Author Topic: Serpentis Resurgence - Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis  (Read 1542 times)

Eduardo Almighty

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Serpentis Resurgence - Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis
« Topic Start: January 15, 2018, 10:48:00 AM »
The Day of Divinity

Awake.
Shake dreams from your hair
My pretty child, my sweet one.
Choose the day and choose the sign of your day
The day's divinity
Choose they croon the Ancient Ones
The time has come again


***

Quote
From the Avamarian diaries

Tomas: Have you found a name for her, my Lady?

Rugina smiles and Nods, the ideas screening in her mind.

Rugina: My child... you will be remembered as one in Sirion... and you will have the name of one of my favorite Holy matrons.
Yur will be called Serria Sirion Blakeshadow, my little one."

***

Quote
From New Westmoor Archives

Duke Erik Eyolf after just building the largest temple in the north for some dirty pagan religion is holding an extravagant wedding celebration to consummate the love between himself and his daughter Serria.

The wedding festivities which began yesterday are said to be very extravagant. Now of course most of the representatives of the southern realms will not be able to be present due to the war between Caligus, Sirion and the human alliance. Duke Erik has therefore undertaken to take criminals out of the jails of Avamar for the day and dress them up to look like nobles of the southern realms who weren't able to be present. The vast temple is considered to be a wedding gift to his new bride. Many congratulations were given from members of many different realms in the ECDA. According to some traders who were recently in Sirion city the smell of Ikrif could be recognized quite noticeably in the air even though the city of Avamar was several hundred miles away.

***

Ehrendill climbed on a rock and looked at the old motte and bailey where once the towering Dragon's Nest spread its wings over Trinbar. How in such a short time had everything been lost? Trinbar, Dolmbar, the Sacred Grove and finally even the Republican spirit. Sirion's history was there for anyone who wanted to see, but now it looked like something artificial, lost in time, just odes to forgotten heroes. Where were the real Sirionites and their heirs? Why had they abandoned their legacy? Why did they stand still while Nivemus took command of the north? Why had they stayed behind? How did they almost lose everything to their guests after offer them a banquet?

The young dragon looked the other way where the raven was being "escorted" by two Stormwalkers. His mission now was to restore the family and mend the mess the bastards had caused while a heir of pure blood was prepared. And who could have the blood more pure than Ehrendill, son of Erik and Serria, grandson of Rugina. His was the mission of restoring the Sirionites values for which his ancestors fought. He jumped from the stone and walked to the traitor. His eyes were placid and there was no anger in his countenance. No grudge, but also no mercy. The metallic fingers of his gauntlet caressed the human skin on his face.

Ehrendill Eyolf: “You betrayed me, brother. Your mission was to prepare the way; instead you tried to usurp what belongs to me: my name and my legacy. You should know that when the Black Dragon spared the Thousand Bastards. In the meantime you found a Princess and dared to dream of greatnesses reserved only for the true Serpentis. You probably didn’t like to see another Serpentis in Sirion, am I right? Sir Hector have only a portion of our blood, more than you, less than I do. Then you flew like a frightened crow and in your flight you distracted yourself with something bright in Highmarch. They're so much better than Sirion these days, aren’t they?”

He smiled and kissed the traitor's forehead as his hand slid into his pocket, picking up the relic that so many bastards longed for, Erik’s left eye.

Ehrendill Eyolf: “It’s my time now, fallen brother. From now on, I’m your Alfather. Just as I am son of his daughter, you’re now my children under my wings. If at least one thing you did right, we're going to visit your Princess. Despite what you tried to do for her, despite your false sacrifices for Sirion and your cries of rebellion... she did the right thing while you went the wrong way. We, the Serpentis, owe it to her. Poor boy, I wonder how much you fell in love with her. Good friends you still can be. Lovers, maybe. Slave, if so she chooses. Your future belongs to her. You're in her hands as you've always been, but now I'll make sure you do not break your vows.”

The young elf closed his eyes and saw in the darkness the pattern of the flames casting their red dancing lights. An open field burned, the hounds barking and the Gormok's Hunters imprisoning, confiscating, choking the taunts of rebellion. Like the Flockhart and Fleisher, one day they were there, in the other they were just another page turned into Sirion's annals. He opened his eyes and graciously ordered the men to march to Sirion. His journey was just beginning.
Now with the Skovgaard Family... and it's gone.
Serpentis again!

Eduardo Almighty

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Re: Serpentis Resurgence - Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis
« Reply #1: January 15, 2018, 10:50:13 AM »
Crime and Punishment
Theater of Tragedy - On Whom The Moon Doth Shine

Ehrendill had sent his two field heralds to announce his arrival at Avamar. In the city, in its alleys, docks and old districts, restless bastards finished their activities earlier and prepared for the meeting that awaited them in the afternoon. The Crow had brought hope, amusement, a near relevance again. The parties, the plots and small conspiracies. For a few weeks they felt like the nobles, sharing their intrigues and their little luxuries. As soon as the sun began to leave behind the western clouds and the moon began to gain its spectral majesty, a procession of lighted torches meandered through the outermost fields of the city, through the cracked walls of Honor and Glory with the names of defeated enemies already worn by time. Through the decrepit statues, advancing to the ruins of huge temple, they gathered themselves. The great family of bastards made their circle of prayers and sacred chants, trying to calm hearts awed by the fear of what the future would bring upon them on dragon's wings.

The Stormwalkers made their way through the crowd, paving the way for their Lord, forming a smaller inner circle with their black robes and black shields with stylized lightning bolts. That particular night, they wore coarse wooden masks to cover their identities, their hands on the sword’s hilts like harbingers of carnage. The crowd shuddered with the memories of the Purge Night in which Dürion had ordered that in all Sirionite territory, in some cases beyond the borders, that the improper and undesirable bastards were hunted and killed by ghosts dressed in Westmorian dead skin. When the moon reached its summit above the ruins, the neighing of the stallion announced the most anticipated arrival of the night. The impatient animal snorted and beat the front hooves on the cracked stones of the once decorated pavement. The squire held the reins and helped Ehrendill dismount. The young Serpentis was dressed with a light armor and a red cape tied to his pauldron covered his right flank, almost like an angel of a single bloody wing. He passed solemnly through the two circles and stood before the feet of a ruined statue, looking aroud at his soldiers and his people; his great family.

