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  1. Supporting the Council (Challenge IV Prelude, Chapter 17) Chapters so far: Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 (ALSO: War of the Brothers Part II Chapter 1 HERE for more on that) petera by skaforhire, on Flickr Supporting the Council (Three Months after Chapter 16) It was unusually cold in Eastgate today. Petera MacLean placed the seal on a letter. He hoped it was not too late. The last two years had been hard for Eastgate, the constant siege and the jockeying of two brothers to take control of their birthright had left most of the old town thin to the bone in civilians. Dugal’s Army, backed by his strong ally Lord DaMaximus still sat outside the Old City walls, while most of the New city on the other side of the Red River thrived in this war economy. They had even constructed a makeshift port, and outsourced much of their shipbuilding to Carn, Eastgate’s little sister town on the inland sea. Petera was surprised that the siege still held. Most of Dugal’s mercenaries moved on now that Bishop Jamon was dead and not paying their wages. There was gold to be had in the conflict brewing, an mercenaries always went towards the scent of gold. DaMaximus had siphoned off some of his own soldiers to go back to East Kaliphlin, where Both Ulandus and the Desert King were making strides at turning towns and villages to their command, so far no violence between the forces of the High Council and the other two had broken out, however, the peacekeeping troops, had mostly retreated towards Petraea to avoid conflict, as their orders from the Council were clear not to provoke a fight. Pretty much all of Dugal’s Army that were Kaliphlin troops had been stripped from him by the council and sent to be peacekeepers. This made it a much more even fight, if Dugal ever decided to storm Eastgate. Petera’s forces were not in the best shape either. After a hard defeat at the Wither Woods, it was near impossible to build some of Eastgate’s armies that were loyal to him. Eastgate was one of the stronger cities when it came to military force, mostly because GEAR Co’s possessions stretched throughout the known world, and often times a show of force was necessary to protect them. However, with all of the armies recalled to Eastgate to fight out this civil war between brothers, many of Eastgate’s possessions had been seized by raiders, other Councilors, Ulandians, and even Mountain Mummies. Petera had just got a report this morning that some of the oilfields in East Kaliphlin had been taken by the Desert King. Eastgate had a good reserve in gold, but Petera was spending it quickly. The war between brothers had to end, but he was somewhat sure one of the two of them would have to die first. His Fiancé, Avona the Storm Mistress came into his meeting quarters. She had been a powerful ally, especially after the Wither Woods, when many of his mages deserted him. Not that that mattered too much, since he was one of the most powerful sorcerers in the world himself. But most of his power went to fueling the giant magic dome over Eastgate that Kept Dugal’s forces from going over the walls. “You sent for me?” she said. She didn’t like to be bothered when she was studying the arcane. DSC_1693 by skaforhire, on Flickr “Yes, you are the only one I can trust with this.” He said handing her the letter he had just sealed. “I need you to teleport to Knightsbridge, you know where that is?” She nodded and said “ That will be a tricky teleport. There are a lot of mountains in the way. “ “Good thing you are an expert teleporter.” He said. “This needs to be delivered to Lord Folston immediately. Our spies have reported to us that there is Desert King army marching along the Peak Road, and headed for Knights bridge.” “Why would he not take the Sultan’s road through the desert? It is much quicker than winding around in the Rakath Mountains, that is for sure.” She asked. “I am not sure, but I worry that they may get to Mypa Stedor through the back door, or Berigoria.” He said and she looked at him funny. “Your enemy’s town?” She asked. She had killed a few of DaMaximus’ men herself at the Wither Woods. “Despite our squabble, I am still a High Councilor. We don’t want to see Ulandus or the Desert King take over Kaliphlin. That would make the Valkarian Order’s overall plan to stabilize Historica much less possible. “ He paused. “Before Dugal’s resurfacing, DaMaximus and I were on fairly good terms and supported each other’s initiatives in the council.” “I am not sure this is the correct path, my love.” Avona said. “Even if it isn’t, I made Lord