Ulthuan

Ulthuan, Home of the Asur
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:56 am 
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Well played Sir
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Makes me wish I had forwarded my fluff to you when you asked, seeing you build up rod's character like this makes me a little green with envy. I did get to save ulthuan in the last story, I guess that's pretty good for such a young elf.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Nice.

Although I do disagree with all of this anti-Eataine talk. [-X

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:45 pm 
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Elithmar of Lothern wrote:
Nice.

Although I do disagree with all of this anti-Eataine talk. [-X


Sorry to say this... but i think most of our characters hate Eatainians :/

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:12 pm 
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@Eli

I imagine its one part envy: the 'recent' rise in Eataine's fortune and influence breeds jealousy amongst the 'older' powers.

But also I see the Eatani as the 'wheelers and dealers' of the Asur: a visionary people, cosmopolitan, interested in trade and travel. An attitude that would little endear them to the more conservative, militaristic peoples like the Nagarathi and Caledorians. (Both whose cultures I suspect share the feudal/confucian contempt for the 'merchant class').

I often wonder how the political allegiances would break down among the countries of Ulthuan. I get the feeling that Eataine is probably closest in goal and temperament to Saphery (another visionary, 'experimental' people), and perhaps to seafaring Yvresse as well.

(Caledor is probably tight with Ellyrion. Perhaps Tiranoc? (The three 'horse cultures' of Ulthuan). Chrace is the 'big brother' to Cothique. And probably close to Avelorn. Yvresse and Cothique I suspect have long alliances and intermarriages.... hmmmm... Oh and Nagarythe is alone. Nobody likes them! :) )

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:55 pm 
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Headshot wrote:
@Eli

I imagine its one part envy: the 'recent' rise in Eataine's fortune and influence breeds jealousy amongst the 'older' powers.

But also I see the Eatani as the 'wheelers and dealers' of the Asur: a visionary people, cosmopolitan, interested in trade and travel. An attitude that would little endear them to the more conservative, militaristic peoples like the Nagarathi and Caledorians. (Both whose cultures I suspect share the feudal/confucian contempt for the 'merchant class').

I often wonder how the political allegiances would break down among the countries of Ulthuan. I get the feeling that Eataine is probably closest in goal and temperament to Saphery (another visionary, 'experimental' people), and perhaps to seafaring Yvresse as well.

(Caledor is probably tight with Ellyrion. Perhaps Tiranoc? (The three 'horse cultures' of Ulthuan). Chrace is the 'big brother' to Cothique. And probably close to Avelorn. Yvresse and Cothique I suspect have long alliances and intermarriages.... hmmmm... Oh and Nagarythe is alone. Nobody likes them! :) )

Headshot


Some good stuff their Headshot. But i wouldn't be too fast to dismiss a relationship between Caledor and Nagarythe. After all their founders were extremely close and they are the only two kingdoms who maintain a professional army at all times. (This is from the 5th ed book i believe).

Whenever bad things happen, Caledor and Nagarythe are the first to answer. Now i'm not going as far to say they're buddy-buddy, but there's a distinct respect and reverance the two cultures display towards one another. They do things the opposite way, the Nagarythe prefer subetfuge, hit and run, ambush, and psychological warfare. Caledor tends to prefer the hammer blow with heavy cavalry and dragons. I'd even assume that if you were to create a more province oriented list, our spears would be more heavily armored as would our "light" cav and archers.

One thing is certain, Chrace, Nagarythe and Caledor are always the first to answer the call to arms, and certainly field the finest military armies, not units, but full armies. I think the bonds of those three kingdoms would be stronger than the those relationships the three would have with any other.

Like you said, Saphery and Eatain - relational in the sense of wisdom, trade, visonaries
I've always seen Yrvesse and Cothique as kindred kingdoms as well - dour, tough, sea-farers, pretty grim lads that lot!

Ellyrion and Tiranoc tend to have the most in common with one another. They all prefer horses, tend to lead more ornate and elegant lifestyles. Plus the proximity of the kingdoms certainly helps. This is also based on many novels where those two tend to hold strong ties.