The silence wave reigned almost absolute, agitated only by the flames crackling. They held their breath, the fear of drowning tightening their hearts. From the darkness, two Stormwalkers brought the prisoner, head down in silent shame and wrists crossed at his back. No chains or shackles, just ephemeral fetters forged of pure and heavy sorrow. It was the meeting of two princes, one with a silver circlet, full in his glory. The other with a black turban, broken, shattered, torned apart by the judicious eyes of his family. The soldiers stopped two steps back and left the brothers facing each other. Like in the first meeting, Ehrendill advanced and took the traitor's face in his hands, kissing his cheeks and forehead. The prisoner's lips twitched and the elf turned his face so he could whisper in his ear.

Hrafn: “I’m Erik Eyolf Serpentis… how dare you…”

A slap reddened the raven's face, burning in his ruined character. A spontaneous act, not a proper aggression, but a pull to the very surface of reality. Ehrendill didn’t say a word. After the slap, he began undressing Hrafn. First the turban, then the regalia. He even knelt to take off his boots before getting up again to loosen his belt and let his pants fall off. The sultan was naked as in the children's tales. Hrafn trembled in the cold wind that whipped his skin until his brother waved and a Stormwalker covered him with his black cape. The ritual of ostracism demanded that impetuous and solemn silence. Words did not have to be said, for Hrafn would never hear their voice again. He must keep his eyes on the ground, for he was no longer allowed to look at his family. He was alone now. No clan or lineage was allowed to reach out for help. Hrafn wanted to cry and beg. Without his family, he was a nobody. He wanted to fall to his knees, grab his brother's cape and cry like a child hoping a helping hand would console his black hair. None of this happened. He stood there, empty.

The circle opened and Hrafn finally gained some impetus to walk barefoot in the cold, following the road that led out of Avamar... out of Sirion. His wings were broken, his past cursed and in his future, an outcast. A pariah tempted to look back. Ostracized and banned, he walked in shame until disappear into the darkness. His name would be erased from official documents. Hrafn Skovgaard didn’t exist anymore.
Now with the Skovgaard Family... and it's gone.
Serpentis again!

Eduardo Almighty

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Re: Serpentis Resurgence - Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis
« Reply #2: January 15, 2018, 10:51:05 AM »
Dream On
Preparations for a New Year

(Especially for Lady Bellatix, Lady Lilith and Lady Sigrid)

Ehrendill had settled in Avamar, his father's ‘capital’. Unlike his predecessor, he preferred to set up a humble tent where the great temple once stood, from which he could easily walk to the Academy, preferably through the temple of the Church of Humanity: to see the work of a defeated people in Avamar was the type of insult Ecthelion liked to swallow in the name of his cultural diversity. Perhaps it was not so offensive if the old man had the dignity of not letting the Sirionite religion die in the process. These were daily mental reminders that the young elf was forced to have so that one day, perhaps, he himself could be the agent of change. Bringing back the pride of the past was the first step, obviously after rehousing all the traitors, usurpers and conspirators who had been celebrating the absence of an identity in their favor. Again, it was impossible not to think that Ecthelion had sold Sirion for Oligarch. While Erik had conquered Sirion, the old man had to bring defeated enemies, incorporate them into his court and beg for their support to be able to rule again by having his majority of votes guaranteed within the Council - and that's how Sirion ended up with a Westmorian as Prime Minister.

Patience was the key for a good start. Knowing his new people and letting them know him was vital. That was his goal in the early days, training in the Academy, preparing himself for the battlefield. Like his father, tradition led him to search for the Dames and Ladies of the Sirion: Erik had trusted them and they had not failed him -- except when he accepted them by impositions of other men, like he did with Celine and Giselle. Ehrendill wanted to see them up close, especially a certain princess. He wanted to see how they moved and danced with their swords, for his grandmother was Rugina Blakeshadow, the Sword-Dancer. So, he invited them to old plaza where his two young squires were plucking the weeds between the cracked stones. He waited for them, undaunted in his light armor and fearless with his practice sword. There was something profoundly solemn about the young elf, almost like the arrogance of a dragon looking at everyone from above. Which was interesting because he was inevitably polite and humble in dealing with people. There were no evident raptures in his character; everything seemed always under control in his expression and in his measured movements. This might seem lacking in passion, but his eyes, that amalgam of greyish green and blue, were like a dam ever about to overflow. Like his father and mother, he was undoubtedly beautiful, a classic beauty who acted through graceful movements. However, as they would come to discover, he was not perfect. They would find flaws in his dance, for he was still young and inexperienced.

Ehrendill Eyolf: “I'll tell you this... No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.”
Now with the Skovgaard Family... and it's gone.
Serpentis again!

Eduardo Almighty

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Re: Serpentis Resurgence - Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis
« Reply #3: January 15, 2018, 10:55:38 AM »
Oathkeeper
Some days ago...

There was a time that Avamar was the rebellious younger sister, her Black Hand threatening Sirion. Then there was a time of reconquest and a time when Avamar flourished as the greatest duchy of Sirion, her wings spread over Krimml and Oligarch. As a kind mother, she was good to those who served her. As a goddess she found her god in a Silver Dragon and, for a while, the world smiled, sang and danced with joy. Her womb shed virtues from which sprang their sons and daughters; as profuse as the stars in the night sky.

