Equinox on February 04, 2021, 02:14:47 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A storm settled over ring 95 and outwards  in the past eve, with the coming of night, the Count's Drill was moved into position at the walls of the Swampmuck  lands. A column of Sunpurse Retainers led by by a bannerknight of the House were seen marching towards the old fortress at the entrance to the ring.  Not long after, one badly wounded retainer returned seeking re-enforcements.

A band of Sunpurse and Orzan retainers, along with a few citizens of the Peerage itself marched out to the fortress camp. Where Ruby Vizu Nemari was engaged in a standoff with a ferocious lizardfolk warlord, whom had taken captives. The Lizardfolk demanded the drill be stopped, or dead would befall the Sunpurse hostages. In reply, the Ruby simply executed the hostage closest with a throwing knife and instructed the drill begin.

War raged over many hours, with man and woman fighting to hold the fortress position from hundreds of Lizardfolk. Finally concluding in victory, when the warlord was laid low.

The drill completed it's work, and the exterior walls of 95 crumbled to it's might. Progress continues, deeper into the rings.....
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Dillusionist on February 06, 2021, 02:54:30 AM
Under the full moon a procession, lead by House Haremarch, made its way through the steadings. It was the night the changelings would claim their tribute. At the forest’s edge House Haremarch met with Clifford Farrier, Groundskeeper of Pauper Ponds, and the trickster Robin Threefaces. There the bargain would be complete: the fields of the steadings would bare harvest, and a single youngling would be sent away and learn of the Lost Oaths.

From the crowd an old farmer strode forth, his youngest daughter in hand, ready to give her over. But at the very last moment the man changed his mind. It is said House Haremarch and their toadies offered him goal, platitudes, and more but the man would not budge. Finally Wallen Powell, a ring-runner, bandit, and local of the steadings stood up to take her place. He was soon joined by Lord Artegal Haremarch. A gleeful and cackling Robin Threefaces transformed the hunter into a stag, and boy into a dog. And with that, the ceremony was over, the fair folk and their new charges vanishing into the Weald.

The Lords of the Peerage did not take kindly to rumors of witchcraft, strange ceremonies, and child-sacrifice. The bells of the ward were rung and the men of Orza, Velstra, and Sunpurse mustered in the steadings. The retainers were unprepared for the full might of House Haremarch and faltered. The rebellion was driven off only with the arrival of Vsaja Sumari and the Count’s Rubies.

The steadings are rife with both hope and fear. There the PROMISE of food but do the spirits of the Weald ask too steap a price? And the Great Houses will surely not forget this insult…

Those who fought against the Count are now exiled from the Peerage...

Camedyr Haremarch
Clifford Farrier
Arkavin Vaul
Edric Hill
Fenrik Geirsson
Gwenllian Haremarch
Laoise Moore
Madilyn Haremarch
Meliara Duskwood
Old Mirta
Orazio Beecroft
Sammuel Shatterspear
Thorgred Bristlethane
Urgyr Lionheart

(Note: If your PC is on this list but did not fight the retainers, or fought the retainers and is not on this list, let me know)
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Equinox on February 07, 2021, 11:36:25 PM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A dark day for the Peerage. Farmhands and commoners made their way indoors, locking and barricading their homes for some unknown reason. As the sun settled in the west, a lone messenger was spotted on the Old Forest Road. Bearing the white flag of peace, the Ghyl approached and waited. It was met by a score of Peerage retainers and clingers on, and delivered its news. Too long have the peers stood idly by, allowing the steadings to go hungry whilst they rip what little food is grown away from the common folk.

This herald informed those gathered than any peerage man whom remained in the steadings at nightfall would be subject to a rule, or cut down.  Defenders hurried to call for re-enforcements, Orzans and Sunpurses leading the defence and calling for barricades, men and ballistae to be set. As night covered the land, torches in the darkness could be seen. Peers manned the defences and waited.

Hundreds of Ghyl, began to invade, slowly at first with scouts and footmen. But as the night wore on, more and more Ghyl warriors joined the battle, pushing the defenders back to the bridge between the burgage and the steadings. A Ghyl, bigger than any have seen before took to the field, claiming himself "Ser Rodrik the Steelhorn" and the lands under the protection of House Ghyll.

A solemn Sunpurse Knight challenged the Ghyl to a duel to end the bloodshed. The Ghyl Knight accepted, and summarily dispatched the Knight with frightening ease. As the defenders  decided to attack the warlord, dozens more of the best warriors of House Ghyll pushed forward, driving them back again. The ensuing battle was ferocious, with losses on both sides.

A skirmish attempt from Matteo Giovanni, and an Orzan Retainer Douglas Arran failed miserably, as they tried to assassinate the Ghyl Lord. Only succeeding in forcing him to the field once more, threatening to kill any man whom stood before him. Peerage residents began to retreat at the willing of Lord Giovanni and others. A few remaining to hold the Ghyl at bay. One notable figure,  Senior Retainer Adhemar Dupont, died heroically trying to buy time for the others to flee.

The Steadings, now occupied by  the invaders with their warriors manning checkpoints in and out. Signs erected  and sharpen steel axes ensuring no retainers of any house are allowed to pass. No further food will come into the peerage from the  Steadings.  The  commonfolk are seen to be moving  freely, though it remains to be seen. Have they swapped one tyrant, for another?
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on March 25, 2021, 09:36:53 PM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

As the Count's Drill continues its destructive passage through the Rings, many had been wondering how or even if the King and his Royal Court would respond to this provocation. For surely this could not have been the first time in the history of the City that someone had arisen to challenge the status quo in such a way?

Eventually, an answer was given.

Quote from: City Whisper
The Royal Herald
Attention Miscreants and Traitors! In the name of his Royal Majesty, this announcement would have been made sooner, however we have had to put up with the Royal Castigator talking our ears off for the past several hours about minor changes he would make to the Royal Council's declaration.

The Royal Herald
Eventually, he was told to BE QUIET or be FED to the Royal Spaniels.

The Royal Herald
The Royal Council has decided that the best way to deal with the self-proclaimed threat of this 'Count' is the same way as one deals with all wild beasts foolish enough to attack their BETTERS. Firstly, you seal off potential escape routes.

The Royal Herald
You shall experience the consequences of this shortly. May his Royal Majesty reign forever more!

It is said that the consequences spoken of by the Royal Court arrived swiftly - Ring 100 suddenly filling with strange obelisks that burst forth from the ground, discharging magical energies that fried the flesh from the bones of the living. The City's Ring Walls themselves shifted and merged, crushing most locales within Ring 100 between the shifting stone. How many survivors managed to escape to other Rings, or the few regions that weren't destroyed, is unknown... however there cannot be too many of them.

Travellers now say that the known route from Ring 99 to Ring 101 is covered in the same deadly pillars that originally emerged. Yet, oddly, it seems as if passage is still possible between the Rings. Albeit with a much higher risk of death. Whether this was a mistake by the Royal Court and the King, or an intentional ploy, none are certain.

In end, all are more worried about what the next phase of any plan that could be deployed - given the lack of regard for the mere mortals eking out a living, shown by the titans as they fight amongst themselves.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Ironside on April 17, 2021, 03:30:44 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

The Drill has been stalled, the archaic mechanisms which send it barreling forth into the Rings have ceased their breakneck pace and come to a squealing halt somewhere within the foothills of the Silverspike.  Hewing down the mighty pines, a War Camp has been erected to defend the machine from surprise attack.  Curiously it seems that this change of pace is not by malfunction, but design.  Crimson-cloaked shadows bound from the camp in the dead of night, bearing the words of the would-be conqueror of the City.

Though what parlance was shared with the Wizards of the Warrens and the Clan of Uld is not shared in detail, what is known is that in the following days there is a surge in activity throughout the 94th and 93rd.  Towers spark and buzz with arcane light, hammers and droning prayers fill the Bulwark's labyrinthine underhalls... and travellers tell of queer folk of the Warrens ambling about the Outer Rings, keeping to themselves and hurriedly after some esoteric business of their Masters.

At home in the 99th, folk are not idle.  It is well known that the Count and his closest retinue now straddle the world - spending their days more oft than not laboring at the siege.  The predator, the sneering cat to all the Ward's hemmed in mice, is away... his attentions stolen more and more by his lifelong ambition. 

Knives are sharpening , and for the first time since his advent... the Old Count seems to've shown his back.

Not a moment too soon, his enemies murmur ...one to another... each daring the others to leap first - and so expose their own.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: whyemmdee on April 26, 2021, 05:33:09 PM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A successful campaign was undertaken in the name of the holy Triune, under the august and brave leadership of the noble bishop Egbert of Velstra, against the heathen plains people of the Six Sacred Steppes who were said to worship the celestial bodies as divine gods. It is said a hundred crusaders went on this distant campaign to attempt to stymy a rising threat that could overtake the rest of the Rings, yet weeks later only a handful of bedraggled survivors managed to return: wearied, weathered,  and worn by war.  They returned with dire news regarding the oncoming tide of the Nothing, spreading terrible tales of vistas of Rings wholly overtaken by the black, of dark storms that ate away at the very walls themselves, and, too, of a great last stand against hundreds if not thousands of steppe warriors in a dark, narrow valley, situated on the edge of the City of Rings.

What was seen there and what was done there the rumors vary about, yet one thing quickly spread as undeniable truth: those who had come back from that valley, those who stood against the tide of a thousand steppe barbarians, their names would surely be forever remembered in the annals of history as heroes...

...the heroes of Obu Pass.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on May 23, 2021, 04:56:25 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

As the final stone is laid in place for the Eryngium Fortress, it slowly comes to life. Strange misty soldiers begin to patrol the walls, guard the gates and man the battlements. In matters of violence, for those few incidents that occur, they are relentless and focused... yet when at peace interactions with them are difficult. As if something is broken about them...

However, what their presences makes clear is simple: that a proper defence by the Royal Court against the threat posed by the Count has finally been mounted.

Over in the Drill Camp, soldiers, mercenaries and hired hands all make ready. For much time now has the Count been mustering forces and supplies for the push ahead. At long last, it seems that all is prepared for another offensive against the "Jailer" of the Rings, and to claim what the Count believes is rightfully his.

Standing in between these two forces however is the combined populaces of Rings 94 and 93. For the duration of the construction of the Fortress and the Count's mustering, there have been diplomats and representatives of all involved sent forth into the neighbouring Rings.

Time alone will tell how much, exactly, they have achieved in their goals - and what, exactly, is to be the fate of their peoples and their Rings when the fight between titans recommences...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on May 23, 2021, 10:57:37 PM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

The Repaired Vestry now lies in ruins once more, despite the efforts of many Velstra and Sunpurse retainers now left dead among the cobbles of the Burgage, or the charred floor of the holy site. It is whispered that four men cut a path from the Steadings, torn down the guards there, and moved past the incompetent Blackjacks.

Though a few defenders attempted to stall them, Anastasia Orza among them, An explosion from within has bereft the faith of the Lord, Lady and Promise a place of holy offering. The pews that held those that came for sermon, were now lined with curled bodies of faithful too slow or frightened to escape the madness.

