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Dwilight / Dwilight Statistics
« Last post by BarticaBoat on Today at 07:03:53 AM »
realmdensityGDP (gold)GDP (silver)net fooddemense sizemilitarization
Arnor8.5585712.46-802.88186630.93%
Astrum12.37806.59.68-982151230.92%
Avernus8.43575.513.66-899.7126390.83%
D'Hara9.3509.7622.41-1496.895531.16%
Luria Nova11.45841.88.02-1680.8199900.69%
Sol5.3381.0822.43272.273530.94%
Swordfell6.4739.087.83158.06140330.66%
Tol Goldora4.78190.753.67978.539541.83%
Westgard9.04388.9616.59-1511.959551.22%
Dwilight4.07900.91108.1115467.9139770.73%

Analysis:

Arnor is typical of Dwilight realms as a largely urban population with vast outlying lands to support them. The nobles are the wealthiest in the continent and the peasantry are a mix of cash crop farmers and craftsmen who live comfortably with their noble protectors. Vast noble houses control trade with the unoccupied plains to the south and food is imported judiciously to support a ravenous population. Militarization is slightly above average reflecting their position relative to monster migrations across the continent and the need for a dedicated warrior class. Their war with Sol to the south persists due to distance, disorganization, and Lurian support.

The ancient theocracy of Astrum is the most densely populated area of Dwilight reflecting their near century of existence. They are just outside of the upper echelon of wealthy realms but their opulence is distinct from any other realm besides Arnor and Luria Nova. Their peasantry are somewhat poorer than average peasants in a realm, but still reflect practices beyond sustenance such as sculpting or pearldiving and richer foods such as honey and fine gamemeats. This poorer status is likely due to entrenchment of power structures and wealth amongst nobles and their connections with powerful and ancient merchant guilds. Like most realms Astrum is a net importer of food although their situation is not particularly dire. Astrum has a deeply entrenched military class which engages in protection of the realm from natural threats. Despite this, their ability to project force can be poor.

The small enclaves of Avernus represent a throwback to original Dwilight settlements. Urban with average wealth, Avernus has settled on lands that naturally protect them from monster threat. The peasants live much like the Arnorians to the south, but unlike them Avernus is more peaceful. Their warrior class is benevolent and seen as protectors, occasionally marching from their lands, but not often. They have an average noble density for Dwilight and are also importers of food. Despite the history of the Saxons, Thulsoma, and the Bloodfruit, Avernus is a comfortable frontier realm.

The long history of D'Hara has seen them come to a second Golden Age, although historians will argue whether or not this prominence is a boon. Inhabiting the Tomb Islands D'Hara has always been a concentrated realm. Now with Marorient and Maroccidens colonies once more, they have changed from being a merchant republic and fully embraced their return as the Dragon Kingdom. The gold does not flow as freely for the nobles, instead remaining in the hands of the most famous merchant class in all of Dwilight. The nobles now reflect a warrior-administrator class with smaller nobles houses than usual but they are still quite powerful and distinct from common castes. The peasantry of D'Hara are some of the richest in all the civilized realms and few engage in agriculture. A meal out is a distinctly D'Haran endeavour, unfathomable to peasants anywhere else. Working as clerks, merchants, importers, sailors, D'Haran peasants maintain the mercantile spirit of old despite the hardening of noble hearts. Supported by these practices, the nobles and their warrior class underlings engage in some of the most dedicated and hardworking military structures in Dwilight. Martial ways have become a way of life for them and D'Hara is ready to exchange former soft power for hard steel.

The Lurias have been occupied as long as any region in Dwilight and Luria Nova is the inheritor of all its traditions. Their wealth is still supreme and Lurians are known for having more money than ideas to do with it. Their peasants stagger to support the extravagance of Lurian courts but all things considered they live well and engage in ample trade within the realm and their few allies. The density of Luria Nova is only surpassed by Astrum, their ancient foe, and reflects the century of colonization by various successors of Pian en Luries. Despite the natural richness of the lands, Luria Nova has the most dire food situation in all Dwilight and starvation does occur with some frequency in cities. This is due to their historical isolation and staggering population rather than a fault of their noble overlords. The noble houses of the Lurias are the most magnificent in the world, their manners and speech dictate fashion the world over no matter how hated they are. This opulence and wealth reflects a simple fact: the Lurias are naturally amongst the safest lands in Dwilight. Compared to other lands their sentinels are lax and living a strictly military life is laughed at as childish and absurd. It has been true since the first days of Dwilight, the deadliest battlefield is a Lurian court.