Ehrendill was one of those children, a rising star. His throne had been raised on a platform where the altar of Retarte had once been. Around him the Stormwalkers formed an inner circle and another wider circle of vassals lit the night with their torches. Those were the days and nights of transition, of end and beginning. Erik used to celebrate the holidays in this period, celebrating the gods and his own conquests, but those who came after him did not respect what he had built, letting the veil of oblivion cover the city, but the people remembered. They were going to celebrate, but first they needed to swear their oath to the new Serpentis in power, a legitimate son of royal blood. Seven leaders from seven houses, a thousand bastards represented there to offer their loyalty. The first was a beautiful red-haired woman covered in a tunic that seemed woven with silver threads by a thousand spinning spiders, her generous and inviting breasts wrapped in seductive perfume.

Moira: “I’m Moira, Daughter of Avamar, Valide Sultan of Erik Eyolf Serpentis and High Priestess of Retarte. This oath is the oath we all swear. Not to a god, or a master, or to the House Serpentis... but to our sisters who stand here with us. Our sisters. This is the oath that binds us all, one to one, all to all, so that we are no longer free. We belong to each other. We are bound to each other. In swearing to each other, we free ourselves from the outside world, from the world of men, from those who would seek to bind us to Fate and that which would make us slaves. We sacrifice our liberty so that, ultimately, we can be truly free.”

Moira represented the women of Avamar, whether they were the concubines of the Harems, the whores of the Red District or the priestesses of Retarte. She was the first, for women were always in the first place in Erik's life, whether by the influence of his mother or his grandmother, always in a powerful matriarchal family tradition. The second was a man with a green cloak, a necklace of flowers and herbs and a crown of vines with deer's horns.

Belenus: “I’m Belenus, Son of the Forest, Grand Druid of Dolmbar. I offer you my oath and if I break this it, may the beauty and wonder of the Divines forever remain hidden from me.”

The third was a herald and bureaucrat; his dark blue vest gave him an image of serious dignity. If Belenus meant the nature of the forests of Sirion's heart, this man was the symbol of the city's bureaucracy, the administrative life behind a table between papers and stamps; for such a large family, records were vital.

Arnulf: “I, Arnulf, Imperial of Krimml, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of Sirion against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the Princeps of Krimml and the orders of the officers appointed over me.”

The next in line was a man in a white and silver robe and a white scarf tied by a black aghal imitating a snake. He approached and prostrated himself in the typical reverence of his people, the first words coming out of his lips in a strange tongue, words sung like a nightingale's.

Abd Al-Karim: “I’m Abd Al-Karim from the Asenian Iron Wolves. Call the people towards the Alfather. Persuade and guide them. Your position will be raised day by day and it will continue ‘till eternity because this is the eternal order of the Lord. I’m ready to obey all your orders.”

Abd barely had time to step back politely and a tall and robust man passed by him bumping shoulders. As a captain, he wore full armor - except for the helmet. His gaze showed contempt for his distant relative. There was hatred and disagreement even within the family and this was understandable and justifiable. Ehrendill rose from the throne and the warrior knelt down.

Ehrendill Eyolf: “Step forward, Captain Wealdmær, son of the Impetuous Swords of Elune's Wrath, and swear by the gods of Sirion, the names of your ancestors, and your own honor an unbreakable oath that you will follow your commander wherever he may lead you. You will obey orders enthusiastically and without question. You relinquish the protection of the Sirionite civil law and accept the power of your commander to put you to death without trial for disobedience or desertion. You promise to serve under the standards  for your allotted time of duty and not to leave before your commander discharges you. You will serve Sirion faithfully, even at the cost of your life, and will respect the law with regards to civilians and your comrades in camp. Congratulations. You are now a Captain of Sirion!"

Wealdmær: "I swear that I will not leave my comrades for fear or for flight, and will not quit the ranks save to fetch or pick up a weapon, to strike an enemy, or to save a comrade!"

That parade of oaths and sacraments was as diverse as the physical traits of those who offered them. Erik had been very eclectic in his choices and not all of them descended directly from him; the Impetuous Swords descended directly from Captain Karl, but like many bloodlines, lineages, clans and minor branches, they were adopted and incorporated under the Serpentis name, all of them with the same right to claim heritage. Now they relinquished this power and offered their loyalty to a Serpentis of pure blood, incestuously pure blood. In a new contrast, Wealdmær was replaced by a beautiful oriental woman in a black and red kimono.

Hoshiko: “I’m Hoshiko from the Lion’s Den, the Raionzu states in Trinbar. Our oath is your, young prince. Whether advancing or retreating, we shall not flee. We will follow our master’s orders and endure every hardship until our return. If our master engages in battle we shall never leave his side or escape. We will not break the above promises. If my oath be broken I shall receive punishment from the thirty gods. This includes all equivalent gods and attendant gods. If my oath be broken I shall not enter the afterlife.”

Ehrendill Eyolf: “General Ryu is with us, we’ll never fail…”

The young elf was ready to sit down again and the people were all returning to their places when the last emissary approached timidly. Eifion was more foreign than all of them and in different ways. He was he representing the forgotten monks of Akesh Temple, the children lost in distant lands, the adventurers and those who everyone coarsely called "Erikrims", a mockery with the people who worshiped Atanamir. He knelt, his eyes always fixed on the ground. Like Hrafn, he had the weight of exile and mockery on his shoulders, but unlike the raven, he never deserved that scorn. His voice failed to issue any kind of oath. So, Ehrendil approached him and laid a benevolent hand on his head.

Ehrendill Eyolf: “The time of humiliations is over. All of Erik's children, Sirionites or not, are our brothers and sisters. They deserve no less or more of our love and compassion. Your name is Eifion, right!? From today you are under my protection. You will be my scribe. Through you the world will receive my word. Everything you need will be given or taught to you. May the world know that we do not abandon our own blood!”

Nesrah, the sage, approached the two and turned to the audience. He had also received his punishment, but had been accepted back home. There was a strange resignation in his in his countenance.

Nesrah: “His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles; his love sincere, his thoughts immaculate; his tears pure messengers sent from his heart; his heart as far from fraud, as heaven from earth! May the new age of Sirion begin today at the hands of its true heir!”

The general outcry took and burned the old ruins under the moonlight. At least for those sacred nights they would celebrate the past, the present and the glorious future that was promised to them.
Now with the Skovgaard Family... and it's gone.
Serpentis again!