Beneath the destruction are those that pressed their forefingers and ring-finger to to their palm, for the last time. Courage would not save them alone, and enough strength was never found.

--As the night grows colder, and a chill sets into the air. People in the peerage begin to head inside, with exception of a few traders and adventuring types.. All seems peaceful--

--Sounds of battle at the burgage--

--Screams and shouts in the burgage!--

--A group of armed man and creatures storm the vestry--

--An alarm begins to sound--

--A large group of retainers rush to the Vestry--

--more men rush outside, surrounding the church--

--A battle sounds from within, screams as commoners flee--

--Red figures rush from the Sunpurse manor--

-- Between a long chase and hard fought battles, the vestry is caught in flames, an explosion from inside pouring outward --

--Rubble blocks the door, trapping inside those who were too slow to make it out, though most are dead, slaughtered by the insurgents--

--A pale figure, robed and graceful in movements exits Sunpurse manor, a scowl on his features--

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Grand Vizier Sardistan”
[more than a hint of annoyance in his tone] It would seem, that despite the.. best efforts from of our wards soldiers and adventuring types. A group of wretched... miscreants have been allowed to break into our Grand Vestry.

Upon fleeing like the scurrying rats that their faith truly represents, these.. 'Malagorians' have inflicted some internal damage to a most holy place. In attempt to inflict chaos upon our peaceful domain.
Rubble will be cleared, glass will be refitted, and those lost in its defence, will surely be honoured at the next oath giving. But for now, House Sunpurse

Bring all four, and a great boon of the Count's personal trove will be granted, in addition. Happy hunting!  demands justice.

Ahem, it seems the initial bounty did not broadcast. Ten thousand groats, per head of these terrorists.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Kolgrim Ashen-Eye”
The only truth the Triune preaches is it's weakness that be have made apparent. Rebuild the rubble and it shall be broken, don your heathen robes and they will be dyed red with blood. Do you not see the lesson that is taught? Abandon this Triune of useless gods now, whose only power is in coin.

Do not bend as cravens to their teachings, spit upon the rubble. Free yourself from it's chains that have kept you obedient, raise your voices and earn the strength that dwells within you
Mala'gor embodies strength, and his gaze is always upon you.. Now rise to greatness and earn the favor of the Gods! Begone with the weak, begone with the false, begone with the dying powers of the Triune! This the will of the Gods!

A reward is offered, a taunt is given. The Rings yet continue on as the comfort of religion is dashed for many. One more hardship, or perhaps one more freedom.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on May 29, 2021, 08:01:58 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

In the Rings, various changes begin to take place, as factions and individuals react to current events.  Within the Burgage, Sunpurse Retainers dig through the ruins of the destroyed Grand Vestry, watched over silently by individuals wearing Ruby red. They seem to be seeking something...

Within Ring 93, Towertop patrons soon find themselves with additional guards. After the death of his apprentice and the airing of dirty laundry through Whispers, it seems clear that sides have begun to be taken in the Warrens.

The roads from Ring 94 through to Ring 99 soon find themselves bustling with an angry convoy of Glitt from the highlands, making their way to the Peerage Ward. There they set up camp wherever they can find space. Many are seen clashing with those from the Guild of Lessors, and more than a few of the Guildsmen find themselves taking a swim while the upset highlanders find themselves a new home.

Finally, within the camp of the Count's Drill, mercenaries, retainers and more begin to gear up and prepare for conflict. Eyes turn both north towards Ring 93, but then also north-west to focus in upon the Silverspike.

For the Uld have been active of late, yet their final choice remains to be seen...


In the Peerage Ward, the dynamics have once again drastically changed. Velstra, long reliant on the prestige afforded to them by multiple Bishops of the Grand Vestry, find themselves adrift, seeking purpose and new power.

Glitt, once a third rate force of rabble, is now a first rate force of rabble. Their highland kindred swell their numbers greatly, as does their martial prowess. Sadly, they have somewhat reverted to their more chaotic habits of their drunken era...

Sunpurse seems internally split, with many of the older retainers seeking a return of focus to control and rule of the Ward. Others, however, find themselves drawn more to the glitz and power of the Rubies and Count's Drill.

As for Orza, few feel they can understand them anymore. Yet perhaps there is merit in the musing of drunks, for a popular story in the Weeping Flagon of late is a short tale of three brothers. One focused upon playing with fire. One focused upon a distant horizon. And one torn between family loyalty and a long standing dream...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on June 04, 2021, 02:48:09 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Diplomacy, though piled by many in the endeavor to preserve Rings 93 and 94 from the Count's advance forward, have reached their end - with most of the dwarves Uld and Wizards of the Wizard's Warden dead. For a moment, it seemed as though the parts to Alledha's Astrolabe were secured by the Wizards and the Dwarves, but due to the betrayal of one of the Wizards, communications broke down, and House Orza was quick to take advantage of this.

What happened next was seemingly the conclusion, regardless... the Weapon, dangerous enough, and tempting of its power and use, found its purpose fulfilled. Much to the abject horror of any that might have climbed the Steep hills of the Silverpeak... that might have carved their names towards the journey towards Ring 1... That might have took a deep breath of mountain air, and relaxed for a fleeting moment.

Such pleasures would be dashed forever more:

-- As the morning sun rises on the City, the peoples of each Ring go about their daily business. The Peerage is bursting at the seams accommodating now not only the semi-integrated Ticker refugees, but now a new host of Ring 94's fleeing population. --

-- The Glitt have well and truly made their selves at home, regardless of the amusement or disgust of their new neighbours. --

-- And within Ring 94 itself, the Drill Camp is a hive of activity. Final preparations to depart the long standing supply camp appear to be well underway... --

-- Perhaps today will be the day that Ring 94 is finally breached... --

-- The Drill Camp is packed up. A force of guards begin to assemble to escort it through Ring 94. Today will be the day... --

-- The skies are clear and free of clouds, the weather fine and the wind cool. And in the Ring 99, amidst the Ward, there is so much shuttering of windows; mutterings and gossip. Children's toys are abandoned, and the daytime revellers have departed the Groat. No speeches are made, no grand utterances; eyes just cast furtive within, deeper - towards the Count Senuspur, his Excellency, and the day's heavy work. --

-- The Drill begins its long, long journey through the mountainous Ring 94, Rubies visible upon its upper deck, while Sunpurse Retainers, myriad mercenaries and other assorted individuals march alongside it. --

-- The Drill proceeds through the lands of Auld Findlay's Glenn, running roughshod over the now abandoned encampment. --

--The trundling wheels of the Drill roll along through the mud of the Spike. --

-- The Bulwark guardians stand outside their mountain a moment. Watching the passage of the Drill as it slowly approaches. They do not seem to be in fear, nor do they seem to be happy. They simply... watch. --

-- The Drill proceeds onwards... bypassing the Bulwark, and boring a hole through sheer cliffs, seeking Ring 93. The Uld simply watch on. --

-- The Uld turn from watching the Drill and return inside their Bulwark. They gather in number before Torvan. --

-- And there, Torvan begins a speech... --

Quote from: ”Torvan Uld”
My people. My children. Long have I watched over you all in this vigil we call the Bulwark. Our monument to our folly. The gravestone of Khoral'dunn. I had hoped that our youngest generation. The one without our sins. /My/ sins. Would be the one to save us all. To protect us from the harm of wizards, and the greedy. To give us further time to atone. Yet... they have instead chosen new sins.

We made the error once in our past to bend knee to the evil of the Sibilant for the 'greater good' of our people. This was a mistake, as it directly let to the end of our people.. Yet... the past repeats once more. Our time has come my people. Depart if you will, or join me in and end to it all. Our vigil is now over.

 -- A tiny handful of Uld are seen departing the Bulwark, for parts unknown... the remainder gather in the central chamber. Torvan himself moves deeper within the mountainous cavern. Yet before the dwarves can complete their plans... --




-- Blazing DOOM surges forth beneath the mountain, and the Bulwark is washed away in a sea of LAVA. --

-- The Uld die horrifically, spontaneously combusting instantly. Their legacy ruined forever. --
Atop the deck of the Great Drill, men throw up their hands and duck low to avoid scorching rains of molten rock. All around and about the comitals there is death and horror in abundance. Rivers of fire come streaming down. --

-- And within the flame, the runes of the armoured form of Torvan blaze desperately in defence of the ancient dwarf. Yet they too fade in time, and the long since empty shell, a suit of Soul Forged armour, crumples in upon itself under the heat and force of the explosion. --

-- Prince Torvan Uld, last of the old Royal line of Khoral'dunn, is no more. And so too, do all others within Ring 94 perish. --

-- Black clouds of ash coat the skies for rings upon rings upon rings. All that has occurred in the foothils is obscured to the outside world. The Ring Doors burn hot and bright.. buckling.. Wizards of the Warrens ward their way, rendering suicidal passage into the inferno impossible. --

-- Adding to the destruction, there is a planar surge that begins amidst the fire of Ring 94... further explosions and destruction occurs throughout the ravaged ring. --

-- Thunderous explosions rock the 94th long into the midnight hour... Tolling out the bells in their own morbid way... Marking our passage into another day... --

The Night does not heal the wounds so permeant, the open grave becomes observed by the passing masses of the Rings... the elusive toll of Time continues without the challenge of Rings 94 and 93, though not as intended and not without cost, Count Zarono Senuspur is one step closer towards his conquest.

-- The sky is blanketed, from the mid 80's to the 99th ring and beyond... Ash falls, choking and thick. --

-- Ring 94 smolders yet, after the passage of time, seems to be traversable once more... --

-- Where once the greatest fear for travel was bears... the flames, the unsealing of dangerous depths and powerful magics have made the Ring that much more dangerous... --

-- Travellers to and fro the now scorched 94th quickly spread rumours and hearsay...
The mountain is gone. A heaping wasteland of slag and magma lay between ringwalls now scalded and scorched. --

-- The land is roamed by horrors. Things from below the Silverspike thought only legend and myth by even the Bulwark. --

-- The mighty 'Wizard-Lords' of the Warrens are accounted for.. one having fled with secrets from beneath Alledha Amastecia's sanctuary, one having died in the concussive explosion.. and the third, the traitor and master of Towertop...why, he stands at the side of his Count, now pale of flesh and scalded near to cinders. The Great Drill is near ruined, a wreck tossed on seas of magma and planar wind. Only by the betrayer's hand has any timber survived. It rests atop a cooled floe of ash and lava, likely never to move again. --

-- The auld Glitt, the mountain clans.. have survived - they have gone home to the 99th. --

-- The Uld are gone. The Uld are here. Their spirits and husks assail the ruin of the entrenched comitals day and night, unending. If aught lives in the wastes.. it shan't for very much longer. --

-- Clad all in black, with skin dark like the obsidian of their home, the Khazuuk-Uld haunt the wasteland.. driving down men and subjecting them to the burbling molten rock. --
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on June 04, 2021, 11:52:55 PM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

It has been a few days now since passage has re-opened through the ruined remains of Ring 94, and news from elsewhere in the City begins to filter through.