I'd probably go one step further and put our forest dwellers together with Chrace and Avelorn. While starkly different with stubborness and aloofness, i see these having very similar modes of motivation and the two kingdoms constantly working together. Again proximity aides this.

So categories (sorry this is turning into a bit of a ramble)

The Visonaries - Eataine, Saphery
The Sailors - Cothique, Yrvesse
The Horse Lords ( but oh so much more than that) - Ellyrion, Tiranoc
The Forest Dwellers - Chrace and Avelorn
The Soldiers - Nagarythe and Caledor

I think the Nagarythe have the chip on their shoulder of distrust from the sundering, while no one really enjoys caledorians for their pride and hubris. Kind of the outcast club if you will ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:24 pm 
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I agree Saphery has close ties with Eataine, especially now Finubar is Phoenix King, but on the other hand I think they are close to Avelorn. While White Tower holds sway now and meddles in most affairs across Ulthuan, many of the Princes of the realm seem to be rather isolationist (if that word can describe them at all :lol:).

Agree the northern kingdom would have close ties due to the fact they are usually the first line of defence and they are never perfectly safe. Some grudging respect to the Nagarathi is in order. :wink:

Caledor is a meddling kingdom also, with all those dragons, dragon princes and of course, temple of Vaul. They are in fact a lot like Saphery in this, but they look more into the past than future.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:46 pm 
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@Cal

Thanks for the reply, and I agree. Though with the one exception being that I don't think 'similarity makes sympathy' in the case of Nagarythe and Caledor. I've just never met a Nagarathi who had anything but contempt for Caledor (except the ones who like to tell jokes about the 'special' relationship between Caledorians and their steeds! :D Ah, I miss old Tanith....) If there is a feeling of grudging respect it is buried deep, deep down....

(I think what little Nagarathi respect held for the other nations is reserved for Chrace - who in many ways are very, very similar to Nagarythe. Mountainous hunters and clannish folk, etc. And of course Avelorn, as the 'motherland' and seat of the Everqueen, is held in almost reverential awe by the Nagarathi.)

Still then I'll agree that both Nagarythe and Caledor are the 'odd men out' countries; not popular with the others and aloof. Though I don't think that makes them any more friendly to each other. If anything, the opposite. The similarities in martial baring you pointed to actually underline very different attitudes towards war and life. Caledor fights for honor and pride. So does Nagarythe. But in very different ways, and for very different reasons. (And I suspect the ideas of 'honor' and 'pride' are fundamentally different as well, at their base.)

That being the case I think the oddity of Vaal and Malossar's friendship added to its specialness. None of their respective countrymen could see the reason behind it!

@Aicanor

I agree! The white tower is a center of learning throughout Ulthuan, and sons and daughters from as far away as the colonies come there to study. So Saphery has contacts all around the world; including Nagarythe! I know at least Loremaster Tiralya has a soft spot for the country where he did his 'practicals'. And rumor has it that at least one Sapherian princess was sired by a quick-climbing Nagarathi rogue. :wink:

Saphery's very cosmopolitanism makes it so similar to Eataine, and affects them in having more of a 'big picture' outlook on the Ever Empire; and pushes them beyond the 'petty' regional conflicts that I was musing about.

Still this is a 'moot' point in so many ways. Internal squabbles are one thing. But in the face of an outside threat I of course see the Asur quickly turning to a 'brothers all' philosophy and standing side by side, shoulder to shoulder!

Even a Nagarathi next to a Caledorian.

Amazing that. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:17 pm 
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The funny thing is, I'm actually quite conservative IRL and I'm definitely NOT from the South. Why did I choose Eataine? :? :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:10 pm 
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Thanks for the story Headshot. I might just link here from my Plog. That would save me some time in writing down my own fluff ;)

Thinking about it, I think that similarity often does not make sympathy. When people are very similar, we often fail to see the differences at first glance and then we don't understand why people react differently. Also being very similar tends to magnify the small differences into big things.