Eduardo Almighty

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Re: Serpentis Resurgence - Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis
« Reply #4: January 15, 2018, 10:56:18 AM »
Monster Hunter
The locals are grateful for defeating the evil forces plaguing their region.

The routine of the early military career in Sirion had come at a bad time for Ehrendill. With the creation of a new colony and the traditional celebrations of Avamar, the young elf spent most of his days in the Academy and in training matches, trying to stop being so amateur with the swords. The general refit was near, but without experience he couldn’t recruit better troops or increase the numbers, it would be pure waste of gold and time. He needed some action, real action. So, the monsters came in good time.

With just over thirty still inexperienced Stormwalkers, he marched from Avamar to Limbar on his way to Flismar. This was not just a campaign of liberation and hunting, but it was also vital for him to introduce himself to Sirion, to the common people, as the true heir of the Serpentis’ legacy. Then he rode ahead in his finest armor, exhibiting himself mainly in Limbar, a region that had belonged to Avamar for a long time, an affront to Duke Ecthelion. With Trinbar under Dürion’s power, displease the Black Dragon was always a danger of being imprisoned in Sirion with the duchy isolated, prisoner of the dragons who guarded the front, just watching them expanding Avamar city after city.

In Flismar the local hunters had indicated where the monsters had taken refuge in a clearing after devouring some unfortunate villagers. Ehrendill knew immediately that these would not be customary battles. There would be no shield wall advancing in perfect lines following specific orders played by the banners, so he waited for the moment when the shadows loomed over the woods and separated the Stormwalkers into smaller units, as was customary in the Silver Legion rankings. Two vanguard groups would pass unnoticed by the monsters and set the path for the rest to advance along the flanks until they can form a circle closing around the glade. The soldiers' black robes helped and they were forced to remember life before training, but they were slowly closing the circle as planned. The smell was terrible and three huge, terrible monsters were tearing apart a poor dead villager, one sucking the marrow of a broken bone. It was easy to see why the elves called the ancient Oligarch people of Orcs at the sight of those monsters -- just as the humans used propaganda against the elves, so had they compared the Oligarchians to monsters, to demonize them and make the killing easier.

With a wave the soldiers began to advance, leaving the trees behind, slowly trying to put shield against shield on a circular wall. Ehrendill did not intend to let the monsters escape to hunt them down through the forest. Only three monsters, but taller than men. Their claws sharp like daggers and their fangs would make a wolf wince. When they noticed the soldiers surrounding them, a guttural scream echoed from their bestial throats and they advanced, each in a different direction trying to break the circle. Each blow was like that of a warhammer, but as the circle closed, the soldiers instinctively deepened the lines, some with two soldiers, some place with even three men of depth. When one was injured, the companion would pull him back and take the lead. Instead of swords, spears nudged the thick skin; like a pack of wolves, they would wound, bleed and exhaust the beasts before an effective attack was possible. That was a strenuous battle, Ehrendill sweated under the armor as he turned the spear into an extension of his arm. When the last beast finally fell causing the earth to tremble, he stepped forward and released the spear, unsheathed his sword and delivered a deadly blow to the monster's neck. It wasn't easy or beautiful to use the sword as an executioner, but he was not satisfied until he beheaded the beast and displayed his immense and grotesque head as a trophy. It was a moment of glory, the first one. His storm wolves howled in triumph while Dolmbar and Lissambar waited for them.
Now with the Skovgaard Family... and it's gone.
Serpentis again!

Eduardo Almighty

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Re: Serpentis Resurgence - Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis
« Reply #5: January 22, 2018, 02:41:27 PM »
Battlefront - The Battle of Viseu
Ehrendill & Ayden

There was no glory and little honor in retreating to Fontan – and a great lack of logic and logistics to stay in a besieged city while he could return to Sirion for a proper refit. Yet, this was a golden opportunity to visit the old capital where his father had triumphed. There, so close to Negev where his elder brother Dürion had bought ancestral claims and given the final blow to the corrupt Democracy, isolating Fontan city from Karbala and the rest of the world. Now the city was about to fall again. The time of Dobromir and Atanamir had passed and their kingdoms had been succumbing like them. It didn’t matter to the young elf, so he marched with his Stormwalkers giving them the status of heroes they deserved after the sacrifice of serving as targets to the cowardly strategies of a new world populated by archers. With Ecthelion’s gold, he chose the best tavern in the city to house himself and his troops until the new orders arrived. Besides, he was worried about Lady Ayden and wanted to meet with her again: a Serpentis knew how to recognize another important and prominent family. They were young blood and Xavax seemed to live from the worship of a certain JeVondair.

So, in the best tavern he could find, Ehrendill spent his days waiting, drinking the best wine they could get there under King Rowan's benevolence. Surrounded by seventeen survivors, squires, some scribes and servants, they enjoyed the local music and cuisine while the young elf posed as a warlord even that having been his first battle. The bard was the one who helped to give this impression, for this a bard was paid: to flourish the truth, to increase his achievements a bit and to give an epic touch to the mundane affairs of a young noble. Rusul was his name, he had been born in the harems of Avamar, his ancestry belonged to the Sultanate and he appeared before everyone covered in an azure robe and a white turban, the colors of his benefactor. His fingers touched the strings of an Oud and the sound he produced was magical, capable of transporting men to higher spheres or deep into the abyss, for that was his gift: to manipulate human feelings.