Rumours rapidly spread in the wake of Whispers claiming responsibility for the destruction of Ring 94. That, in Ring 93, battles were seen between Orzans, Malagori, Wizards and Uld in the streets. That they all disappeared into one Tower.

And that all of them returned alive - some perhaps beaten bloody, but clearly nobody died in the course of events within or without.

Coupled with the Whispers made claiming responsibility, and a relatively clear picture begins to emerge from the heat haze of the pyroclastic flow. Somehow, some way, those four groups were responsible for destroying a verdant paradise of a Ring. To what end, few can understand.

After all:
- The Orzans are supposedly allied with the Count.
- The Uld have killed all that remained of their kind.
- Towertop and perhaps other locations in the Warrens had already yielded.

Only the Malagori's actions make sense, for the insane acting insanely is par for the course.

There are inevitable flow on repercussions.

Within the Peerage Ward, both Glitt and Sunpurse reach an uneasy truce, united in a burning hatred for Orza. Glitt especially - for they have lost their claimed ancestral homeland to Orzan insanity. Fighting on the streets is a regular occurance between the two Houses.

What is new, however, is how regularly Glitt comes out ahead in these scuffles. For what they lack in discipline and skill, the influx of highlanders has certainly significantly swayed the numerical advantage that Orza once had. Orzans now no longer travel in small groups in the Ward. For to do otherwise is to be discovered in the morning, naked, beaten bloody and tied to scarecrow crosses upon the impromptu highlander farms in the Ward.

Orzan affiliated farms, businesses and organisations soon face significant issues - some because of Glitt highlanders rampaging through them and taking all their goods. Some, because of underhanded Velstran or Sunpurse activities against the latest villains of the Ward. Some simply just... disappear.

Castle Moonspear and House Orza finds itself under a strange siege of sorts. The Orzans had always found themselves outsiders in the Ward in many ways and they are still a power to be reckoned with. However, now they are being treated as pariahs. As monsters. More so than even Sunpurse under the Count.

For tales and claims about the Count and his Rubies are one thing amongst the populace and factions of the Ward.

The reality of destroying an entire Ring for no gain is another.

For who knows? Perhaps they would do the same again to Ring 99 given a chance, all for a laugh...


On religious matters as well, there are flow on effects. Those of the Triune, already rocked by the destruction of the Grand Vestry, find themselves struggling to deal with local backlash and the weakening of their structural power.

With some of Orza publically claiming that it was The Promise's will that Ring 94 be destroyed, those that even mention the third aspect of their religion find themselves facing the fists of the angry. Some begin instead to adopt a heretical form of the "Triune" that more resembles old Nephezar claims about the Lord Departed and Lady-in-Waiting.

Actual Promise worshippers find themselves even more out of luck. The luckiest end up beaten and left in the mud, begging for mercy. The unluckiest are burnt alive, with their attackers screaming it was what was "Promised" to them by their God.

Weaker Malagori converts in the Ponds also find themselves in strife when night falls - often found in the morning locked in rigid, dying, agony, clearly chewed upon by beasts and strange plants bursting forth from their chests and skulls. Those few that survive are quivering, broken, husks.

Change is afoot throughout all of the Rings...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: whyemmdee on June 07, 2021, 01:19:43 PM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A heartbeat stilled for eons has roared to wakefulness within the rime-ridden region of the Air Seam that was once the Frozen Tear; the rhythmic, massive heartbeats - t'CHUN, t'CHUN - crack more ice, shed more snow, helping to free a great evil from its glacial prison.

There the white has turned a deep claret hue; an uncomfortable shade for some, a sweet, attractive cerise for the crazed.

Slowly, insidiously, inevitably, he may touch all.

T̶̨̨̘̦͚̬̭̒̎̑͐̈̍H̶̡̬̲̞̻͑͆̿́͗̕͝Ę̵̫̱͓̞̩̗̘̭̗͙̊ ̶̼̲̙̖̘̦̆̂͊̓͒͂͛̍́̎͆̏̈́͝S̸̗̖̗̱̟͚̠̠̺̗͕͒̊ͅL̷͖͕͖̙̞̝̀͂̀́͂̀̽̏̀͘̚͜͝ͅȄ̶̞̲̪̈̅̓͑͌̆̍̄͗̈̚͝͝ͅḖ̵̗̝͇̜͍͖̗̩̫̯̱̪̘͇̞̈́́͝P̵̡̲̩̫̺̠͚̌̓Ȩ̷̡̬͓̟̪̹͖̹̤͕̹̩̬̳̒͒̂̈̋Ř̵̪͈̯̯͕̝̭͒ ̷̡͇̙͈͇̩̫̳̟̭̗͚̠̼̳̑̓̃̀̌̅̉H̴̛̜̦͈̳̹̫̓͌̐͌͛̈́͊̿̊́̓̕͘A̴̢̙̯̜̜͙̲̠̥̞̩̩̥͗͊͒͐̃̑S̴̢͔̫͍̺̝̞̜̯̰̜̬̤͕̱͒̏̃̈́͗́͊͘ ̷̢̢̞̻͓̦̣͉̜̟̹͎̑͗̾̅̈́̈͆̈͂́̋̔̄̚W̴̱̲͖͉̩̜̑̐͆͒̿O̵̢̟̩͈̞̭̥̖̼̭̹̪͍͖͂̆̔͌̊͗͂̉̈́̓̏̆̿̑͘Ķ̴̡̼̯̖̝̣̯̼̫̜̘͔̈́̈́̈́̍̐̑́͝͝E̷̩̻̿̾̄

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on June 15, 2021, 06:34:32 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A Red day...

A group of Four Blackjacks calling themselves the Redjacks have caused havoc in parts of little Ticker and the Peerage. First, the Weeping Flagon is utterly destroyed by the Redjacks:

-- An earth-shattering set of screams from the Weeping Flagon --

-- The building burns and burns ... huge clouds of smoke rising up and away ... --

--High pitched screams come from the burning tavern- Briefly, before they are cut off.--

-- All the folk of the Peerage stop and stare... stare at the flames... and stare into screams. -

-- The tavern continues to burn, the liquor stores eventually all combusting, the wooden skeleton of the tavern gradually becoming naught but ash as the Ward does it's best to ignore it. --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Redjack McDimmock”
Heh, well.. This is an announcement from REDJACK McDimmock. Yeahs, that's right. RED. JACK. We's no longer them Blackjacks. We's BETTER than them. Got a nice fancy scarf to prove it too! And this is the word around street from now on! We Redjacks are true loyalists to the Count..

M'lord Zarano Senuspur! You best think twice 'fore messing with us, 'cause we's affiliated now, HEH HEH. If yous want to join, yous just find me now.. I'll get you right and proper, HEHAH!!

Then, some manner of violence erupts from the Dusk's Cradle... as Lady Anastasia Orza describes, Redjacks are seen defacing the Lady in Waiting Shrine with urine and meats... the caretaker of the shrine mortally wounded trying to defend his post. Thelisa Sunspyre condemns the actions of the great houses, the actions of those that once more assault Ticker, even in its small form, and so do...

-- There is a sudden scream as a lone shadow trembles atop Oldspyre Tower --

 -- A pale and emaciated woman stands straddling a window ... --

-- The woman's cries echo downward from the highest point of the tower ... sobbing and weeping, they echo throughout the ward ... --

The words send into action a set of catastrophes further... Lady Valentina Velstra falls to her death from OldSpyre Tower, which she had climbed due to panic and depression of her life in the peerage, of her lost life in tickersquare, and her overwhelming guilt at all of them... That, and before she could climb back down from finding some small hope, A wizard of House Orza makes sure she can't reconsider...

-- In cold blood, a magic missile pelts the Lady Valentina Velstra ...  And she falls to the ground, murdered. --

-- Dead. --

 -- The rumors are swift and relentless ... House Orza has murdered Valentina Velstra ... and few dare to stand against them. --

House Velstra, once more inflamed by anger at yet another loss sets to work an assault of Castle Orza and gathers a regiment of Retainers led by Ser Nicholas Velstra to seek due revenge:

-- A great hustle and bustle in the Vale as one of the Feast's more reputable tables is upturned and hacked apart into some amalgam of a ram. --

-- Though his heart be hardened, 'twould seem the family Velstra doth not lightly endure the death of her own. However thin of blood. --

-- A cadre of Velstran retainers have dragged the 'Foretable' - first table of the Feast in the Vale - out onto a trundle cart. The table is, as a point of fact, a great siege ram with one shaved side.--

 --It is poised outside of the side entrance to Castle Orza, thereafter A black and orange body goes careening off of Castle Moonspear... Viscera and sinew bathe the awaiting beseigement-

- Orzan crossbows plink from slatted windows all along the walls of the Castle Moonspear. Gleaming, barbed bolts primed for loosing...

Elsewhere... Gregovich, 'the Great One' grins gregariously as he and the ever-intoxicated Capo Piotr share a swig of good vodka...

--Castle Orza boils like an anthive kicked, retainers bustle to and fro preparing various defensive implements. Heavy, sloshing cauldrons are heaved to their perches, and bundles of bolts are brought about. --

--Meanwhile, Ser Nicholas Velstra readies his own guard and sets them towards slamming the siege weaponry into Castle Orza--

-- Guiseppe Orza spits from his perch, attempting to spatter Nicholas Velstra, before he steps back and withdraws a satchel of salt and chalk and rarer reagents. --

--With a massive slam, do the Velstra Retainers buckle the Door at the North side of the Castle!--

--The roof of Castle Orza catches alight as potent magics are invoked. The air grows warm, scalding through the peerage warm as clouds are obliterated into steam and mist. --

As a battering ram is burnt asunder by hot oil defensive, and House Velstra turns back to return with yet another, the Royal Herald belittles the situation at hand...

Quote from: ”The Royal Herald”
Go, quickly now. Far more important than your petty squabbles are the gifts given by we of the Royal Court to you, our wayward supplicants. Do you even comprehend the things you play at? Are you even aware of the folly of daring to rise above your station?

Notably, Ser Nicholas Velstra does not cease... and is heard to speak in a dismissive tone: “Does he make mockery of my plight!?”

--Ser Nicholas Velstra yet again demands the ram forward, and so do they continue to ram and rupture the door--

-- The scent of Ozone, and scorched air falls upon the ward. Heat mirages shimmer in the space between and above Castle Orza and the Vale. --

-- The Castle shudders as the Ram impacts it yet again, a score of retainers propelling the makeshift siege engine through it's duty. --

--Another slam into the castle door, driven by the enraged Ser Nicholas Velstra--

--Atop Castle Orza, Guiseppe speaks the last word of his incantation, turning to step to the edge and peer down as a hellish pillar of fire begins it's descent from above. --

--As it descends, it is met... A vortex of wintery death mixes with it, and there is a great cacophony as it is nullified, a blast fo steam falling over all combatants. --

--Ruul Velstra makes his return to the Ward, the infernal guillotine of flame defeated by his hands... And returns to the Vale at his brother's side. -

-- It seems, for the moment, the Siege of Castle Orza is over. --

-- The ward gradually returns to 'normality', at least as much as it may, though tensions between the Houses simmer higher and higher, the boil of an all out war averted another day. --

The Tensions and Power Struggles of the Ward continues onward... cut by moments of reprieve
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on June 26, 2021, 11:35:49 PM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A great deal of death Follows some manner of dark Feast, in the following dead of night do a series of panicked actions take place, whispered on the winds by those who know.