When people are very different we accept them as being different and try to understand why it is so and look for what common ground we may have...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:32 pm 
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Oops. I had thought I posted this short long before. Here it is for those interested!

Chronology: Year 7

Setting: 'The Long Retreat'; somewhere in the wild lands of Bretonnia. The Host is returning from a battle with the wood elves in Loren. The battle was a success, as was their mission to free Prince Elithmar of Eataine from captivity, however at a high cost: the Shadow Prince was felled by a waywatcher's poisoned barb. He lies near death, unconscious on the back of a cart, while the army treks across the barren human lands, listless and leaderless, pursued by all kinds of foul folk, their only hope is in finding a ship far to the west to take them home.


PRIMA DONNA FOR SALE – CHEAP!!



“Now that your pseudo-prince is gone. Certain to be dead in a few days at the most. You will obey my command. Is that clear?” Elithmar of Lothern announced to the assembled commanders in the pavilion. “I am of Aenarion’s noble blood. And I will rule. It is that simple. Simple enough even for you northern barbarians.”

He swept his eyes about the tent, daring for a challenger. The gathered Nagarathi ‘captains’ – more like criminals and cutthroats! Filthy creatures! – eyed him watchfully.

Good. They are listening. They will learn to obey a true prince. At least until he returned home to Ulthuan, and to the comfort of his estate and wealth. And at last he could be rid of these uncouth cretins.

“Good. We will double our pace to return to the ship. Lose that fool cart if we must!” he was ready to cut off the comely navigator’s objection. “It is of the highest priority that I return to Ulthuan before the close of the season.”

He scanned their eyes again. Blank stares. Just like the servants back home.

“We set off again at dawn. I will make any more of my commands known at that time,” he finished, and then with an imperious nod to his few hirelings that had been transported to the hind end of Elthin Arvan with him, turned and left the tent.

***

Later that night….

“What will we do?” the archer captain, Kellin, asked.

“He can’t really take over can he,” Narrin’Tim asked glowering; heart filled with rage. “This is the Host of Nagarythe!! He is not even Nagarathi!”

The young Romani looked about the crowded command pavilion with eyes filled with challenge. After a whispered conference all of the commanders of the Host had agreed to meet here in the early hours before dawn. And now….a hushed debate would decide the future of the army.

Everything was falling apart! Tim wanted to smash the pavilion’s table into tiny pieces!

In response to his outburst, Aaryn’Flynn shook his head slowly.

“He can, and he will. I’m afraid my Eatanian lord doesn’t understand the concept of command protocol. Or etiquette. Or humility.” He sighed. “None of that is in his vocabulary.”

“But-!” Tim began.

“It’s the Concord, boy,” Tanith said in his distinctive gravelly voice. “Aenarion’s Concord.”

“What?” Tim asked perplexed.

Flynn answered. “From the time of the first war with Chaos,” the suave Eatainian explained. “With the founding of the new monarchy it was established in the unification pact. That the nobles of Ulthuan have the right of command. Over the armies of Ulthuan. Any army of Ulthuan.”

Tim frowned. “I don’t understand.”

“Tim, haven’t you ever wondered how I and my crew serve in the Host. We are all from Lothern after all. Not a drop of Nagarathi blood runs in these veins,” Flynn continued.

“Your loss,” Liliean chimed in.

“Yes, I’m sure,” Flynn said with a wink. “But my point is that yes I serve in the Host at the will of the Phoenix King. But that will is exercised by the tradition of the concord. It was the precedent set by Aenarion that allowed for the forces of Ulthuan to merge and successfully fight off the demon invasion from Beyond. And it is the reason why one can find Lotherners serving in the north, or shadow warriors in Tiranoc. Or Chracian white lion warriors in the retinues of Yvressi princes.” He finished with a shake of his head, “Any noble can claim the right to command.”

Tanith snorted. “It used to be worse. A few centuries ago you’d go into battle not even knowing who would be in command. All that intrigue at court….”