Rusul, the Bard: “May the Battle of Viseu be known as the Ascension of the Azure Dragon of Sirion. There, in the front line, at the head of the northern armies against the empty speeches of central democracies and the southern chaos, the Serpentis have returned! The Silver Dragon would be happy to see his young heir leading the infantry clash against the archers' cowardice, for this is how they fight at the dawn of this new age, hidden behind ranged combat, impersonal and fearful. With the flags of conquered and defeated realms behind him, Sir Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis advanced with his brave Stormwalkers under a rain of arrows down the right flank with Lady Ayden's Fearless in the center and the Pentel Guards on the left. Looking ahead, his elvish sword blood-thirsty, he didn’t listen to the Stormwalkers falling behind him, for his storm wolves perished in silence without giving the enemy the pleasure of seeing their blood or hearing their lament. To them belong the Iron Plain where the army of the dead prepares for the last battle between men and elves! The Pregrine Guards waited for them for personal combat, nobles unshakable in their conviction, staring at each other as the arrows rained around them, some whipping the great shield that the squire tried to carry in front of his Sire…”

The bard played interlude notes in a well-thought-out thriller; his feet dancing across the hall and his agile hand snatched a goblet of wine with which he wetted his throat before his epic conclusion.

Rusul: “However, in all its benevolent grace, the young dragon looked to the side and saw when Lady Ayden was struck and fell wounded by Edvard’s arrow. We all know how the Serpentis love women, especially the ferocity of those who fight on the battlefields. We all know how the Serpentis love women, especially the ferocity of those who fight on the battlefields. The young elf pushed his shield-bearer to cover her with the elvish metal barrier while his eyes were filled with fury, advancing step after step in the forest of arrows. There, in front of two armies, Ehrendill of Sirion and Kay de Perdan faced each other like Erik and Atanamir had done a thousand times before. The days of training at Avamar's academy, the battles against monsters at Flismar and Dolmbar... the swords clashed in a brief display of strength and skill. A southern human against a northern dragon! His storm wolves sowing death in the ranks of poor guards. Professional soldiers against personal guards. Wolves against sheep. Blow after blow, the young Azure Dragon remained standing and victorious as the enemy fell wounded -- his first great battle, his first blood and his first victim. The battle fury settled in his spirit. The wave that swept the beach now calmed down in the low tide of a champion’s serenity. We lost the battle, but the Serpentis won the day!!!"

The Stormwalkers growled, howled and toasted in honor of their commander and captain. That was the song that would be repeated by the bards, the ones paid or just the wise enough to realize that a new employer had come to the north to feed them with the epics they always craved. That was the brave story of a young elf who had taken the vanguard in sacrifice, saved an ally and wounded the hero chosen to meet him in front of the armies. That was his victory. That was the Serpentis way to found victory in defeat and move on with a stronger legacy.
Now with the Skovgaard Family... and it's gone.
Serpentis again!

Eduardo Almighty

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Re: Serpentis Resurgence - Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis
« Reply #6: January 24, 2018, 04:17:37 PM »
A Tavern by the Sea

Ehrendill took advantage of his days in Fontan at the expenses of the first installment of Ecthelion's gold - and he could conjecture and openly say, that was his gold, for that was the gold his father had continually sent to the old Duke. He had chosen the Smugglers Den as his refuge, just as Erik used to do. In the main hall he had accommodated his Stormwalkers, letting them celebrate freely after their sacrifice in Viseu. They were scattered around the tables, playing dice or cards, intoxicated by the scents of wine and food that never seemed to stop being prepared in the kitchen. Only partially distracted by the music and laughter, they also served as bodyguards, controlling who entered and left at the invitation of the young dragon. Beyond them, in a more elegant and private room, the young elf was sitting in a comfortable armchair beneath the bones of a blue marlin, next to a fireplace, surrounded by his most intimate servants. He eagerly awaited his more informal meeting with Princess Sigrid and Lady Ayden, whose family name had been mentioned countless times in recent months.

The table before him was always abundantly served with grapes and blackberries, game meat, his favorite pheasants stuffed with bacon and from the coast, fresh prawns, crayfish and crabs; a beautiful surf and turf before it became something centuries later on reality shows. An incense burned slowly in a typically sultanesque night while Rusul played slow, melodic notes in his Qanun and a Sword Dancer rhythmically shook her hips; her tanned skin covered with colorful silk veils and an albino python snaking along her body. Like every Serpentis who had achieved fame and wealth, in Sirion they liked to boast all that luxury brought from conquered realms and cultures that would not even exist if they were not imported by Avamar. While waiting for the maidens, he smoked the finest Rollbarian weed in a long red oak pipe, the smoke spiraling like vipers dancing around the silver circlet in his head. In victory or defeat, there was no reason to ignore the little delights of Fontan. Who knows, maybe even Lady Brigdha would hear about a young Serpentis and join them.

***

Roleplay from Brigdha Dubhaine
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"Oh, don't try and teach me the virtues of Democracy," Brigdha wielded her exasperation skilfully, letting the well-known history of her House do what reasoned debate could never have achieved - stopping a zealot in his tracks.

"I'm sorry Ambassador, I... I didn't mean... I mean...," Tormald's face lost its composure, the well-reasoned argument he'd just passionately delivered in favour of a new Caligan constitution modelled after that of Vix Tiramora forgotten amidst blushing cheeks as he realised he was on dangerous ground.

"I know Tormald, and I apologise for being curt," she reached for a flagon of wine and refilled his goblet, eyes softening as she held his gaze," Democracy is indeed a fine institution my friend... in the hands of honest men. King Rowan is an honest man and if he chose such a path for Caligus it would serve your people well."

The implied but hung there, something each of her dinner companions could savour in the privacy of their own thoughts as they pondered the danger of dishonest men to their comfortable and lucrative positions.

Brigdha's party were seated in the private lounge of the Smugglers' Den, a favourite haunt from her blockade runner days when she'd sneak south with her caravans to bid on cargoes from Hamadan and Isadril and the lands of the deep south. Whilst her visits were no longer frowned on by the Royal Court, still there were those amongst her companions who valued discretion if they were to speak their minds freely and the theatre of the clandestine appealed to their vanity.

The private lounge was a large dining room bounded on one side by a gallery overlooking the common rooms below and on two others by a covered balcony with views across the bay to the old Dubhaine estate lands in Negev. The fourth wall was shared with the kitchen where the afternoon's meal had been prepared by Brigdha's personal kitchen staff, sparing nothing in cost or quality. Even the pages and serving maids had been laid on by her, impeccably presented as would befit a royal banquet.