Not all can live well. Sol is a tiny backwater barely distinguishable from uncivilized Dwilight. Their nobles are distinguished by blood and prestige rather than wealth as they are amongst the poorest nobles in the civilized world. Their lands are only fields with little in the way of tradeable resources. This burden is also their only treasure, Sol is one of the few breadbaskets in Dwilight. The peasants are as wealthy as peasants in D'Hara but there is little merchant activity. Instead they directly barter livestock, seemingly endless food, and seeds for what they need from lands afar. The small size of the realm makes this surplus irrelevant to larger realms. Starvation is unknown and their only worries are sporadic raids from enemy realms and protecting the rural estates from monster incursion. A natural martial way exists to defend themselves but their armies are limited by the distances, the rural nature of the lands, and the highest concentration of noble houses outside the true frontier realms.

Deep in the Divide Mountains Swordfell sleeps. The lands are distinctly spacious compared to most realms, straddling an inbetween as barely civilized settlements. The nobility do not lack for gold but the peasantry work hard to survive off largely subsistence agriculture. The nobles are of moderate power and despite their hard work there is ample food for the peasantry, with the potential to send sons to work in mines for the guilds. Though the original battle to settle the mountains was difficult and took many decades, the walls and fortresses of Swordfell now make it the safest lands in all of Dwilight. Manning the walls is sometimes seen as unnecessary and ingenius ways of utilizing terrain decreases the amount of warriors to support. This is a double edged sword, for as far as it is to reach them it is as far for Swordfell to make an effect militarily. Swordfell has produced some of the greatest intellectual minds in Dwilight history due to this combination of factors.

The newest and most anomalous realm is Tol Goldora. A backwater the likes of Sol, it is not uncommon for peasants to not realize what flag flies over their lands. Tol Goldora has the smallest noble houses in all of Dwilight and their nobles are warriors foremost, with administration being an afterthought. They are the poorest nobles and regarded as brutes and raiders by the peasants who are the poorest in Dwilight. Heavy taxes and levies support the most concentrated military effort in the world, the one for their own survival. The nobles are warriors, and few warriors are not nobles. This single minded focus on survival belies the fact that these are the most bountiful civilized lands in the Dwilight and the food surpluses would make Goldorans as rich as easterners if they could end the war with Westgard. Truly a colonial frontier, their future lies solely in the outcome of this war.

Finally, the shield of humanity, Westgard. A tightly urban realm reflects that the ancient lands here were once the most feared monster migration route before the long days of Astrum. The nobles are not wealthy unless they are high nobles with connections abroad and they are a diverse group of warriors, administrators, and sometimes merchants. What makes the lands dangerous is their wealth and Westgardian peasants live amongst the best lives in the civilized lands. Natural resources abound and every Westgardian seems to be peddling fine wares to a stupid D'Haran with more gold than sense. However, the food situation in Westgard is dire as the prime farmlands are difficult to hold against monster invasions and the highly martial nature of their society is their only way to survive the harshness of this reality. They never claimed to choose an easy path, but their path is amongst the most difficult.

Strikingly, Dwilight is unexploited. Only Arnor and LN (Debateably Astrum) hold lands that are averagely rich and by every measure, compared to so-called uncivilized Dwili, the civilized peasants sweat under the yoke of nobles to be starving and poor. Compared to the countries they came from they are unimaginably rich, but to the Dwili they are fools. The poor must dream of running off into the wilderness to seek their fortunes. In the average realms, the militant nature of the settlements renders this idea absurd. In Luria Nova and Swordfell, to leave is to accept a far more dangerous life than they could likely handle. Solarians do not need to leave, they are living basically in the uncharted reaches, and Goldoran live in constant fear of Westgard. Dwilight is highly tragic in this regard. Civilized - but at what cost?
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Titan's Case Archives / Multi-Island, Cases #573, 478, and 898 "Micromanagement"
« Last post by Anaris on December 11, 2019, 07:29:16 PM »
Quote
Dwilight/Beluaterra/East Continent
Complaint #573/#478/#898
Date: December 10, 2019
Title: Micromanagement
About: Kinsey Family

This case deals with an ongoing issue which was previously addressed. Early in November, a warning was issued addressing "single player" playing of Battle Master. The specifics of the warning discussed micromanaging allied armies and nobles, as well as retaining singular power and information of their own realm's military.

The Titans were informed barely a month later that these shortcomings had continued, spanning three continents with three separate characters.

