Author Topic: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread  (Read 18405 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Hound

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    572
    • View Profile
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. --
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 06:29:56 PM by Ironside »



Arc

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    868
    • View Profile
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:


Quote
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:

Quote
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.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 05:03:44 AM by Arc »



Hound

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    572
    • View Profile
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.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 06:29:46 PM by Ironside »



Arc

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    868
    • View Profile
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.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 06:29:32 PM by Ironside »



Ironside

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    1563
    • View Profile
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.



Hound

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    572
    • View Profile
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.



Hound

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    572
    • View Profile
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. --



Ironside

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    1563
    • View Profile
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



Hound

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    572
    • View Profile
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...
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 09:15:05 AM by Hound »



Hound

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    572
    • View Profile
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.



Hound

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    572
    • View Profile
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...



Dillusionist

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    718
    • View Profile
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’…



Howlando

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    10072
    • View Profile
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?



Dillusionist

  • Dungeon Master
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    718
    • View Profile
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...
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 05:59:06 AM by Dillusionist »