-- Rumors about of a scuffle on the outskirts of the Peerage. While scuffles are ordinary - this one seems to have been anything but. They describe a single figure, striking down a small band like lightning... --

-- A small confrontation outside the Sunpurse Manse. --

-- At the Behest of the Inquisitor Malik, a number of Orza guards scour the castle in search of some manner of bomb --

-- A number of Orza guards can be seen removed from their posts, still making a scrambled search --

Then, upon the following rise of the Promise, a series of misfortunes fall upon the head of the Velstra Retainer and  Merchant Barnabas Fentleberry. Assaulted in his regular stall in the Burgage yet again...

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Glitt Retainer Warley Archencroft”
House Velstra...your Retainer Merchant was assaulted and kidnapped by the Redjack Beast Brick... In the catacombs he was dragged to. I call on all arms to seize Brick and his wizardly friend Jabbar.

-- Rumors quickly spread of some sort of ambush and terrible actions taking place within the catacombs... --

-- Crowds shriek as a brawl breaks out in the Burgage --

-- The fight which saw glowing light and vile shadows twist and crawl at each other in the burgage ends as quickly as it began --

A strange turn of events follows... This Wizard Jabbar was hunted down in the impending fight all the way to the Blind Eye. Meanwhile, Lady Sunspyre calls for action against a man seen controlling a number of shadows named Yic, who was assisting the Wizard during the fight. And during all this a marriage is announced...

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Lord Egbert Velstra”
Hark! The beast referred to as 'Brick' has submitted itself to House Velstra for punishment. A hefty wergild was exacted, as is proper. On account of its willingness to face justice, it was spared a far worse fate. I, Egbert Velstra, do so decree!

On to a more important note. I bid you, oLady Anastasia Orza - I ask for your hand in marriage. I have toiled endlessly to see an incredible ring crafted. So beautiful as to rival any gem the Count might boast in his vault. I go now, to the entrance of House Orza, to materialize my proposal. ne and all, to listen well. For I shall make a grand announcement.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Blackjack Brick”
Attention, idiots. Warley of House Glitt and Barnabas of House Velstra ignored the pardon granted by Lord Egbert Velstra and tried to murder me in the street. I beat them into the fucking dirt and took what was left of their money.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by A Grey Butler”
As per the wishes of Viscount Charles Flevas, House Velstra shall be banned from entry into the Blind Eye, upon pain of expulsion and worse due to the uncouth actions of their retainer. A sum of 10,000 groat may be donated to repair the damages incurred, and re-open our hospitality.

Quote from: ” City Whisper by Lord Egbert Velstra”
House Velstra cares not a whit for your sordid tavern. Now - more importantly - Lady Anastasia Orza has accepted my proposal!

All members of the Ward's commonwealth are encouraged to start acquiring wedding gifts. My servants will be laboring day and night to see a date for the wedding penned. And now, I shall allow my wife-to-be to speak.

Quote from: ” City Whisper by Lady Anastasia Orza”
The blood and violence between Velstra and Orza has been long. It's true I long hated this man, my Eggy....but for reasons beyond my understanding I now see his charm, his wit and us unrivaled Velstran lineage.

I do not care what out two houses have to say, we shall be wed. We will have what we want. If you are wise you will be happy for us and we can know power unlike any house before us. This is a happy day for Velstra and Orza.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Velstra Retainer and Infamous/Famous Merchant Barnabas Fentleberry”
Let it be known, that on this most jubilant day that Bishop Egbert sent the blackjack thug know as Brick to rob me of my ring, a ring he could not afford for his most gracious lady, so now wears a stolen ring from my wares. Lord Norbert i beseech you and ask for Justice on this day.

Following Fentleberry's whisper... it was widely seen and reported that Lady Anastasia Orza took quite offence to the message how the ring was gathered...

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Reporter Deidre Valance”
This is Dee Valance with a lightning fast update! Barnabas Fentleberry was bludgeoned by Lady Anastasia Orza within Magus Naoli's shops for insulting the lady's engagement ring! He is now faced with two choices: apology or death! Time will tell which one the man takes!

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Velstra Retainer and Infamous/Famous Merchant Barnabas Fentleberry”
I have been threatened to say this by the Lady Orza, that my last message was a simple mistake and my last sending was a grave error.

-- And so... the Merchant Barnabas' 'Wedding gift' costs him his life --

Quote from: ” City Whisper by Reporter Deidre Valance”
Bloodshed in the Doorkeepers! [Sounds of battle behind her] Lady Orza has slain Mr. Fentleberry! Two Glitt are now laying into her!

We are bringing all of the latest news directly to you as we speak! Lady Orza has bested the Glitt archer and is now moving into the other man - Retainer Warley, an old friend of Mr. Fentleberry, who says 'Enough', but draws his rapier when she refuses to relent!

The other Glitt is now down! Lady Orza stands victorious over the bodies of those who sought to stop her! Mr. Fentleberry's broken and murdered corpse is right at my feet as we speak! Poor Mr. Fentleberry, taken from the ward far too soon. When asked if he had more to say...!

His last words were: 'Not really'

A large entourage now stands in the Doorkeepers, drawn here from my whispers probably! Lord Egbert has an announcement to make, so we'll yield the floor to him! Lord Egbert, please go ahead.

Quote from: ”Lord Egbert Velstra”
Subjects of the Ward! What happened today is a tragedy. Alas, it could have been prevented. The merchant, Fentleberry, grew frenzied in the aftermath of his accostment by some hoodlum of a Blackjack -

In his pernicious anger, he named me a traitor among other things. He levied a thousandfold insults, against me and my wife-to-be both. As such, he was summarily executed. But take heart, good people. You might not be able to purchase the man's merchandise anymore -

But there shall be a FEAST in the vale of my namesake soon. His many baubles and trinkets shall be redistributed to the commonwealth. I, Egbert Velstra, do so decree!

This shall occur in an orderly fashion, with your betters getting the first pick. Make your way to the Vale. Good day!

There yet remains to be seen how the two houses will react completely to this arrangement... especially considering House Velstra was just besieging House Orza...
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on June 30, 2021, 06:52:20 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Betrayal and true colours bleed through old tattered uniforms of Orza Regalia, as new colours are lifted into the sky upon the setting of the Promise. The Wizard who slew the Lady, Morvoren Adair, finds her conscience, but finds it far too late to battle the crippling weight of the depression it brings. As well, Lord Egbert Velstra is stolen a bride, as Lady Anastasia Orza is beset and slain by her once close allies... A series of Whispers regale and lament the situation as appropriate:

-- A spire of malevolent energy rises upwards from the Inquisitor Tower in Ring 97, soaring high into the sky - blighting the entire City of Ring's skyline. --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Aatish Aldebrand”
Long have I walked a dark path, the tendrils of shadow and mischief surrounding me and my actions. Long have I endured the wicked and disgusting acts of those who think themselves noble, think themselves beyond our reach.....

Today I seek absolution for my sins and begin to correct my path as I reflect upon the deeds done within the night, within the shadow, within the veil of these Orzan colors....
The return of the true Lord is near and the corrupt of the Triune and that broken, twisted church that ruined our way of life.....know that your time draws ever more near to a swift end by the flames of Purity. Now, the Inquisitor shall speak.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Inquisitor Malik Adalya”
A gift I said. Egbert, tonight I have given you the perfect gift. I believe you shall be delighted when you learn of it. My true sovereign would only allow that I find the most suitable gift for a man of your own crimes.

Long live Ser Lyon Moonspear. [His voice bellows - relief and exhaustion in one.] May we walk forever the path of redemption, as we purge ourselves of the wickedness of the Orzan family.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by the Man known as Yic”
I bring ill news. Lady Anastasia Orza's remains adorn the courthouse in ring ninety seven...

-- Meanwhile, a lone woman meanders into the Velstra Vale ... --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by the Wizard Morvoren Adair”
Ser Nicholas Velstra, I will submit myself to you for you to carry out what you see fit for the murder of your wife. I have been so blind...

Quote from: ”City Whisper
[the voice gives no name] There is.... There is to be a hanging in the Steadings. The murderer of Ser Nicholas Velstra's wife faces justice.

As so it is that this hanging takes place as Ser Nicholas Velstra speaks boldly to the broken woman... Once the Wizard who Killed Lady Velstra. Now Morvoren Adair, ashamed and mislead. A recounting is witnessed by many:

The Wizard Morvoren Adair:
[The noose begins to tighten around their neck as they are slowly raised]

Ser Nicholas Velstra:

And what of you, wretch? Will you abandon your wicked house in your last moments? Behold her! Behold the wretch as she hangs!

-- The Wizard Morvoren Adair is dropped with a sudden, loud snap of the rope --

Ser Nicholas Velstra:

This is what my wife experienced... when she fell from her tower. 

-- Morvoren finally suffocates to death ... --

-- A slow, agonizing death. --

Ser Nicholas Velstra:

It is done. This woman came to me, begging for repentance. She has now repented. Hear me well, people of the City of Rings ... Murderers shall find no quarter from a true knight of the realm. Redjack. Clean up the body.

-- With a loud gasp of breath, the wizard Morvoren - the woman who is said to have helped lay flat all of Ring 94 finally dies. --

-- Her death is marked by scribes of the Peerage as long and suffering. A slow and agonizing suffocation ... her crime, the murder of a Lady of the Peerage --

Shortly after...

-- A scream and unearthly howl from the catacombs! --

Quote from: ”City Whisper”
There is a ghost in the catacombs!  The ghost of a wizard! She slew a Glitt retainer they charged in after screams were heard!

Quote from: ”Redjack Ranulph McDimmock”
Sh-shit, I didn't... I didn't make it back in time..! Some half pint beat m'arse while I was headin' to a burial site for the poor wizard girl, and ran off with her corpse...! Son of a bitch!!


-- Within the 97th Ring, against the battering storm, a new banner whips in the rain. --

-- Atop the former Courthouse waves a white standard. A crescent moon, pierced through with a silver spear. --

--Through the night among torrential rains, armed men in argent and azure can be spied slipping in and out of their new fortress. --
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on July 04, 2021, 04:19:25 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A changing of the guards takes place in a number of areas quite quickly... After rumored trial and association with Count Zarono Senuspur and House Sunpurse, the Redjacks lead by Ranulph McDimmock finally seem to win over Captain Aslo's post. While a small amount of fanfare took place, the Redjacks remain much the same as the Blackjacks prior... besides the new Count sympathetic liaison.

This lead to Brick, the Halforc Redjack, to be named second hand. However, this was shifty taken from him by contest of House Velstra Retainer Gerhard Stoutmantle upon the Bridge of the Peerage. There is some clamor about a Retainer facing down against a Redjack in such manner, however, none would deny that they had not /taxed/ enough people to make enemies.