The Titans judged this in violation of several rules:

* Exclusion of several players from military affairs, to include Marshal characters
* Failure to guide and mentor as a Government member and experienced player
* Failure to acknowledge previous shortcoming and apply solution to all characters

During the course of our investigation, we discovered at least one player who paused due to feelings of exclusion. Several other complaints were received in addition to the paused character regarding being actively excluded from military planning/command.

Due to the fact that the player is a senior player with a wealth of experience, a longstanding Government member, and has already received a warning on this subject, the Titans have decided to apply the following punishments:

* Removal of General position for all three characters
* Removal of Marshal position for all three characters
* Lock out of positions for 14 days

For reference, the following documents were applied to the investigation were: Rules and Policies, Government Rules, Command Hierarchy, and the Social Contract.

First and foremost, Government members are expected to help, guide, and safeguard the fun for other players, as is detailed in the Government Rules. Second, players should not be excluded from gameplay.

As current and former players, we acknowledge the decline of playerbase, and the fact that sometimes positions are difficult to find volunteers to fill. Often a General must act as Marshal. This is not the issue at hand.

What we discovered in our investigation was a player with all their characters as Generals. Two of these characters were also Marshals. The third became Marshal when the Marshal of that realm paused due to feelings of exclusion. A poor attempt was made after the accused was called out IC of doing the same thing he had done on the EC for his previous warning, but evidenced by the Marshal pausing it was too late. Subsequently, the player continued to actively exclude several other characters of the realm who tried to involve themselves, repeatedly, into the realm military.

Battle Master is a game involving many people, and has many aspects available to enjoy. Too much focus has been applied to winning, to the point where winning is stepping on the enjoyment of the game for players. This is not going to be tolerated any longer. The point of Battle Master is not to win wars at any cost, it is to role play a noble character in a feudal society. Realms and wars are not as important as characters and players. Placing the former above the latter will result in punitive measures on and ongoing basis.

References:
http://wiki.battlemaster.org/wiki/Rules_and_Policies
http://wiki.battlemaster.org/wiki/Command_Hierarchy
http://wiki.battlemaster.org/wiki/Social_Contract
http://wiki.battlemaster.org/wiki/Government_rules
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Other Games / Re: Tabletop RPG via the Net (roll20) - GM Tom
« Last post by Gildre on December 10, 2019, 01:59:50 AM »
How did the game go Tom? Good turn out?

Btw, I love the idea, of playing yourself in a fantasy world haha.
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Announcements / December 2019 Update
« Last post by Vita` on December 06, 2019, 10:44:39 PM »
Many changes added over the last 6 months are included in this announcement. Many more behind-scenes improvements were made.

Improvements:
New OOC admins-ruler communication channel publicly visible to all players on island
Automatically create statues when ruler moves capital or builds palace
Add average daily sent and realmwide messages over a 3-month period
Colour travel destinations by diplomatic relation
PHP7 Updates
Add Average Noble Combat Strength to Army Info
Base judge's h/p loss for torture on recipient's rank (royal, duke, lord)
Add last updated datetime to Standing Orders
Tweak ranged overkill
Various text improvements

Bugfixes:
Prevent healing dead characters with scrolls after 2 turns have passed
Fix position lockout from Titans lasting too long
Prevent dead characters automatically healing
Prevent recruitment while travelling to tournament
Fix ignoring other characters
Fix prison and banishment bugs

Discord Bot:
The discord bot has been updated over the last 6 months and now hosts many commands to request information from the game, ranging from a character to a realm, from family wiki pages to world maps dating as far back as 2012. Come check out BattleMaster's Discord and get to know the community as players, not characters! Every realm has its own private realm channel so you can get to know your realmmates better. Many enjoy playing games with the community, from trivia to cards against humanity. Come hear your fellow players' voices in voice chat and hear how all those region, realm, and character names are pronounced by everyone. Share and listen to music. Discuss politics and religion. Contribute as a volunteer. Just have fun with fellow players!

Forum and Wiki:
The forum has been updated to a more responsive default theme, with further improvements to come. Other responsive themes exist to choose from.
The Wiki was updated with the PHP7 Update, but the Semantic Media Wiki remains broken. Even so, the wiki has picked up in activity lately with new Wiki Editors. Filled out your family page? Need to update it? Preserve your BM history forevermore upon the wiki. A recent development is the creation of a new On This Day in BM history, which gets posted on Discord.
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Roleplaying / Re: The Tales of Nemean JeVondair Renodin
« Last post by Renodin on December 05, 2019, 10:42:38 AM »

Here is a bit of an intermezzo. Lucius Poe, a warrior poet who speaks with the universe and sees things others can only dream about challenged Nemean to a duel. Because Nemean has no song in the Universe and it is all quiet around him, according to Lucius. Naturally, Nemean accepts.