Some of their number were doubtless agents of The Ghost Watch and others were surely operating throughout the inn and overlooking its approaches, indistinguishable to even a trained eye if the rumours were to be believed. Only Anagridh made her presence known, the saturnine bodyguard sat at Brighda's left hand, rarely speaking, keen elven senses observing every detail.

They shared the food-laden trestles with a group of stolid burghers, dressed in the overwrought upholstery of merchant captains and minor nobility. Such ranks were considered far beneath the dignity of King Rowan's court and Brigdha doubted that if the King had heard their names he'd have recognised even one or two, yet these were a key link between the Aristocracy and the Commons, ambitious fixers and dealers with their fingers on the pulse of public opinion. These were the men and women who staffed the royal bureaucracy and who dreamed themselves the founders of Great Houses to one day sit alongside the Dubhaines of this world in fame and honour and dignity. And most importantly power.

And if this discussion were anything to go by they saw opportunity in the Democratic revolutions which had rocked so much of EC in recent years.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 02:10:38 PM by Eduardo Almighty »
Now with the Skovgaard Family... and it's gone.
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Re: Serpentis Resurgence - Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis
« Reply #7: January 29, 2018, 09:55:57 PM »
The Belt
Somebody once told me…

Under a sky of cotton clouds and a generous sun shining in her straw-gold hair, she ran, beautifully and gracefully with the eastern winds blowing her locks. Her soft green dress, her necklace of wild flowers with petals carried by the wind, her bare feet in an evergreen. She looked deliciously heathen, if not for her conservative heritage. Religiously puritan. The north was always like this, a world of well-defined lines; a world of wary dragons.

Olga, looking around, restlessly, her hands nervously clenching the dress: “Kkkaarrrllllllllllll”

In Zakilevo’s words, Karl was just a laid-back and less successful peasant of Sirion. With Parm and Sir Temple bordering his bee hives, there's not much needed in Ustimbar that can't be found in neighbor, prosperous cities. Under the small empire of the Prime Minister and Lord who declared them simpletons, they were forbidden to import from Rollbar. Well, Sirion was a lot looser now as always was in these mundane questions. Zakilevo now was hated not so quietly, but respectfully in the open where the buzzing of the bees covered the sound, like the “Kkkaarrrllllllllllll” of his deliciously puritanical and annoying wife. Sitting on a bench under the refreshing shade of a white tree, he put down the well-crafted ‘joint’ and shook his hand to get rid of the smoke after the last fumbling blow.

Karl, coughing: “Whattttttt…"

She ran to him, breathless, looking for words, sinless to that smell in the air: “He… He’s coming! It’s the end. All those Avamarian whores! Those ... those half-breeds of the Sultanate! A thousand blasphemies will fall on us!!! The Serpentis are all over Sirion! They aren’t satisfied with the south, now they want the north! Think about our children!!! We’re doomed!... WHAT’S THIS SMELL?”

Karl, the sharpest tool in the shed: “I love you, my sweet sunlight… but I’m celebrating. He doesn’t care about you and me, but he cares about the Law. What is the prohibition of a Prime Minister of a season compared to the laws of a Judge since... always? Judge Alexander, Judge Erik, every Judge after them… they never forbade us -- and even if they had, the caravans would never stop. The most experienced Banker is the one who knows how to handle the Black Market! We aren’t simpletons! We aren’t Sir Temple and we aren’t Parm. We are the belt! We tied and held them since ever. We feed them! If the young Dragon gives us a crumb of what they did for the south and for Avamar, I will be eternally grateful -- in this life and into the Void. All of this… now… just because the smell you hate... because all the smell Ustimbar was indoctrinated to hate… please – and he gave her his hand – Dance with me and I will give you a green gown!”

Olga beautifully nibbled her fleshy bottom lip. For so long they had to wear masks while in Avamar everyone lived in an eternal celebration, a masquerade of real faces and delights. Ehrendill was just a boy, what harm could he do for Ustimbar? She looked at his Karl, one of the descendants of the Impetuous Sword of Elune’s Wrath. He, despite the others, didn’t need to kneel before the lineage of dragons, sultans or whatever they were calling themselves now. Maybe, just maybe, this was her great opportunity to shine on a night so far without stars. Then, taking his hand, they danced. The dragon was coming to Ustimbar.
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CryptCypher

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Re: Serpentis Resurgence - Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis
« Reply #8: January 31, 2018, 01:02:33 PM »
Phoenix and the Raven

Quote
Princess Sigrid,

I stand here before the nobles of Redhaven to fulfill my oath. My life is yours to take.
Hrafn


Quote
Hrafn Skovgaard, Son of Serpentis, Bastard in Exile;


By order of Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis, heir of the Eye, your life is hereby forfeit.

By Fate our pact is bound - in blood thy oath manifest.

Whence flies the gilded Phoenix, a brooding Raven shall follow - my Will thy willing cage.

By  light of embers a shadows is cast - and within it you shall always tread.

You belong to me now, and forevermore.

...Forgive me. It was the only way I could save you.
[email protected] BM: Yxevarii Auru'in, Grandmistress [Ruler;Priestess-Inquisitor] (Obia'Syela-BT); Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in, Avenging Exile of Xavax, Countess of Slimbar (Redhaven-EC);  Masalu Auru'in, Linguistically-Challenged Sumerian Death-Cultist (D'hara-DW)

Eduardo Almighty

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A Tale of Two Brothers

The Stormwalkers had split into two groups. The first moved like living shadows through the forest. Like a pack of wolves, they turned the hunter into hunt, guiding him wherever they wanted. Hrafn was running and panting. He could not fight there, surrounded by centennial trees, stumbling in the darkness. A few more awkward steps and he skidded in front of the glade. His first impulse was to draw his sword and attack the first figure he saw.
Ehrendill parried the blow. A rusted sword against an elvish blade drenched in moonlight. The second group of Stormwalkers was with him in their black robes and murderous eyes. Hrafn felt a tightening in his throat and felt that his life would end there with his brother's hand crushing his heart. The young dragon lowered his sword cautiously and waved his free hand for his soldiers to clear the way for the two Children of Avamar who brought jugs with clean water perfumed with jasmine. Their hands are full of delicate and caring caresses, silently undressing their brother in a neat bath. Like in the first encounter, there was no need for words while the Dragon and the Raven faced each other.