This further lead to the events that took stage... the Orza Traitor and Moonspear servant Camila Vazquez made an announcement for a stage event, a song; a tale:

Quote from: City Whisper by Camila Vasquez
Startin' in ten minutes! King's Commons, Dispensary! I'll be playin' one song an' one song only! The ballad of Count Zarono Senuspur! Love 'em, or hate 'em... you won't find this one wantin'. Heheheh.

Word quickly spread of horrible undead and death gazes among the masses there... and more importantly, some one took great offence to these servants of Moonspear being so close to the Peerage...

Quote from: City Whipser by Lord Anders Orza
[Clears his throat] A reward from House Orza to the one that brings me the heads of those traitors. The /Moonspear/ ones, of course.

And so, shortly as the Moonspear guard turned their heels to return to their Hold in 97, slowly so, in the Pauper Ponds did the Former Redjack Brick strike, laying low the bard, taking her head and routing back to Castle Orza...

What happened next was unheard of. For his service, his task, Andres did offer a reward of his choice... Brick, or Korsugoth as he spoke to his name, was knighted as per request... the swift work, repaid in full.  Ser Korsugoth, Axe of Orza, lived only a short time however...

Quote from: City Whisper by Ser Korsugoth, Axe of Orza
This is Ser Korsugoth of House Orza. On behalf of Count Senuspur and of my Lord Orza, I have a very important message for House Moonspear.

Fuck. You.

Everyone who has the spine to stop the Prince in Shadow from ending the world, meet met in Castle Orza.

A quick reply and series of words exchanged over the whispers shortly therein

Quote from: City Whisper by Inquisitor Malik Adalya
I denounce the Nothing. House Moonspear denounces the nothing with its total and utter self. There should be no confusion in this.

But who am I to speak on such? Listen, now, to the words of Ser Lyon, as is written for all to see in the Stones.

'I swear to save my Father who has been taken from me by the great abyss of the Nothing. In my quest to save him, I swear I shall stand against the horrors of the Nothing. If I must, alone.'

Tristan is corrupted of the mind. The one we kneel to, his Son, Ser Lyon, is not. Do not confound the two for their shared blood. We oppose the Nothing in totality. Do not besmirch our name otherwise. For in doing so, any of you who do, are liars yourselves.

Quote from: City Whisper by Ser Korsugoth, Axe of Orza
This is Ser Korsugoth. As I have declared before, those caught conspiring with House Moonspear will be hanged for treason against mankind.

The traitors we are already aware of have one hour to give themselves up at Sunpurse Mansion, to ask for the Count's mercy.

Quote from: City Whisper by Velstra Retainer Gerhard Stoutmantle
You believe yourself a knight for hounding and slaying a defenseless girl? I think not. You are a mockery to virtue and tradition, I denounce you 'Korsugoth' .. I denounce your honor and I denounce your fabricated title.

Renounce your 'knighthood' immediately or face me upon the bridge, refuse. And the Ward shall well know you are only capable of slaying the meek and running like the coward you are.

Shortly after this...

-- A fight between House Orza, Sunpurse retainers, and House Velstra Retainers breaks out in the Peerage --

The Axe of Orza lead the charge, with retainers of House Sunpurse and Orza in tow, and a Ruby it is spoke, they saw to downing Retainer Gerhard Stoutmantle and battling down his allies in Velstra. The guard at the gate, the one watching for incident and correct conduct in the Peerage? Why, Retainer Arkady of Orza proclaimed: "Good job, Axe!"

Quote from: City Whisper by Ser Korsugoth, Axe of Orza
Gerhard Stoutmantle will be hanged for treason against mankind. House Velstra will be paid a generous weregild for their inconvenience. Expect it at the Steadings. 

Ser Nicholas was not entertained, and interceded on the behalf of his retainer, in a strict and curt manner did he demand arrangements be made for his retainer's mistake, that might see his life spared...

Quote from: City Whisper
The Orc-Blood Brick who was recently knighted wishes it known that he will spare Gerhard's life on the condition that the Moonspear traitors appear in the steadings for the debt they owe Gerhard.

House Moonspear did show, in force, and by arts of quick magics and fierce attack did they come, as House Velstra watched on, and House Sunpurse attempted to regroup. And so... did House Velstra gain back their Retainer, and Orza lose their Axe.

Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: whyemmdee on July 20, 2021, 10:46:06 PM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

It spreads invisibly.



In the far reaches of the minds of men, bestial natures kept locked find themselves slowly coaxed to wake. Voracious, bloodthirsty appetites never once stirred are finally whet. Slowly, sordid savageries become more commonplace in the Rings as kin turns on kin and as ken infringes on lunacy. And in the shadow of such things, a heartbeat thrums louder still...

Note: Players not under the influence of Protection of Evil or Divine Grace may find their alignments slowly shifting from now on.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on July 26, 2021, 02:08:06 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Ambitions mark the point of change within the rings. Each House or gathering seeking some hold upon the squandering resources available to them after the loss of the majesty of the Silverpeaks.

To Moonspear, the 97th, and the old of the inquisitor – their members still haunted by their betrayals and secrets that formed them, seeing them as Nothing Worshippers or traitors to most.

To Velstra, The Steadings and Farmlands, the Redwheat Manor, The Feast and their Hunter's Guild - Conflicts arise as always, from their reach for splendour and event.

To Glitt, the Shepperine Hills, a greater part of their corner of the Peerage - A constant battle to remain Honorable in the face of those that would undermine them.

To Orza, their Castle, Mongrelwoods advancements and horrible betrayals – Undermined by those that fled their colours, after turning upon the Count, and most visibly with the destruction of the Ring 94. Such rage for revenge fuels them.

To Sunpurse, Two Tasks, both great, both simple. Find Phelan, Repair the Drill – While control of the Redjacks is certain; while the Guild of Lessors hold power evident - the Banner House once more despite proclaiming the King as usurper - craves yet more.

Those dissidents of the Ponds continue their own efforts, despite all this. As the Land of the Weald is cut into three. As Ghyl and Changeling are crushed under foot, for advancement of the Peerage. Those of the Ponds secure what they can of their own ways.

The Sleeper is awoken, the land is of fire, law and order are upon their heads, famine and strife seems inevitable for those that might not take control of what little is to go around quickly. And now, a higher power has descended upon the ruined ring of 94 to proclaim judgement.

All are found wanting.

Deva, light, fire, and justice rain from the clouds. The skies turn yellow with the glow of holy fervour. A pitched battle is fought among the grounds of the trial, to no avail, as the defendants scurry back all the way back to Ring 97. Lizardmen die painfully in its wake. Bandits and gangs pay for their crimes in blood. Moonspear locked its tower.

And eventually, upon the Bridge of the Muckboy's squat, a final stand is waged against the swords and arrows of holy reckoning. Though, defeated, the angels were clear with their judgment, and it is whispered or spoken by those claiming victory against the Heavenly Assembly...

“Your Defence fails, this was always known, but Justice was given and chance along with it. Your Punishment will so forth commence. KNOW THAT THIS DOES NOT ABSOLVE YOUR SIN! GUILTY, UPON ALL ACCOUNTS!”
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on August 11, 2021, 05:54:24 AM
 [ :: Year 1 :: ]

By action of bargain, duress and frantic alliances, do a new House and set of Lords enter the Peerage. As retainers of Sunpurse clamor for support in finding the lost son Phelan for their Lady, do a series of sweeping actions seemingly coincide with the planning of their Lords.

While Dame Eris Hale berates Lord Anders  - who is well above her station - and offers the expunging of exile upon the Moonspear Retainers and Oath breakers of Orza, Aatish Aldebrand and Malik Adalya, the knives of Orza sharpen in the once Castle Moonspear.

All this seems to drift into some fever dream, however, as a True Council of Peers is held...

-- A thin train of folk waving a tattered white and blue banner trudge on through the Rings, toward the 99th. --

-- Steel flashes and a man is brought to his knees after a swift and bloody chase through the streets of the peerage. Rumor spreads quickly of a Velstran falling upon the planks of the Peerage bridge at the hands of several Orzan assailants. --

--  A night of blood and parlay in equal parts, to be sure. --

-- The Moonspear congregation makes its way to the Council chambers, there to await an audience... --

-- It's soon rumoured that Ser Lyon Moonspear has elected to wile the time by taking a seat -- the seat of Moonspear, as a point of fact. --

 -- What Lord Orza will think of that, time will tell. --

-- The sitting Lords of the Peerage are assembled, and Lyon of Moonspear too.  They await the Count's arrival... --

Within the Council Hall, do Ser Lyon Moonspear, Lord Norbert Velstra, Lord Bernard Glitt, Lords Anders and Kristoff Orza arrive. And eventually... seemingly out of nowhere, Does Count Zarono Senuspur arrive, and move to the armchair of House Sunpurse.

A series (https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=702915.msg737507#msg737507) of taunts and further erupt between the lording figures. Lord Norbert appears seemingly adrift and bemused at some party. Lord Bernard is unblinking and focused upon Ser Lyon, his eyes burning with an extreme enmity for the destruction caused in the wake of Moonspear. Lord Kristoff glances to his hated Oathbreakers - so close, yet so far out of reach - while Lord Anders struggles to maintain composure in front of the ever intimidating Count.

 -- The abrupt departure of the Orzans marks the winding down of the meeting.  The House of Moonspear has given fealty to the Count and the Ward... and in the coming days shall return to a new seat in the 99th. --

Ser Lyon Moonspear is a resigned, yet passionate voice that does as he views he must for what he must. Count Zarono Senuspur stands in front of them all, peering down upon them as children, and gives, now Lord Lyon Moonspear, what he desires for an unknown price. The Fifth High House, Moonspear, moves into Dusk's Cradle, slowly. Its halls still echo with the voice of the caretaker slain by Redjacks not so long ago. The Statue of the Lady in Waiting remains, waiting.

Was it for them?
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on August 17, 2021, 05:09:45 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

While House Velstra, tends to the Weald and Farms. While House Glitt tends to the Sheppernine. While House Orza battles the newly minted House Moonspear. While House Sunpurse contests fits of suiting? (https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=702942.msg737572#msg737572) and While the animals of the Weald in 98 continue to seemingly vanish...

Other elements have been hard at work... for a long time now.

-- a Disturbing and horrible series of echoes rocks Ring 99, from beneath... --

Quote from: City Whisper by the Autumnmask of Willowgrove
Deep in the Drips, in an unholy sepulcher, a hideous rite is about to be performed.

You who have pursued Lord Phelan Sunpurse are offered this opportunity, and shall likely not have another. They who halt this profane rite and claims the head of Yictanaghz Reynnri, his staff, and his black opals, shall be allowed to enter the Mist and speak with the wayward heir.

...if stop him, you can...

Quote from: City Whisper by Knave of 99, Copper Faced
It seems that the time is now. Retainers of the Ward, gloryseekers, and those who would call this ring home. The necromancer begins his plot; Blacksmile grins this eve, and a terrible dread occurs.. The Bonecollectors must be sieged, to see this come to an end.

Quote from: City Whisper by Dame Fleta Blacke
'This is unacceptable...'