Duel

Sir Nemean JeVondair Renodin, Knight of Bisciye meets his challenger Lucius Poe, Knight of Aix for the agreed duel till surrender.
Lucius has decided to use the 'trick moves' strategy while Nemean JeVondair has chosen the 'neutral' strategy, giving Nemean JeVondair the advantage.
The duel rages for quite some time and superficial wounds are suffered on both sides. Finally, a deep blow strikes Nemean JeVondair down and his second declares it a surrender.


---


The Healing Process

Days blend together as Nemean lay in bed. Fortunately the windows permitted fresh air and during the evenings the hearth bloomed with heat. He hadn't known boredom before suffering the near mortal wound at the hands of Lucius Poe. The fight had replayed itself in his mind over and over. At first he could only grasp and hold on to bits and pieces of it as he passed from wakefulness into delirium. At some point, it was hard to discern when exactly, it played out like a scene at a theater. Stroke up, the blade sang. Feet shuffled. The sound of fabric straining.

The meals were awful. The liquid greens and bitter grub the healers forced him to eat made him retch. At least there had been a kind nurse. Employed by one of the greybeards. She'd wait until her Master and employer was done with Nemean and came to smuggle boiled fruits in for him. And cakes. Usually after the midday sun had begun to dim. He'd begun to keep a watch for when the sun began it's descent for it would herald her arrival. Neala was her name. Cream white skin. Dusted lightly with freckles. With large brown eyes that always made him feel welcome and safe.

She wouldn't say much and made a point for keeping her private visits brief. Nemean was in no position to protest. Not until the second week. But as soon as the healers noticed his steady recovery they placed new demands on him. Apparently one of the healers had been a career soldier before taking up the profession as bonemender. The man had forgotten none of the military discipline as he broke Nemean like a horse tamer does a stallion. He had the Prince exercising his legs, first stumbling and shuffling. With ample of cursing from Nemean which was about as harmless as feathers being thrown at a slab of granite. Consequently the warrior healer worked his hard hands on the Prince's muscles and much howling ensued.

While it felt like torture the effects were unmistakable. The wound healed steadily. His body was growing stronger and his vigor returned. While he wasn't out of the woods yet, the warrior healer agreed, he could return to active duty. Nemean, ever discovering new humilities. Profusely thanked the healer. The man offered some somber wisdoms and Nemean vowed to commit them to memory.

''Now where is that Poe.'' The words said far more confidently than the duel's result would suggest. Nevertheless, armour was donned and the mantle worn.


----


Lucius Poe declares friendship afterwards and overall it was a great character development moment.
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Roleplaying / Re: The Tales of Nemean JeVondair Renodin
« Last post by Renodin on December 05, 2019, 10:39:10 AM »


Different Conclusions
 

Quote
He dropped his jolly demeanor and spoke to Nemean with a plainer, more serious tone.  "Lady Alyssa has a heart of ice.  She left it behind to lighten the load she bears for the realm.  And  it was left buried and hidden in the snow for so long it will take the brightest of flames to warm it.  She needs joy, Sir, desperately.  What the nobles of this brave realm did to her is an inexcusable crime.  To burden one so young and bright with such grave responsibility." ~Maron, Bard in the service of Alyssa Kingsley


The serious tone from which Maron lept and announced his performance at the Lion's Den did little to amuse Nemean but it did cartloads to diffuse the situation. Broadly remaining where he was Nemean looked on expectantly after the guards informed him that it'd be only minutes now.  A tiny voice in the depths of his skull made him turn his head in the direction Maron had vanished into. He tried to spot the man but had no such luck.

He wondered what Maron had meant with the Ice and the great crime the realm had put on Alyssa. For a moment he did his best to inspect the problem with his mind's eye but his conclusions remained the same. A problem to revisit perhaps he surmised, time was not a luxury right now. Satirically as that might've seemed as he continued to wait, with purpose now, some more.
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Roleplaying / Re: The Tales of Nemean JeVondair Renodin
« Last post by Renodin on December 05, 2019, 10:38:07 AM »


Roleplay from Alyssa Kingsley

Maron

"The lute had me confuse you for a bard, not a jester" the young knight barbed at him.  Oh he is quite fun Maron thought to himself as he watched the knight lie to him about his own tender heart.