“So that means….” Tim realized, and his horror doubled at the thought of the Host being led by that…thing!

Liliean sighed. “Can’t we just cut his throat, and be done with it?” She had said it in jest, but as she looked about the room, at all the frowning faces staring at the ground in front of them, she realized that they were seriously considering it!

“No,” Tanith finally said. “The Prince. The real Prince!” He hastened to add. “Wouldn’t approve of it. After all the blood we spilt rescuing that pompous jerk.”

“So what do we do?” Liliean asked.

Silence.

“Anyone?” Liliean pressed.

“Wait. Any noble can claim command?” Narrin’Tim asked. A scattering of nods filled the tent. “Then there is something we can do….”

***

Elithmar walked into the command tent the following morning. He hadn’t slept well. He could swear that the Nagarathi scum were giving him common warrior’s accommodations!

“What is the meaning of this?!” he demanded to the assembled officers. “How dare you summon me from my meal?!”

That hideous one with the scars and missing arm answered, “Tradition demands that with the coming of a new commander, the representatives of the army vote on it.”

“That’s true, my lord,” his henchman, Daethir, comments.

“Silence,” Elithmar snapped back. “That is only in the case of competing claims to command,” he growled at the cripple. “There is no competing claim. Only I am of a Great House of Ulthuan!”

“Not quite,” the little scarred peasant said with a smile. “I hereby nominate Princess Tarabeth of Chrace to be acting commander of the Host of Nagarythe! All in favor?”

The tent resounded with a bedlam of ‘ayes’!

“Opposed?”

Someone coughed delicately.

“What?! I-?!” Elithmar blustered.

“Then it is decided!”

And across the tent he could see the princess of Chrace. The one with all the attractive curves…. She was standing there looking just as dumbfounded as he….


***





Eatainian jerks…


:wink:

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Last edited by Headshot on Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:41 pm 
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Headshot wrote:
Eatainian jerks…


Hey! :evil:

I remember this. :) Love the bit about intrigue at court.

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"Eatainian jerks…" -Headshot
"It was a little ungentlemanly." -Aicanor (on the Eatainii)
"What is it with Eataini being blamed for everything?" -Aicanor


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:00 pm 
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And part 2 of 'The Long Retreat'-


SCOUTING AHEAD



“Sitting on some stool, and watching the battle from the camp like some Cathayan Spicelord, might be fine for southern generals,” the aged Palin’Tanith said in his rough voice. “But we ‘Rathi boys always lead from the front.” He finished with a wicked gleam in his eyes; half twinkle, half mad devil’s stare.

“And honorary Nagarathi girls as well,” Narrin’Tim added with a rare smile. He seemed much graver these days, Tarabeth mused.

Two days had passed since her surprising election to temporary commander of the Host of Nagarythe. And in that time the army had crawled through the moorlands of far eastern Bretonnia, and passed into the rolling woodlands beyond. Their travel had been hampered by the weather; cold and dreary, and surprisingly wet, for this late in the Season of Frost. The chill in the air hovered just about the ice mark, and as the rain fell it couldn’t quite transform itself into gentle snow, and came down hard on the heads of the weary soldiers as a mixture of ice and freezing cold droplets of water. It was the worst kind of weather to march under. The crude mortal roads - uncrowned and unfashioned, little more than wagon ruts in the loam – soon turned into quagmires of slippery, cold mud, that crept into one’s boots with an icy and slimy touch. And the cold rain that fell had a way of slipping into one’s hood, or through the collar of jerkin or shirt, leading to a damp chill, that often led to sores and chafing of wet cloth on raw skin.

That was during the day. At night, the precipitation fell as ice. Hard hailstones that pelted down on the tents in a ravage of sound. All gear had to be carefully stored, and even then, it was a miserable night that offered little sleep. Worse, the threat of frostbite was ever present.

Yet that morning they had finally passed into the wooded hinterlands. The forest offered some protection from the weather, and Tarabeth’s heart was gladdened by it. The landscape wasn’t quite the majestic white cliffs, and piney crags of her homeland; more like rolling hills covered in deciduous trees – oaks, ash, and beech. But some of the canopy remained, so there was cover.