'I did not want to intervene but it seems that I must...'

'The Feast has run out of caviar. Fishermen! Water farmers! Who-ever brings me a quantity of fat salmon from the sheppernine rivers, swollen with healthy roe, shall be rewarded. Dame Fleta, vassal of Lord Norbert, has spoken.''

'Oh. And Master Ruul wants Yictanaghz magical stave. If you bring that as well you may have unique treasure from our deepest vaults. That is also important too, I suppose. Better than a night with a Changeling. I'll say that for sure...'

Quote from: City Whisper by Mattermead Gold
Gold, Mattermead the Gold. Triumvir of the Prismatic Council and Wizard-Lord of Ring 100 announcing that any rituals presently being undertaken are unregistered with the arcane authority of the Realm and are thereby deemed a threat to the City. The magus Yict...tendergrass... is advised...

... that as he was never assessed by the Prismatic Council he is at risk of becoming a Nobody... especially if this ritual is simply a matter of being up to no good! We will be accepting reports when they are made available, thank you all and good luck dealing with the renegade.

-- A terrible battle erupts in the drips below, horrible magics flung about as though simple tricks --

A voice rattles from oldbones and chattering black opals as the battle erupts, undaunted, amused, and chiding:

Sons of the Usurper, Children of the Harbormaster. I come not to destroy you, or break the peace that the Harbormaster seeks. No, I come to offer you all rebirth from the oblivion that awaits you.

It should be obvious to all, but I will grant you a truth. The Thrones beyond the Pale are empty. Only do fickle and terrible servants await, and the torment that is the rotting beyond. The entropy that devours all that would let it, This Inert, seeks to undo us, as most of you have seen.

I would save us this horror, if you would let me. Gleam into the future where death remains with life. Let the Count continue his siege, let the King answer for his negligence. Endless nights have I slept, and it was always as it is now. We are humbled by one that can not and will not save us.

The battle continues until the point that the Lich and his servants have spent most of the invaders, though not without heavy damage to their inner sanctum, and the capture of Yict.

-- A message from a distant voice rings out now... in some form of diplomacy --

Quote from: City Whisper by Ennugim Ishmenka
[A voice echoes] Sons and Daughters of the Usurper, though you throw barbs and spells in tantrum, I am a willing host. I come to set you free from the shackles of death. My ambassador was taken from me, return him, and the souls of those lost to foolishness will be once more.

Those that seek to avoid the Nothing, and the Pale Beyond, of Kingdoms of Broken and Empty Thrones, should find service, in the host of Bonecollects. We that shall remember all.

Quote from: City Whisper by Knave of 99, Copper Faced
I have your creature Yict. Harm my brother or my underlings and I will toss him into the Pale myself. Return them to me immediately without condition and I will consider giving the man a chance to scamper back. Do not and we will hound you to Ring 1 if we must...

-- A voice once more echoes, past the need of magics of doors: 'Bring him back, and so it shall be.' --

What happens next is whispered, a red and violent portal bleeding into the Groundskeeper's Cabin, the ambassador returned by those that sought to challenge the newly reborn Lich, only to free him for the lives of those still captured..., and Lady Sunspyre running rabid at those that would free her for such a price.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on August 18, 2021, 05:35:04 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Ruby ash fills the old wizard keeps...

--A caravan makes its way from further Kingward, towards the Peerage Ward. It is flanked by a Sunpurse Bannerknight.--

--The wagon leaves, amongst its passengers eager to aid the Count in his siege against the King, members of Orza, Glitt, and sundry adventurers...--

--There is an explosion in Tower top, and a magically enhanced voice shouts... 'GET MESTIL'S BREATHED ON, RUBY WITCH!' a clamour of fighting, and screaming, and more explosions...--

--Rumours fly on the back of messengers of a local wizard rebel in the Warrens bursting into Towertop and melting the Ruby there with acid, before fleeing, and finally being killed, by some local adventurers...-- 

Ruby blood fills the cobble streets...

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Jodfry a'Valar”
Why do you complacently kneel and scrape before men who, naught but a year ago, you named your most hated enemies? These Knaves make no secret as to what they are. Nor do their masters. You need not call them 'agents of the Sleeper' to have reason to put them to the sword.

These men of Moonspear risked all that they had, seeking to slay the foremost of the Count's rubies ... and now, with nothing more than a whimper, they become yet another dog-chasing, boot-licking slave-house enthralled to the whispers of a thing that should not be.

We have forgotten the lessons of the great rebellion against the old masters ... but fear not, City of Rings. I am, first and foremost, an instructor. And this is a lesson I am more than qualified to teach.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Dame Eris Hale”
The only two things you ever taught /me/, who wished nothing more than to be your devoted student, were fear and abuse. Shut that fetid privy you call a mouth, Jodfry, before I tell the entire City the truth of why you left us.

The Lady-Mother forgive me for even considering this. It would.... Reflect so poorly, it would expose that which must, by right and propriety be kept from the public...... No. I will not allow myself to be drawn in by your provocations. You can hurt us no longer. Die in darkness, and be forgotten.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Jodfry a'Valar”
Oh, Eris. You seem to believe yourself safe and secure, here at the height of your power - the culmination of your schemes of ruin and desolation brought to bear. You believe that I can not hurt you. You believe that, with even Moonspear knelt, any opposition is hopeless.

/You believe wrong./

Allow me to offer you one additional piece of instruction, my wayward student. Never make a threat you aren't prepared to back up...

-- Another day in the Peerage as rain pitters down ...--

--Dawn breaks, the sun rising slowly, dispelling the morning frosts...--

-- And from the Vaults of House Sunpurse ... the Count Senuspur lets out a blood-curdling scream... -

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Jodfry a'Valar”
Do you remember what I told you about threats, Dame Eris? I follow through on mine. As this day unfolds, remember that.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Grand Vizier Sardistan”
All retainers of House Sunpurse and other loyalists to the Count Senuspur are to report to the Sunpurse manse immediately.

-- The Peerage Ward is all abuzz with rumours of the disappearance of Ruby Saraid Caermyn ... and the wroth and rage that followed. --

Ruby vengeance  awaits to leap.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on August 29, 2021, 05:33:13 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A wolf stalks the Peerage for a long time. A hunter hunted by almost all the Houses of the Peers; All the Lords of the Ward; The House Sunpurse in desperate effort and at the expense of many of the lives of its retainers. It seems after its relentless efforts, the beast is finally snared.:

-- A shriek from the ward as a wolf barrels through its gates --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Autumnmask of Willowgrove”
You know what you did, Sidonie. Don't test your luck again.

-- A tense exchange occurs on the bridge of the Peerage. --

-- Crookjaw, or Ser Cecil as he calls himself, stands against the overwhelming minions of the Count. Those fettered by distress, purpose, or apathy --

-- The information that House Sunpurse so desperately seeks, torn from him by horrible magics, but at a last moment, Dame Fleta Blacke severs the connection, and Ser Cecil's head --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Dame Fleta Blacke”
Grim, with tremouring breath. 'This is Dame Fleta. My actions are my own and by no means reflect the will of the Velstra Family. I accept complete and total responsibility for my actions. Let no man or woman in the household nor in their service be looked upon in my place, upon my honour be it.'

-- As chaos continues to embroil the Peerage Ward through the most recent events, in a somewhat nearby Ring, rubble is removed and massive wheels are repaired. While clearly not yet in condition to travel, it is simply a matter of time... --

-- As the events of the day begin to settle, things begin to become clear ... --

-- The former Reeve of Lord Desmond Sunpurse, Ser Cecil, revealed to be a traitor and changeling known as Crookjaw ... --

-- ... captured by the forces of Moonspear, Aatish and Malik, and brought before the Grand Vizier of House Sunpurse ... --

-- The Grand Vizier's nightmarish hand plunged into the man's still-living skull ... seeking some priceless information ...--

-- The state of shock that struck the Vizier as a woman of Moonspear, Symmone d'Troyes, plunged her spear through his heart ... and very nearly slew him, if not for the timely intervention of her fellow Retainers ... who brought her low and dragged her back to Moonspear ... --

-- The Vizier's shrouded form ushered back into the depths of the Mansion Sunpurse ... --

-- And a sort of calm returning once more to the Ward of the Peers ... --

House Montegelas, of which the majority aided critically in the return of Ennugim Ishmenka, has found a terrible end to three of its members. Its lineage torn from the realm of the living... with spiteful visages left in damp and dark halls. An agony is expressed in dark consequence and felt by those that would lynch such a loyal Household. :

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Ruby Vsaja Sumari”
A very brief word. A comital servant may have pardoned the family Monteglas for traffic in dark magic..

Alas, that he has not forgiven my former knave and their master for his betrayal, nor the sheltering and animation of a condemned woman.

The line, to the last babe, is to be exterminated. A small wergild will be paid for the lessers, and a tidy sum for head of house. Happy hunting.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Lazzario Montegelas”
To the murderer of my innocent brother Angelo, whom shared no part in any of the 'crimes' listed.

I will be on the bridge in ten minutes, and we shall settle this as men. I have renounced my sister and confessed as misled.

Better to have at least a pedilum of honor then attacking innocent boys who did you no wrong.

-- A lion picks his wounded way through the ward, pecked and pricked by fleas.  --

-- A quick drop is cut short by a sudden stop. Lazzario Monteglas living weight lurches, and then his dead body takes its place. The sound of his polished maille shaking on his corpse sounds all-too-eerily like the clinking of coins...  --

-- No man it is said may serve two houses. Mayhaps even one is too many  --

-- ...Though the masters of the realm are jealous with their slaves.  --

-- A crimson flash. A sinister hiss. --

--The dead speak again, however briefly. A crushed throat let's slip a ghostly word... --

--'You will see soon enough... that my words were TRUE.' so says the shade of Lazzario... --

--And then his new kin are upon the crowd --

-- It seems the house of the dead, kept by the dead, values its retainers more than mortal lords. Ghosts and banshees reap through the assembled onlookers.  --

-- The “natural” order is once again restored by strength of arms. It was always such an impostion and is always a profound conceit. The dead are silent as before. One of the great lies that secure soft sleeping is told anew. There is peace in the Peerage Ward.  -- 

A dark feast illuminates a happy one. A name of Auld, of tradition, and of the Peerage before the Rise of Count Zarono Senuspur is shared on the lips of many. What will the return of such a figure bring to the House of excess, and lions amongst men?:

 -- Much ado in the Velstra Vale, as a celebration is ongoing following the return—some whisper by foul necromancy—of a figure thought long-dead. Sunpurse, Orza, Moonspear, and others have made themselves known to gawk, and the Vale swells with not-so-quiet pride at its success. --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Dame Fleta Blacke”
An obese wheeze, from a mild walk: “I say. This is Dame Fleta. Today I announce, by Lord Norbert's decree, a grand feast! A feast of the Feast! All are invited to celebrate the return of Lord Norbert's cherished son, Ser Adrian! A day of days. Monumental, a hero stands among us.”]

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Adrian Winespill”
Sons and daughters of the Peerage. I know little of the troubles that have befallen our home during my... my long slumber...