"Oh she is in Sir, I had the pleasure of waking her this morning. Seeing her tender face with the dawn is one of the greatest pleasures of my life.  She is most spirited when she arises." He said with a wink. He paused for a beat before continuing.  "And her voice so full of life as she calls my name!  'Maron!' she cried out to me this morning.  It was more music than anything I could play, Sir."  The knight just stared at him as another smile began to form.  "Her aim though is lousy." he offered, having had his fun.  "The slipper she threw in my direction at the doorway did not even come close to me.  A wound, to be honest, that she would even consider to strike this humble singer who only seeks to bring her joy, but the spirit in her voice as she chastised me for playing for her before the sunrise was worth any wound, Sir."

The knight said nothing, but looked annoyed as Maron continued on.  Perhaps that is enough for today.  "In any case, Sir, I am indeed in her service.  Maron is my name and entertainment and pleasure is my trade.  I am sure you have heard my songs, I have grown quite popular here in the city.  Have you heard "The Lady in White?"  It is of course about our fair lady, and written by yours truly, and is often loved by the smallfolk.  Not so much among the noble crowds though, but no matter.  A dozen coins are the same whether given by twelve peasants or one noble."

The group of logistics officers that Maron had spotted on their way to the tower earlier this morning were making their way down from Alyssa's solar.  Nemean seemed to shift somewhat uncomfortably as the guards informed him that it would be just a few minutes more as the Imperatrix prepared for her next meeting. Poor fool Maron thought.

"Well Sir Nemean JeVondair" Maron began once more.  "It was a pleasure to meet you Sir.  I look forward to our legendary duel for our beloved lady's heart.  I wish you the best of luck, though I am determined to be the victor.  As a gentleman I will grant you a boon to more even the field, perhaps it will make it interesting."

He dropped his jolly demeanor and spoke to Nemean with a plainer, more serious tone.  "Lady Alyssa has a heart of ice.  She left it behind to lighten the load she bears for the realm.  And  it was left buried and hidden in the snow for so long it will take the brightest of flames to warm it.  She needs joy, Sir, desperately.  What the nobles of this brave realm did to her is an inexcusable crime.  To burden one so young and bright with such grave responsibility."

And then he gave an extravagant bow.  "I am playing tonight at the Lion's Den in the city as well Sir.  All are welcome!" He announced jauntily to the knight, soldiers, servants and officers who scurried about.
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Roleplaying / Re: The Tales of Nemean JeVondair Renodin
« Last post by Renodin on December 05, 2019, 10:36:21 AM »

Sir Lover


Quote
He saw Sir Nemean's frown as he turned to see who called him such a name.  Very good, Sir. He thought to himself.  As he reached the knight in sour armor, the bard gave a gracious and exaggerated bow. "Is she keeping you waiting too, my lord?  How women play with our hearts, this one especially."  He grinned a knowing grin.  "Tell me Sir, what brings you to our darling lady? ~Maron


Standing around and waiting had aggravated his wounded shoulder. The people milled around almost mindlessly or so it seemed to Nemean and he had to pay attention to any of them that came close enough to bump into him. Something he really didn't want to happen. The constant attention wore on him and now this figure appeared.

Looking the bard over Nemean noted the instrument, the somewhat foppish tints and of course the self-indulgent smirk. ''She invited someone like you?'' He coldly dropped on the commoner. ''The lute had me confuse you for a Bard, not a Jester.''

After a moment Nemean decided against further antagonizing Maron. ''You are in her service?'' His eyebrows arched. ''She hasn't played with anything to be fair.'' He discovered this was harder to talk about than he had anticipated. ''Quite the opposite actually. It was quite clear what she thinks and wants.'' Not wishing to elaborate on the subject. Nemean looked up at the tower. Spying several neatly placed windows. One above the other.

''I might've arrived early.'' He turned his gaze to the bard. ''The army only just returned from their successful battle in Eldoret and Brive.'' The tone of his voice continued to lose much of its original edge. ''But yeah,'' He swallowed. ''She asked me to meet her here. Would you know if she's in?''
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Roleplaying / Re: The Tales of Nemean JeVondair Renodin
« Last post by Renodin on December 05, 2019, 10:35:44 AM »


Roleplay from Alyssa Kingsley

Maron

"Sir Lover!"  Maron called as he turned the corner, spotting Sir Nemean standing at the foot of the steps to the White Lady's office and quarters.  Now this is an interesting sight! He thought to himself.  The singer had heard of what happened during his lady's previous visit to the capital.  He tried to comfort the girl with a song when she came back to her tower in a huff.  He certainly did not expect the object of that irritation here before.  He wondered to himself whether the young man simply enjoyed heartache.  For Maron it was a game, one he enjoyed very much.  He of course knew Alyssa would never fall for a man like him, but she was quite an inspiring figure and an interesting one.  There would be songs about her, and he wanted them to be his songs.  In the meantime, he enjoyed pushing her buttons for a simple delight.  This Nemean on the other hand...