And that meant cover for enemies as well. So Tanith had quickly found her early that morning, and with Narrin’Tim in tow, led her on a scouting mission to the fore of the army. It was time she learned to be a ‘real Nagarathi commander’ he had said.

She didn’t like the sound of that….

“But how does one command if you are so far in front of your troops,” she asked, as they rested on elbows amongst some brush at the crown of a hill, surveying the valley before them.

“We have runners, calls, and signal arrows to send the orders,” Tanith answered with surprising patience in his voice. He had always been kind to her in the past, but since the vote, he had almost acted…grateful to her. They must really hate the Lothern prince, she thought.

Not that she liked the way that prince eyed her with that oily smile…. She shuddered at the memory.

“And any company commander in the Host knows what to listen and look for,” Tanith continued. “But the Nagarathi way has always been to see for oneself. To know the lay of the land. The best intelligence is what comes from your own eyes and ears,” he finished, as if it was a common axiom.

Tarabeth nodded, trying to look like she understood.

“Look,” he said, grasping at some of the mud on the hilltop. It came apart loosely. He scrunched it into a little slimy ball and then took her wrist and pressed that into her hand. “Feel that. Touch that. What can you tell me about it?”

“Cold, wet and disgusting,” Tarabeth said without humor. Her Chracian leathers were already full with the nasty stuff; she didn’t want any more pressed upon her.

“Yes, its wet and slippery,” Tanith nodded. “You can feel that. See its color. And when you look about you at the valley below you can see how far it covers and where it stops. And a Nagarathi commander would take all that into account. ‘Cause he would know how that might affect the marching of the units. Make it difficult to climb or descend in good order. Or even, how it may cling to fingers and thus ruin bowstrings, or scatter shots of archers. Or how its so wet that there is no chance to dig pits, or set up snares, for ambushes. All that a Nagarathi commander – a good Nagarathi commander - would know, and feel, with his own fingers.”

“The Shadow Prince is an expert,” Tim said, and the pained expression had returned to his face.

“Yes, he is,” Tanith nodded. “Always has been. Ever since I knew him, he had a love for the soil and the things growing in it. Studied it I heard….”

“He’ll be fine, Tim,” Tarabeth said and tried to comfort him by placing a hand on his shoulder. She didn’t know if it was welcome.

She was always unsure of how to act around him now. Ever since that night. She had been angry. And then hurt. And lonely. But she didn’t want to feel like that. And now that she was back…. Well, she mostly had just avoided being alone with him. But that felt silly.

Tim though didn’t seem to notice her gesture, and shifted his eyes over towards Palin’Tanith. “How long have you known him?” he asked softly.

Tanith’s face quickly shifted into a blank granite. “You know we can’t talk about that,” he said flatly.

“Why is that?” Tarabeth asked, delicately recovering her hand from Tim’s shoulder.

Tanith pursed his lips for a moment, and then said, “It’s the Nagarathi way. But you are an ‘altrais’, an outsider, so I’ll just say that we don’t talk about the Shadow Prince from before. And we don’t talk about the dead. Not in that way. It’s just not done.”

“My brother Kurnion talks about him sometimes…. Though not often,” Tarabeth said softly. “And my sister-in-law…. Hardly ever.”

“She is Nagarathi,” Tanith stated bluntly. “She knows. Becoming the Shadow Prince… It isn’t something done lightly.” He shook his head. “To have the will of a people placed upon one elf. It’s a hard thing to bear.” Then he finished, “And it is a death sentence. You serve the will of the people until blade takes you. One way or another.”

The silence that followed that statement seemed colder than the weather. In a few moments Tim blew some misty breath before him and forced a smile, and said, “But you are only a temporary commander. So you don’t have to worry about that.”

Tarabeth frowned trying to think through these foreign ways. A thought struck her. “Tanith, what would’ve happened if the Prince had’ve been injured while in Nagarythe? I mean such that he couldn’t command,” she asked.