But I promise you that I will do aught that I can to win a brighter future for us all, to lead us into a better, kinder day, free from the creeping fingers of evil that seem to surround us now.
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on August 29, 2021, 07:15:37 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Tchun, the sleeper awoken; the disaster of many - The Frozen demon-god of horrors unspoken in fear of its deadly madness and curse. - Has been bested by the crew of the Whipping Griffon. At the cost of many lives and the ship itself.

Nine final members yet remain,

Yasmin Jharana
Helena Argyros
Gliern Rust
Loria Venwood
Egbert Velstra
Roch de Proux
Thorgrun Grimhammer

Echoes of the Acsent, described by those that survived can be heard on tales by night

-- An eerie quiet in the rings... --

-- A host has gathered aboard the Whipping Griffon. --

-- Whether through choice or consequence, many have come to the side of the captain Zelia N'dare and her newfound replacement crew. --

-- A motley crew of princes, priests and paupers alike have come aboard the ship. Hot-blooded, but cold in the eye, it appears in the face of a looming existential threat, something bordering on begrudging appeasement seems to take rule. --

The engine is started:

-- There's a certain type of silence that comes before a storm. Ominous. Promising. That same type of sensation lingers in the air on board the Whipping Griffon moments before, out of seemingly nowhere.. --

-- ..she rises. --

-- First it is slow, accompanied by the sounds of groaning protest from the old, old wood of the ship. Things that are not meant to break begin to somewhat bend with the upwards momentum. --

-- The ship begins to rock side to side with a sudden weight. --

-- A sudden lurch of the ship causes people to lose their footing, sliding, bumping, falling backwards as Zelia suddenly turns the ship's nose too vertical, too fast. --

-- The Griffon is whipped into motion. Outside the battered hull, the fading, trailing shouts of a woman elated. A woman free once again, no longer bound to the confines of the City of Rings.. --

-- For a moment, there is only happiness and the sensation of freedom that Zelia N'dare seems affected by. And then, from one moment to the next, the world collapses. The ship screams, Zelia screams, everyone can't help but scream.. --

-- ..and there's a sudden jolt, collapse, an inversion of logic and gravity as an arc planar energy cuts the sky above Ring 99. Those still below can only look up and wonder as they see a fiery streak across the sky flash, then disappear. --

-- ..perhaps forever. --

-- The Whipping Griffon departs the City of Rings, only embers in its wake as it careens through the stream of seams. Guts roil as planar energies coalesce and convalesce and then dissipate. --

The Voyage Begun:

-- CRASH --

-- The sudden sound of heavy impact. And then those beside portholes catch a glimpse of the outside. Hail and storm and reddened sky. --

-- The air: thick, cloying, tantalizingly strange-sweet familiar. Heavy. Copper and iron and all things uncomfortably familiar to a great many: blood on the wind. Much of it. --

-- All of it. --

-- The heavy snowstorm that ravages outside the ship almost drowns out the screams in the far distance. Almost. --

-- For a few more minutes as the Griffon trundles on through the sky of the Frozen Tear, there is nothing but soft screaming and gentle, gentle hears slowly losing courage as the reality of what is to come settles in. --

-- An indeterminable amount of time passes. --

-- Then, abruptly, in between distant sounds of thunder, a ship's bell rings loudly, carrying across the current planar winds down belowdecks. --

-- Zelia signaling imminent arrival. Best get ready. For whatever may come. --

-- The Griffon stalls its approach. Within moments it comes to a sudden lurch, then a lull. Then a complete stop. --

-- A few moments later, the ship's bell rings again. Zelia calls for a rapid descent to ground.. --

Charges are set:

-- As you descend, the Tear shows a cruel sight of itself. The white of snow has stained a deep shade of bloodied pink. Here and there, the stark white is cruelly marred by something more alarming to the eye: yellowed bone. --

-- Zelia calls for attendance. Zelia's voice rings across the decks of the Whipping Griffon. --

-- Zelia: We're down a charge. There's three more caves, one already being ventured in by my contemporary.  ahem 'So-called' contemporary.  Let's keep up the pace. The ice crowds thicker with each frosty breath. --

--The bomb in Halls of Madness, is about to blow--

--BOOM, the charge detonates in the Halls of Madness--

--a Shriek echoes across the frozen tear, one inhuman, humungous and dreadful, few could miss the sound of a true draconic roar--

--Another huge roar, as the battle RAGES in the dragons lair--

--The charge is nearly set, yet something rumbles within the corpse once more---

--Buzzzzz as the charge within the depths of the dragon's lair, signals it's readiness--

--The charge readies to BLOW--

--The great bone dragon roars, and takes to the skies...--


An Option is given:

-- Zelia: For those that wish to leave.. I'll cut you a way out of here. --

-- Zelia brings her phantasmagorical sabre to bear and holds it aloft. It shines brightly, the she slices the air beside her, rending a rift. Then she punches into it with the butt of her weapon. Planar defenestration. --

-- Zelia: Now's the chance to leave. No turning back after this. --

-- Zelia: No one is to leave? --

-- Zelia seems duly impressed... --

-- Wordlessly, the captain flicks her sword again. The portal seals itself shut, but where it once was, there is a noticeable waver in the air. --

The battle continues...:

-- Freezing, bedraggled, but not beaten yet, a retinue of brave heroes have assembled themselves at the base of an impossibly vertical glacier... --

-- ..you crane your neck high, following the length of the glacier with your gaze. Or you try to. Your neck cranes, your back cricks. --

-- A monumental monolith to madness. --

-- Impossible pure ice, gore-speckled and blood-flecked all the many, many miles high up... --

-- ..and somewhere, high up there. He waits. --

-- No longer the Sleeper. Awoken. For you. --

-- And so the arduous climb begins... --

-- You ascend the glacier and reach a selective and cracked plateau, jagged ice-pieces float on long frozen-over seas of blood, slowly shifting, sometimes still drifting. --

-- Zelia: Look out below! --

-- The Griffon flies low for a bombing run! --

-- More of the mad make themselves free from their ceaseless toil of chipping at each other and at the ice, heading straight for those still not enlightened. --

-- The ice cracks... --

The way treacherous and long:

--Yasmin signals, and the Griffon lowers to allow them to resupply...--

--The bone dragon launches to the sky, once more...--

-- Zelia brings the Griffon up high and brings cannonside round to face the Tear. --

-- Zelia brings the cannons round, noticing the danger amongst the trees. --

--Courage. Temerity. It goes by many names, and wears myriad cloaks - yet despite shifting form the thing is recognizable with a glance. There is an abundance of it in this bleak hour.--

--Cannonfire rains from above, blasting at the wretched fingers...--

--The Griffon descends, preparing for resupply...--

--The battered and bruised heroes emerge into the biting cold, getting pelted by foul tentacles... above them, a shadow circles...--

-- The Griffon takes to sky just as the shadow descends. A barrage of cannonfire is exchanged as Zelia passes.. --

--The dragon launches into the air, once more... pelting those below with bursts of ice...--

-- Zelia brings the ship down low.. --

-- Zelia can be seen attending to the ship. Her face is grim, but resolute, her starlight-colored eyes glaring in the red bask of the ochre, long-dried bloodied snow. --

-- Zelia rings the ship's main deck bell. It sounds lamenting, echoing off the ice.. One last, sonorous clarion call to battle as the heroes prepare their way to race their way to the summit to face against the Sleeper one, final, time... --

Meureisxa the Thrice-Crazed, ended finally:

--The path to the summit swarms with maddened beasts, and sundry - answer the grim call of the Awakened Sleeper... they crawl, and skitter and skip, preparing to defoul and decry those that rally against him.--

-- A rapid descent from the rope. --

-- Boots hit the snow hard. --

-- Crunching snow, crunching bone. It's time. --

-- Zelia brings the Griffon round, lifting it up high in the sky. --

-- A cry from the back. The forces arrayed against you are overwhelming in their entirety. Zelia's words ring loud in your ears... --

-- Now is not the time for doubt. --

-- And as if on cue, Zelia begins her accompanying bombardment. The Griffon lets fly a cannonade of shots, clearing a path forward and upwards.. --

--Bombardment rains down upon the rallied forces of the Sleeper!--

--The Griffon passes once more... fire raining down!--

--The greatly weakened maddened descend upon them, hungry and eager for their end...--

-- Zelia shouts down from the upper deck of the Griffon. She shouts, screams, pleads for an advance - 'My fuel's running low! It's now or never! Move. MOVE!' --

-- Another array of cannon shots, a barrage to clear a desperate path. Like ants, struggling in the snow. --

--Bombardments of the heroes are met with bombardments of their own, from the maddened cultists...--

-- But with enough ants, even giants may topple one day. --

-- The Griffon screams across the sky, in its wake pellets of fire. Ancient ice cracks, snow that has not seen sun in millennia finally mets.. --

-- Zelia suddenly pulls back, the Griffon pulling away protection. --

-- Eyes turn to the sky, full of fear, and rage. Abandoned? At the zenith of it all.. --

-- A shadow streaks across the ice that hangs overhead. Moments later, the shadow's twin appears. --

-- Shadows large than life race across the breadth of the monolithic glacier that is the Frozen Tear. They fly upwards, vertical along its height, then suddenly swerve, first one, then the other, turning around abruptly. --

-- The dragon approaches, splintered bones streaking down. And right behind it, Griffon, desperately steering the Griffon behind it. --

-- The dragon streaks past, snatching off with one of the bodies of the fallen in one single, swooping motion. Right behind it, the Griffon.. --

-- Zelia screams from the top of the deck to take cover! --

-- The Griffon pulls up, following the dragon. --

-- The glacier's edge is visible.. --

-- ..an ending is soon to come. --

-- One way or another. --

-- A hole seems punctured in the endless horde of the Sleeper. --

-- A shadow streaks. --

-- And in its wake, the Griffon.. --

-- The dragon's bones fracture. --

-- With that, the Sleeper's final guardian lies defeated. The path to his seat is open.. --
The Final Ascent, and the last voyage of Captain Zelia N'dare

--You clamber up, sweat and blood saturating your very being... in the ice ahead, something immense looms...--

-- You ascend the plateau. --

-- Here, at the summit of the Frozen Tear, you can see it. You can see.. him. --

-- From this distance, from this dark, he is nothing more than a silhouette - perfect white against the rusty red of the aerosolized blood vapors that cling to the air here, leaving your eyelashes bloodied as you blink. --

-- Despite your location. --




-- T'CHUN, T'CHUN, T'CHUN. His heartbeat, here, is something that thump-thumps loudly in your ears, overpowering your own. --

-- Each flutter of a heartbeat of his makes your own chest pump in panicked reply. --

-- A calling. Heart to bloodied heart. --

-- t-CHUN, t-CHUN, t-CHUN. --

--A mirrored metronome. Blood, flesh, bone. T'CHUN. T'CHUN.--

-- Quietly, unlike before, the Griffon appears. A never-silent companion on your travel to this place, now suddenyl subdued. --

-- Zelia looks over the side, lowering a rope. --

-- Old familiar faces thought fallen rappel down the side.. --

A final conversation between the Captain and her motley crew takes place, forever etched into the minds of the Nine who yet live.:

Captain Zelia N'dare: Best time to tell you the last part of the plan. [She gives Yasmin a sad smile.] You know... I think you would've really made a better captain than me. Sadly, I think, this'll be the Griffon's last stop.