While the Avamarians looked after Hrafn, Ehrendill bent down to inspect his brother's bag. He did not expect to find much, but he was impressed by an ancient crown. He smiled and approached, crowning the brother he'd banished a lifetime ago. Without any shame of his nakedness, the Dragon counted the scars and bruises. The thinness apparent on his exposed ribs.

Ehrendill Eyolf: “Your punishment is coming to an end, brother. Come with me... I'll take you to your princess.”

Hrafn was petrified, trapped like a bird surrounded by cats. It was too late for him. Too late. Like a lightning, he pulled his bag and ran back into the forest. The Stormwalkers were ready to chase after him, but Ehrendill stopped them with a firm gesture. He hoped to redeem himself for the hard but necessary punishment. He was ready to embrace his foolish and rebellious brother and bring him back to the light.

It was too late.
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Erik’s Lugubrious Roar

A thunder rumbled in the sky over Nivemus, in Salta, where Erik one day marched like a Sultan with his cortege of freed slaves. It was a clear day, without many clouds, atypical for the second and third thunders that came roaring to Troyes on a painful crescent. Maybe it was Othello’s circle of stones, but it was unlikely until its effect unfolded. No, that was something different. Those were the roars Ehrendill knew so well.

The young elf looked at the lands of Ora, also freed by his father in a past that now seemed far away in the mists of time. In a blink of his eyes, it was as if a ghost hand pressed his heart into his chest. The angels of death embraced him with their black wings and their macabre whispers: his bastard brother was dead. Alone, in the mud, banished and finally forgotten by his princess and his family. The bastard half-elf who had declared himself Sultan Erik himself had departed from this world on the wings of a crow. Ehrendill nodded to his seneschal, his voice almost faltered.

Ehrendill Eyolf: “Tell all the families and clans, each of the Thousand Bastards… Hrafn Eyolf Serpentis is dead. May his death free him from the life he has chosen and from the punishments he endured. Ask permission from the Prime Minister and Duke of Avamar. Notify him that the funeral will happen in a few days in the ruins of the old temple. He dared to dream that he was Erik's second coming, but I feel it in my heart, Erik still lives in his Palace of Exile beyond the mortal worlds. Send a cortege to Salta and notify the Kronogos that the Serpentis are claiming the favor for the release of the White Tree. The body should be protected and treated as was the custom of the Kazakian Sultans. Take half the Stormwalkers with you, waiting in Troyes is useless.”

​There was a raven who dreamed of being a prince. He looked at the abyss for a long time, until the abyss looked back and embraced him into its eternal darkness.
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The Meeting in Bescanon
Part I

Roleplay from Glory Gabanus
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Glory had been busy all morning trying to organize for a second battle. Her uncle had finally written back and gifted her some additional funds. While she had originally intended to use it for other matters, she decided to give the gold to her captain so he could get some fresh recruits for the defences. When he returned he reported her he had found an additional 50 men and had divided them in small groups to cover different strategic locations for nightfall.

Just as her captain left, a messenger came in bearing a letter from Lord Ehrendill and she read it carefully. As she placed the letter on the table she called in one of her messengers and two of her guards. "Bring word to Lord Ehrendill and escort him back to the portal. Zacharie and Carl you will join him. Make sure you are not followed and also make sure the Lord Ehrendill does not take men with him. There are too many who would try to assasinate my father should they find him and I will not allow it. So him and only him. He has my word that he shall not be harmed, but I need his word that my father shall not be harmed either. Now please go."

***


Ehrendill received his guides while attending to one of the wounded -- as his father had taught him, sometimes the nobles had to soak their boots in the blood and [email protected]#$ of the medical tents and show that they cared about the lives of the Stormwalkers who fought for the Serpentis. His captain was with him, but was silent until the guides dictated the terms.

Captain Bruno: "Sire... I do not recommend that you go alone. Her father is one of Sirion's greatest traitors... he hated Dürion..."

Ehrendill Eyolf: "But I'm not the Black Dragon and I know he had good terms with Erik, after all. What do I need to fear from a Lady? I'm my father's son, Captain..."

The young elf asked only a few moments for his servants and his squire to help him wear clean clothes and a ceremonial armor: Ehrendill liked to display the wealth of details of the armors Erik had acquired in his conquests. He let the guides watch the process to make it clear he was not carrying a sword, daggers or anything that might be considered dangerous. The servants finished the "costume" with a black cape of mourning and a priestess who always accompanied him stained his cheeks with ashes and put a raven feather in his hair; a death in the family. Once ready, he followed his guides to the meeting place. There was little to show of his personality: he was quieter than Erik, more concentrated and there was something of the elves in him besides the physical beauty, an unshakable greatness of a young noble who seemed to walk like a god among men. Blasé.

***

Roleplay from Benjamin Pryde
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Benjamin came to his feet in a smooth motion to a rare summons.  He stepped around the nurse and exited the tent to find himself between the two elven scouts who had left Oligarch with him.

They stood at attention, looking to the distance where men walked towards the place of the ritual.  Benjamin peered at them but could not see clearly from this distance.

"What is it?" Benjamin asked.

"An elf," the elf on his left said.

"Led by one of your Princess Glory's men," the elf on his right said.

"I see," Benjamin said with a frown.

"Get back in your cot," the nurse growled.

Benjamin simply shook his head.  "I cannot.  Something is afoot, and I must attend to it."

He nodded to his companions and they began walking towards the new elf's destination.  The elves wore standard human travel clothes to better blend in with their surroundings, while Benjamin wore little more than his standard tunic.  There wasn't a special decoration between the three of them, and indeed most men they walked by never noticed that two elves moved in their midst.  It was a useful disguise considering the general sentiment towards elves in the South.  Sentiment that Benjamin himself often fanned into a blaze.