“Hmmmm…. If on the battlefield then the senior Shadow Warrior would take over,” he said. “Me, in this case. And then I’d have temporary command until the Prince recovered, or until the Council met and named a successor.”

“But not this time?”

“No. These are…. Strange circumstances. And Ulthuan’s laws take precedence over Nagarathi customs,” he said as if he thought that was a crime in itself.

“What happens-“ Tarabeth started, and then hesitated. No, she must know. “What happens if the Prince doesn’t recover, but doesn’t die? If he can’t be healed to the point of being able to lead again.”

Tim’s eyes fixed on Tanith as well with that question. The old warrior looked out at the valley with a hard face.

“It’s only happened once that I know of,” the Shadow Walker answered. “In the time of Shadow Prince Mourn. He was crippled in one of Caradryel’s wars. Not through any fault of his own. But he lost the use of his legs, and so couldn’t fight….”

“And?” Tarabeth pressed.

“And he was left upon an island in the north sea. With a bow and a quiver full of arrows. Waiting for a druchii landing; as part of a rear guard defense,” Tanith stated softly. “He died in the following fighting. But his sacrifice allowed the time for a village to be evacuated.”

“But… But that’s awful!” Tarabeth cried. “How could he just be left there? He should’ve been sent home to his family! To be cared for!!”

“A Shadow Prince has no family,” Tanith said bluntly. “All he has is Nagarythe. And that is a bond that is only ended at death.” He looked at her, and his eyes softened a little. He placed his hand upon her shoulder. “These are our ways, princess. Not yours. We are a hard people. With hard ways. But history has made us so. And we endure. Because of our ways, we endure.”

Tarabeth felt sick to her stomach at that. She didn’t know what to say. Of course there were many songs in Chrace of the Chracian warriors fighting to the last elf. But that was always on their own two feet! Roaring their battle cries, and defiance in the face of their foes! With axe in hand…. Yet inside the halls, near the hearths…. That was the other Chrace. The place of family, and laughter. Where the elders were treasured for their experience. And given the task of teaching the next generations of their ways and their past. It was how one became Chracian. Even her own father as he had aged, and injury had claimed some of his prowess, had stepped aside to allow her brother to reign. But he didn’t go off to die somewhere! He stayed in his own small manor, and he helped. And taught. And he was there when she, or Kurnion, needed him. It wasn’t like this…. Nagarathi way to send someone to certain death! It seemed madness! And cruel….

“Tanith,” Narrin’Tim’s voice suddenly cut through her reverie. “Look. Wood smoke.”

Tarabeth looked up. They had already come across some signs of logging in the wood. They couldn’t be that far from a mortal settlement. But what Tim was indicating were fresh plumes of hot white smoke, drifting up from beyond the hill on the other side of the valley.

Several plumes of smoke.

“What does it mean?” she asked.

“Trouble,” Tanith answered.


***


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:27 pm 
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And the finale to 'The Long Retreat'.

After part two a game was played between the Host, now under Tarabeth's command, versus thelordcal's goblins. It was a hard fought game, close until the final turn. But sadly my sagacious generalship was no match for Cal's loaded dice and 'colorful' interpretations of the rules. The Host was defeated.



IT’S ALWAYS RAINING SOMEWHERE….


Tarabeth threw herself down on the muddy rise overlooking camp. It was morning, a day later, and still the vicious Bretonnian weather had not changed. Rain. Ice. Sleet. The ground was a freezing morass. And she didn’t care.

She had fought a battle. And she had lost.

She just wanted to lie down in the mud and disappear. She couldn’t be a leader. Shouldn’t. She didn’t want to return to camp. Didn’t want to be seen by anyone. They were all down there; the Nagarathi. They had been happy to have her over the Eatainian prince as commander, while the Shadow Prince fought for his life in the silent places of the Beyond….

And now…. Some leader she was. She had ordered the attack on the pillaging greenskins. Confidently. How could they be defeated? But. But then, the flank charge, and the Dragoons were scattered. And then as valiantly as the remainder of the Host had fought, they had gradually been forced from the field.