He saw Sir Nemean's frown as he turned to see who called him such a name.  Very good, Sir. He thought to himself.  As he reached the knight in sour armor, the bard gave a gracious and exaggerated bow.

"Is she keeping you waiting too, my lord?  How women play with our hearts, this one especially."  He grinned a knowing grin.  "Tell me Sir, what brings you to our darling lady?
10
Roleplaying / Re: The Tales of Nemean JeVondair Renodin
« Last post by Renodin on December 05, 2019, 10:35:13 AM »

This is the start of a new story arch I believe, or rather, a new chapter in an old one. Unexpectedly, Nemean received an apologetic letter from Alyssa. Asking him to meet her in her Tower.


A Painful Walk

Some days had past since the fight in the Bloody stump. Days or weeks, it didn't feel much different either way. He still had to wear a sling for his left arm and every time he snuck it off, one of the healers would verbally assault him and fuss all over him again. Fortunately for him, the army did not require him to travel with them. Instead he'd poured over scouting reports and spend his afternoons and evenings penning letters. It was more difficult than it sounds, not the writing itself but the bracing of the blasted parchment. Sling in the way and a paperweight more clumsy than a drunk chicken. He had managed though and although there was little feedback, he liked to believe his reports were useful.

It was one of those afternoons. When he sat down to write the next bit on Bescanon and what enemy forces his scouts had sighted that he noticed an unusual letter, perched upon his desk. His chambers were modest and not spacious whatsoever. Still, they inhabited the Ducal palace and that beat any tavern. The thought made him wince. He couldn't even keep himself from mocking himself with his own words.

He shrugged it off, the Duke had won fair and square. The letter. The seal that it bore displayed a wolf. Alyssa's wolf. Using the inkwell  and a letteropener he sliced it cleanly off. Moments later he held her words in his hand. Leaning back into the chair his eyes studiously roamed the parchment until he finally put it back down. A deep sigh ensued which further necessitated pinching the bridge of his nose. ''This'll be great.'' The crass scraping noise of the chair on stone as Nemean got up from his seat. He paced towards the door of his room where he stopped and took a half cape from its stand, slinging it deftly around his left shoulder. Obscuring the physical weakness and also, it felt nice, the additional warmth it provided.

Moments later Nemean was skipping down the stairs of the Ducal palace. His captain, Jacinta, spotted him in the main courtyard. The two made eye contact and Nemean waved her at ease. Something the woman seemed content to comply with, resuming her meal of roast chicken bits in whatever broth that was. He didn't linger and promptly made his way towards the Imperatrix's Tower. Passing several guards whom he scantly paid attention to. He finally reached the small and quite secluded part where the tower itself actually stood. Not that it was abandoned. Not by any stretch of the word. Scribes and servants of every color and stripe frequented the area. Warriors too of course and it all made Nemean feel even more skeptical than he had before finishing her letter.

He didn't like having to dodge out of the way of a small group of messengers but did. It was just more expedient. The personal guards of the Imperatrix saw him coming. They waited. When he finally drew up beside them they mouthed their greetings. ''I'm here on request of the Imperatrix.'' Seeing they weren't yet satisfied he continued, a bit exasperated. ''Nemean, Knight of Bisciye.'' He eyed them and they eyed him right back. He shifted his weight from hip to hip. Licked his lips with nascent annoyance. ''Knight of the Realm? I'm the one that writes the Scouting reports about the front? She asked me to visit her?'' It wasn't sure which of the answers the guards were actually waiting for or if they were waiting for any in particular even. They were content to just let Nemean wait a bit and then, and only then forwarded the notice of his arrival.

So the young Prince waited. Perhaps she'd be as coy as her guards. Maybe she wasn't even home and the letter send from the field. Whatever it was going to be. Nemean could swear he heard some distant or muffled laughing coming from somewhere about. He could hear words and bits of phrases: ''Must've been a deep cut!'', ''Wonder if the pup learned his lesson?'', ''Wonder what the Duke will do to him this time if he finds out the boy visited her tower!''

The walk was unpleasant and so was the wait.
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