The nurse muttered words no gentleman would acknowledge or write down, a ringing pronouncement on the intelligence and foolhardiness of her charge, as she follow in his wake.

***

Followed

Ehrendill tried to be discreet when he realized that he was being "followed". He looked without moving his head too much and tried to hide the strangeness of seeing two elves accompanying a Lord with Perdan's heraldry. Obviously, he had no way of knowing that they had come from Oligarch. His first thought was they should be bastard brethren, but he did not remember seeing their description among the records of the Thousand Bastards.

Erik had been in Perdan on official visits to Atanamir's court in the past when rivalry between the two was decided in duels and marriage deals. At that time, Sirion must have knelt down to Perdan, but no one would ever accept Erik's arrogance in his ability to change the situation diplomatically and with his elvish sword. Then, on a first impression, Ehrendill concluded that these must be bastard brothers that Erik had left behind. However, he restrained himself from saying anything... being escorted unarmed and alone into the enemy camp did not seem very intelligent, even being brave on his part.

***

Roleplay from Benjamin Pryde
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"He has recognized us," the elf on Benjamin's left said and moved to angle their walk to keep the distance open.

Benjamin followed the elf's lead and shook his head.  "I can barely see him."

The two elves nodded sagely before letting out long breaths.

"Allow me," the elf on his right said and stepped between Benjamin and the new arrival.

"Hello, brother.  It is strange to find one such as you so far south in these waning years.  May I help you find something?"

***

Ehrendill signaled to his guides, asking for a short pause when he was called by the elves. He first greeted them in the ancient natural elvish dialect of Slimbar and the woodlands of Sirion, but then he returned to the most common human dialect of the East Continent.

Ehrendill Eyolf: "Hail, fair brothers..."

But then he abruptly changed the conversation to Benjamin, for he seemed to be the natural leader and the true Lord among them. It was strange for Ehrendill to see elves serving a human; there were castes in Sirion and even Erik had elven servants in his ranks, but Erik was one of them, some will say the greatest one.

Ehrendill Eyolf: "I'm Ehrendill Eyolf Serpentis, Count of Limbar, son of Erik Eyolf Serpentis, the Silver Dragon of Sirion, Conqueror of the North. I was invited to meet Lady Glory... these men are her servants. I must say... I'm surprised to see a Southern Lord with elves. My first thought was that they were lost brothers... my father was very... active. Well, they can be... some were never tracked."

***

Roleplay from Benjamin Pryde
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"He is talking to you now," the elf on Benjamin's left whispered, with only a hint of disapproval in her face.

Benjamin shared an amused gaze with both elves before turning his attention to the other one.

"I am Benjamin Pryde of Oligarch.  Like my companions."  He aimed a look at his friends again and they nodded very slightly at him.  "Perhaps we can walk to Princess Glory together."

***
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Sacrifice

Ehrendill led his Stormwalkers to the river that was born at Akesh Temple, where his father had his last great lunatic triumphs. They carried with them eleven prisoners, soldiers of Perdan captured after the battle. The young elf held his proud and arrogant stance while the prisoners were lined up on the riverbank under the moonlight. The flickering light of the torches danced in the elven blade of his sword as he pronounced the death sentence.

Ehrendill Eyolf: “Today I offer your lives to the mountain and river god, the Silver Dragon of Sirion who lives in the heart of the Akesh Mountains. Just as he did in the past leading the Red Dragons and his Silver Legion, today I came to Nascot to bring Sirion's peace to the heart of Perdan - with fire and war. Yes, I know, I know. Blame Atanamir, the Mad King of Perdan and his unfulfilled promises. Sirion will never forget, not until the last Serpentis disappears in the mists of time. Today, pirates, I honor you with a maritime death. Thank my generosity when you reach the afterlife.”

The elf touched his father's eye hanging in his necklace and then began the execution, delivering precise blows of sword at the nape of his victims. The warmth of the blood splashing on his face brought a pleasant sensation. That was the feeling of a real war approaching like a storm after the lull. The feeling that he had a chance to make his name like his father had made his. Perdan would finally know Sirion's revenge to its fullest potential, even if there were only one or two witnesses of the old wars to remember. The bodies would follow the course of the river to the sea, passing through Perdan City for anyone who wanted to see.
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A pause in the noble life to show a little history of a southern bastard.

Kings & Fools - and an Adventurer

Erikson smirked when a servant poured hot water on his back. Her delicate hands soon came to massage his shoulders. Sometimes even the poorest of the adventurers found nobler pleasures in the taverns of the great cities. The Serpentis had made very few incursions to the southern edges of the continent, so Hamadan was a pleasant surprise: the old capital of Yssadril was like a comic theater.

The bastard leaned over to pull out his bag, taking a stale piece of bread and a handful of letters. Erikson was one of the Thousand Bastards recognized by Erik Eyolf Serpentis, the Silver Dragon of Sirion. He had been spared in the Night of the Purge in which Dürion had hunted down and eliminated the bastards who had not been recognized. Despite being relegated to a servile life, he learned to use a sword, enough to be a hunter. Besides, he had also learned to read and write, at least enough to understand when the noble kings of the south lost their composure.

A few days ago he had put on a cloak and a hood and silently infiltrated the alcoves of the Southern Alliance’s headquarters. This should not be a crime, after all, he had been hunting and cleaning the south of the evil influence of monsters and undeads. It was a surprise to see that more than being accepted, he had access to a fair amount of… interesting discussions.

Erikson: “Do you want to hear a story, my dear? Do you know when your dad comes home drunk, cursing, slapping your mother and talking [email protected]#$? Want to find out how kings talk to each other? I'll read it just for you... "

The maid squealed when Erikson drew her into the hot tub to be with him and his body covered in scars. He would read for her all that royal cockfight and then offer her some old and good northern in n’ out.
Now with the Skovgaard Family... and it's gone.
Serpentis again!