And it was her fault.

Someone was coming up the hill. It was Narrin’Tim. He looked as weary as she felt; he threw himself down on the earth beside her.

“We are just waiting for the remaining foragers to return, and the wounded to be treated. And then we can depart, commander,” he said without ceremony.

“Don’t call me that,” she said in a small voice. He shot her a look.

“What is wrong?”

“I lost,” she said simply. “This.” She gestured at the camp below. “This is all my fault.”

“We all agreed to the battle,” he said.

“That is not the point!” she answered, angry. “It was my plan. I was in charge! It was my responsibility. And now people are dead because of me!”

Tim shook his head. “I can understand that. But battle or no, having the responsibility of death is always upon the commander’s shoulders.”

That wasn’t what she had expected. She stopped her tirade, and looked more closely at Tim. “What do you mean?”

“Any time you lead a force. In peace. Or war. The shadow of Khaine is upon the leader. There is injury. Illness occasionally. Infighting. All these things can claim an elf’s life. And as a commander, you have to take responsibility for it. Think about the bigger issues. The life of the Host. But also of the warriors. And their families back home,” he explained softly. “It’s a difficult thing to do. But people can die in peace just as much in war. And the commander has to take the responsibility and wonder about if things might have been another way…..” He finished with a shrug. “At least that is what the Shadow Prince told me once.”

“But I lost,” Tarabeth said with a hint of a pout.

“That all depends on what you mean by victory,” Tim countered.

“Khaine’s teeth, Tim! You are being infuriating. Why do you have to counter with semantics?!” she snapped. “You are starting to sound like the students back at the tower, talking about all the ‘tactics’ of their glass-bead games they play in the library!”

He shrugged again. “I wouldn’t know about that,” he said.

Tarabeth immediately regretted her words. Narrin’Tim was Nagarathi Romani. A villager from the western reaches of the Shadowlands. And he, like most of the common elves of Ulthuan, had never had a chance to train within an institution like the White Tower. No formal education at all. His learning had exclusively been at his father’s knee. Or from the village elders. He had never sat a day of his life in any academy or lyceum.

She felt the gulf between her privilege and his reality quite keenly.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“But I think,” he continued as if he hadn’t heard her. “That it is real hard to tell a win from a loss sometimes. You just have a battle. And then results. There is no one tallying points. Its just what it is….”

“But we were driven from the field!”

“We went to battle to stop the goblins from raiding that mortal village,” he replied. “We did that. We broke their regiments and delayed them enough for the mortal armies to arrive. The goblins fled the field soon after us.”

“But that doesn’t sound like a win,” she grumbled.

“It is what it is.” Another shrug. “I guess, maybe, we Nagarathi don’t know much about winning then. The history… Our history…. Is always like this. Fighting for time. To delay raiders. Create distractions. Just long enough to allow a village to flee.” He looked thoughtful. “We have few tales of dramatic sieges. Or valiant defenses of cities. Not since the Sundering at least….”

He frowned at her. “We are always outnumbered. Almost always outmatched. So we measure our battles in how we can accomplish our goals. In the lives saved usually.”

She stared at him. His pale grey eyes, and shaven pate. At the rain running down his long, hooked nose. (Another thing her fault, she grimaced.)

“That village owes its life to us. To you. You did the right thing,” he finished.

“Did I?” she countered, but not crossly; she just felt tired and miserable again. “I threw away Asur lives for a bunch of mortals.”

His frown deepened. “I…. I think so.” He looked down at the camp. A few long seconds followed….

“I may be foolish… But the old stories of Aenarion. And the founding of the Ever Empire. The one’s the village elders tell at the feast days. In those…. I mean, those heroes of the ancient days. They never fought to conquer. It was always to protect. To protect the weak. They formed the empire to save this world from Chaos. To be vigilant against the Darkness. We sacrificed for the greater good.”