Yasmin Jharana: But—Oh. My ship...

Captain Zelia N'dare: Oh, it's not just the ship, my friends. [Zelia steps forward ; she smiles wide.Too wide, and she coughs up from her lungs, the smell of ozone and sulphur... a familiar smell, by now, perhaps.]

When you want a good bomb.

Yasmin Jharana: [She squints at Zelia, suddenly suspicious.] Don't tell me you -ate- a bomb, you daft bint...

Captain Zelia N'dare: You have to make one yourself. [She pats her stomach.] Sorry. Well, there's something to be said about planar traveling. You learn a trick or two. In any case...

Yasmin Jharana: ...And the rest of us? Here to be sacrificial lambs for your little bout of martyrdom?

Captain Zelia N'dare: Oh. Not at all. [She turns to Yasmin. She unsheathes her scimitar. She slashes it at the air. Then with a flourish, she extends the hilt out to Yasmin.]

From one captain to another.

Yasmin Jharana: [She eyes the hilt, deeply suspicious.]

Captain Zelia N'dare: ...don't worry. It'll allow you one portal out of here.

Yasmin Jharana: [And then, with great reluctance, she reaches out, grasping the blade's hilt... What's the catch?

Captain Zelia N'dare: Get rid of it after. It's more trouble than its worth. Trust me. Now. Arrangements have been made... you'll get your fair share of the Giffon's hold. If you survive, that is.

You keep him busy. You keep him *here*. I need to position myself. I'm going to race down the glacier, set off all the charges. He wasn't, but I have a feeling tha--

--One evil eye opens wide, and then its twin. The Griffon is apprehended in the gaze of the Sleeper, awakened at last. The Mad God perceives with pain, and its gaze carries an intensity beyond heat. Rigging and planks buckle and bend. The bloody air boils around the Griffon.--

Captain Zelia N'dare: Wha-- NO... NOO. [Zelia rushes out, grasping for her blade.. no longer there.She pauses, panics. Then jumps towards the rope. One final look at you as she swings up after the Griffon, burning down... Go. GO NO!

Yasmin Jharana: For ZELIA!

--The looming figure's lips are moving. It speaks. The Tear rumbles with its voice.--

--It pulls its attention from the vessel... down to YOU.--



-- As your lifesblood is shed in the presence of the Sleeper Awoken, Nightmares slip from that realm where they linger --

-- The Sleeper's nightmares are made manifest in his presence. --

-- The howling of the Crazed raises to fever pitch --





--Perhaps it is time to strike??--

-- There's a rumble amongst the ice. --

--T'chun is come. T'chun's fury is t'chun. T'chuning, t'chun FLEE t'chun, t'chun! T'chun, and they t'chun, when t'chun. Death t'chun, t'chun is t'chun!--

-- T'CHUN. --

-- T' C H U N --

-- A shadow rises to the south. --

--RISE... RISE... RISE--






-- T'chun loses balance.. --

--One hand, his left, is destroyed--

-- His frozen seat fractures, the hand left limp. --

-- It falls uselessly to the side. Ice cracks, breaks, then fractures. --

--The madgod howls like a hurricane! He rages like thunder! The heartbeat intensifies! There i -- th -- t'ch -- t'CHUN! T'CHUN T'CHUN T'CHUN T'CHUN T'CHUN T'CHUN T'CHUN

-- The second is carved through. His gaze falters. --

-- Yasmin holds Zelia's blade aloft.. --

--A screaming terror but leagues behind..--

-- From the side, the Griffon can be seen rising. The structure, the glacier, the monolith shudders, then shakes.. --

-- ..and the tinkling sound of ice and ice and more ice shattering, fracturing, disintegrating from the base up. Light from far, far below. --

--T'chun the t'chun, t'chun Griffon can t'chun, t'chun... t'chun.. lightning and t'chun...--

-- The oncoming rush of planar sickness.. --

-- As Yasmin raises the blade, she brings it down low sweeping and cutting the air. --

-- Slicing through blood, air, mayhem and time...! --

-- A cut to carve victory from defeat, a slash upon the face of horror...! --

-- A portal flashes open, rending reality.. --

-- As they rush through the portal, the sigh of the Griffon's final journey can be seen streaking. At the helm of an old, battered ship, beyond broken.. --

-- ...is Zelia. She watches the remaining cast of those who stepped up to the fight against T'chun flee for safety. A moment later, a white-hot explosion as the Griffon crashes screaming into T'chun, the Sleeper. --


-- For a moment, the sight of a blinding sun. As they step through the portal, they appear elsewhere in the Air Seam. --

-- T'ch... --

-- The start of a dreaded word for a moment rocks the realms.. --

-- First the horizon brightens. Then it darkness, forever. The Frozen Tear can be seen catapulted off where it was set. The Griffon's explosion sees it crashing, falling, forever. --

-- But it has, this day, a different end ... a thunderous and concussive blast! --

-- For decades on men will swear in their cups that the explosion sounded just like: --


-- In time, one day, the falling Tear will find its own trajectory. It will barrel through more barriers than can be contemplated by a mortal mind. Perhaps, one day, it will be named.. --

-- The Sleeper has returned to his sleep. --

-- All is well with the nights once again. --

-- ..for now. --

-- A precious sabre is thrown into the ether. It arcs, then begins an eternal descent. Perhaps, one day, it may hit something and find solid ground once again. --

-- But as one captain might think.. --

-- ..perhaps just better not. --

-- In time, much of the Sleeper's Sickness that has plagued the Rings will disappear. Nothing but the fading of a bad dream... --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Egbert Velstra”
I have slain the Sleeper!
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Pigadig on September 14, 2021, 07:45:36 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

From deep within Ring 94, a scream erupts. Inhuman, more akin to a howl - one of great pain, and fury. A wet, sickening howl... and then a rumble. The crunching of machinery. The clanking of steel, and groaning of wood. Where once it laid dormant, broken and burned in the chaos of that doomed Ring, it roars into action. Inch by inch, it struggles forward, breaking free of slag and rubble that bound it...

The Drill moves. The Drill lives.

A deafening thud of steel on masonry. It grinds, and crushes, it bends and breaks. It progresses... forcing its way through the next great Wall that stands defiant in its path. A pillar of dust and Mist bursts skyward, blotting the night sky, choking the stars.

The Mist whirls and whips about it, it seems to almost try in feeble might to bar passage. Yet a howl erupts, once more, and the Mist retreats...

The Drill churns, and bites at the stone, shrugging off the tumbling masonry that drops upon it as it makes its slow journey forwards. Crushing buildings, and toppling empty towers as it comes to a halt in the Ring of 93. A stillness reigns, as atop the great beast of war, an ambitious man emerges. There, for a time, he watches. He contemplates. On a journey that begun generations past, on a journey that ends so far from here. On ambition, and birthright. On fools, and madmen. On Kings, and the common man. He contemplates.

And the Mists swirl in anger, and fear...

And you dream, as you wake. You dream of a boy. A weak, and twisted boy. Sickness contorting his body with every cough. A boy that should not be...

You dream of something else, of someone else. Unknowable, unfathomable, unseen. A forked tongue whispers in the ear of a young man.

You dream of a sea. Vast, and dark. Of waves made of faces, of cracking thunder, with the screams of the lost. The sick boy turns his back. You awake.

Though a word lingers in every mind, sharp and keen. 'Doubt'.

((Shouts by Halfbrood ))
Title: Re: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread
Post by: Bearic on October 11, 2021, 04:40:36 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Cooler winds and orange skies begin to fill the Rings 99, and 98; Tendrilled growths and horrible jack-o-lanterns seem to appear and vanish at whim. As skeletal figures of the Pallid Prince defend themselves against the Drill's advances, pouring from wicked portals all the way to ring 94.'

House Velstra is still shaken from the loss of Dame Fleta Blacke, who died trying to end a horrible Khazuurk-Uld kidnapping. However, due to her efforts, the former Spinning Groat has reopened as the Blacke Velvet. Ser Adrian Winespill, a knightly figure of the First King's Tournament of recent history, was also revived sending the House in a new direction. Recently a House Retainer was seen to purchase a rare Unicorn thought of as myth, though strangely, it has not been seen since.

House Glitt, primarily by lead of Squire Aoife, found themselves defending what they could of the Weald and Little Ticker from the less than honorable actions of the Redjacks. Objectively, the Golden Grinners lead by Baron Benedikt von Hundertwasser - a quixotic gnome given title by the King's want as mockery of the Count - worked alongside House Glitt in this, until some falling out. During this chaos the former Captain of the Blackjacks: Alo Ceso, returned from his retirement and sought to restoring peace, and taking bribes.... The Redjacks who remained loyal and their Captain, Ranulph McDimmock, sent a bomb to the Glitt Encampment in the Sheppernine, and dashed off to the alleys of Ring 97.

House Orza has finally gathered some revenge. The Traitor Malik  Adalya was brought low during the Drill's advancement through Ring 93. Among the mists, Manfred Japes and those of Moonspear that found Malik wanting, struck him down. His head was placed upon a pike with an empty one near-by - still awaiting the last traitor.  Now Knife Japes has lead the House to some success in hunting monsters (https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=703294.msg738670#msg738670) of all sorts, and has delivered the House more towards old form. They seem content to hunt Pallid and advance the drill for their own want, with some claiming a time no longer dictated by Knights or the King, but by men of ability, worth and honor.

House Moonspear found itself cannibalized from within. Though together they gathered the egg of a Royal Wyvern, when Malik Adalya was struck down by his comrades, Aatish Aldebrand, self-professed sorceress of both Fire and Darkness, avenged him to a last of their house. As the pieces are picked up, and Nothing storms become more frequent, a shadowed from of the sorceress is spotted by many.  Some whisper of a shining golden light being snuffed out in the King's Commons of 99, and the shattering of a mirror.

House Sunpurse continues its march forward. The Self-proclaimed - and unchallenged - Count Wizard and actually appointed Grand Chamberlain Tudur Crabbe establishing draconian laws upon Wizards, soothsayers, or fortune tellers, while commencing a great deal of campaigns against the Pallid defenders of Ring 92. Skulls are piled as the Encampment has gathered some sort of veil to defend against any further siege. Though they must cut deeper into the Pallid Prince's defences, or convince others to, before they might resume the Drill's advancement forward.

The Ponds, under Regent Thelisa Sunspyre, at a face value have begun appointments  (https://www.efupw.com/forums/index.php?topic=703541.msg739456#msg739456) for its betterment. The Regent has established her vocal campaign not without bloodshed, however. Oceanous of the Waters, a leal servant of the King, and friend to the Pond's water spirit, was one of the casualties along the road. Though, less than formal activates have been occurring, as Elven servants of the Wealdath make use of the Groundskeeper lounge, strange glittering sights and laughter happen unexplained.