He still wasn’t looking at her. But his voice was firm. “I don’t know much about history. Or the other kingdoms. But those stories of the ancient days….. They always meant something to me. Of who we are as a people. And…. And it made me proud. It may be wrong. I may be wrong. But I think it matters that we became a people… Ulthuan, in order to defend the weak. And these may be the last days of the Asur, but…. But if we are to leave this world, let us do it as the heroes of old. Sword raised against evil….”

His words trailed off. He was looking off in the distance now, his face thoughtful. Seemingly unaware of the rain pelting him.

“Wow, Tim,” she gave a small smile. “I’ve never heard you speak like that.”

It was over then. He blushed and gave another of his small shrugs.

She sighed. “Is Palin’Tanith still angry at me?” He had been against the battle from the start. “Stupid waste of Asur lives!” he had said. And afterwards only sent her icy glares.

“He’ll come around.” Tim laughed. “It helps that the Eatainian Prince keeps walking around saying, ‘See. I told you. No woman should command the Asur!’ Everyone hates him. None more than Tanith. He keeps coming to your defense.”

“Well that’s something-“ she started, and then saw a Shadow Warrior running up the escarpment towards them. She and Tim took their feet.

“Commander! Our scouts have returned. They found something remarkable!”

***

A few minutes later and she was standing at the edge of the road nearby. Along the roadside was a small shrine. Just a pile of rocks really, with the largest one carved in the rough shape of a woman. Beside the shrine was a small cart filled to the brim with food: bags of oats and wheat; large turnips and squashes; vegetables of all colors.

The Shadow Warrior was grinning. “We followed some of the mortals here. They left all these things as gratitude to the ‘guardian lady’ who had saved their village!” He started guffawing.

“So it’s some sort of religious service?” she asked with a frown.

“They also left full quivers of arrows at the back of the cart,” he added with tears in his eyes. “A strange donation for ‘the lady’!”

Tim too was smiling. “It looks like their guardian lady today maybe a little princess from Chrace….”

And she was blushing, and didn’t know what to say….


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:38 am 
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Auctor Aeternitatum
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Have you gotten any games in recently? Or are you being kept too busy by your overlords and everqueen?

It was a pretty glorious defeat. Reasonable chance it was one with a bunch of immortal LSG. And even one (if I recall correctly) that came with drawings and all ;)

Rod

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:27 pm 
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Well played Sir
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haha~ I remember this little piece, 'Tim is still quoted in my signature from it ^_^

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Narrin’Tim wrote:
These may be the last days of the Asur, but if we are to leave this world let us do it as the heroes of old, sword raised against evil!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:47 pm 
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rdghuizing wrote:
Have you gotten any games in recently?


Sorry Rod. I'm just an observer now. (And occasional chronicler!) Haven't rolled any dice in over a year I think. And I'm getting overcommitted again in the other realm so once I finish up the current story, I will be leaving the forum in peace.

Though I did have one strange happening the other day, which might elicit a chuckle from you. I was visiting the everqueen's new corporate headquarters, and had to pass through a security screening. Well the burly guards wanted name and all that to put down on a fancy badge to allow me access to the confines and which I'd have to wear on my lapel at 'all times' (!). I was fine until they asked me 'Representing?'. Hmmmm. Well I was on my own, just to meet the everqueen for lunch. No official business per se. So when that security guard repeated the 'representing' question, I said:

"Nagarythe. N-A-G-A…."

Coolest company badge ever! :D

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:36 am 
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Please tell me you got to keep it

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:16 am 
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Nothing wrong with being just an observer. I observe too much myself...

The story did get a chuckle from me. :) Best badge ever.

And don't be a stranger too much forum wise.

Rod

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:01 pm 
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Haha, that's great! :lol:

But now you've got the badge, you've got to keep representing Nagarythe on this website. ;)

Well, I hope you'll be back with your stories soon enough and games too! Your reports are always really fun to read. Probably the best. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:41 pm 
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Good stuff! :D I especially enjoyed the bit about "intrigue at court" :P

Keep 'em coming! :D

- Loran

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