Folston. He was my friend, and I submitted his name to the Council for Lordship at that god-forsaken place. I can’t leave him with no help.” He said. She just nodded, took the letter, and vanished. DSC_1694 by skaforhire, on Flickr Almost immediately Mikeo and his enslaved Efrite, Donjini , entered the room. “Brother, we have a visitor!” But he stopped that line of thought. “I smell Avona’s perfume, is she here?” “I sent her with a message for Lord Folston. The Desert King moves on him.” Petera said. “But Folston is heeding Council Orders, why would you help him.” Mikeo asked. Petera explained the situation basically the same as he had just done for Avona. “Interesting. Do you want me to take my knights there? I am sure Donjini can teleport us there safely.” DSC_1698 by skaforhire, on Flickr “I would not be so sure of that master. I sense that there are numerous mana weaves throughout Kaliphlin, designed to catch teleporting groups.” The Efrite said. Petera knew this. He had webs up within Eastgate to protect them from teleporting intruders, but three very powerful mages were also weaving at that moment in Kaliphlin. He assumed there was a mage for each of the factions in Kaliphlin trying to prevent anyone from moving massive amounts of troops through magic. Luckily for Avona, these weaves were designed to catch large groups and not individuals. Mikeo, despite his fast study of magic since Petera pulled him from the underworld, was a bit confused. Petera did not have time to explain it, for in walked a man in Ulandian armor. DSC_1699 by skaforhire, on Flickr “I thought you were announcing me?” he looked accusingly at Mikeo, but did not wait for a reply. “I am General Royce Ponce of the Thousand Suns, First Centurion’s First Legion, and I have come to secure your friendship for the future of Kaliphlin.” He directed towards Petera. How did he get into the city? As if answering his thoughts, Ponce said: “pardon me for sneaking into your city, I took a small craft into your harbor, however, it is urgent.” Petera cut to the chase. “Why should we join Ulandus?” “You would be joining Kaliplhin, Ulandus only seeks…” but Ponce was cut off by Petera. “…to rejoin Kaliphlin, yes I have heard the spiel. That was months ago, your armies are all over Kaliphlin now. You have fought some battles against Kaliphlinites, you cannot say you come in peace!” In truth these battles were against the Desert King… “We only attack the Pharaoh’s men!” Ponce said. “We seek to be equals in Kaliphlin. Nothing more.” “I think that the equals thing is a cover.” Petera said. “You know that the council will mull over allowing Ulandus to join the guild, it would upset the balance some would say. But your emperor knows this. He also knew the Desert King was on the rise, and found his excuse to force the Kaliphlinites to decide.” Petera smiled. “It is clever indeed, “ he admitted. “ Letting the citizens choose sides in this war while their leaders talk. You will use your armies to defeat the Desert King, and when that is done, you will have a large enough foothold to force your interests to the Council. But… the demand won’t be to add five councilors, it will be to submit to the emperor. When the refusal comes, you will march your armies against your new enemies.” DSC_1700 by skaforhire, on Flickr Ponce sighed, seemingly unfazed. “Your war with Dugal has left you with little trust, I should expect this from someone who murdered their own brother.” “How dare you.” Mikeo said. “You are a guest here, a guest we could easily get rid of.” “You know not what you speak of, manchild.” Ponce said. DSC_1701 by skaforhire, on Flickr Petera butted in. “The Council had declined your offer. I being part of the Council must decline.” “Dugal rules Eastgate from beyond these walls. You are not on the High Council any longer.” Ponce said, and Petera was well aware that he had few supporters at the moment. “We can change that. You will be put onto the council when our negotiations come to fruition. Dugal, who has defied us, and has sent troops to keep us from going where we desire, is not a friend of First Centurion. We will see him deposed. Unless, of course you want to kill him again.” Ponce smirked. Petera had not killed Dugal during the war, although he didn’t stop Revolword from doing so, he also didn’t join the expedition to retrieve his soul from the underworld – but he used their portal to get Mikeo back. Mikeo felt a strong loyalty to Petera because of this, and for that reason a blade of ice quickly appeared in his hand and he began to threaten Ponce. “ That is one lie to many, Fork-tongue! “ DSC_1704 by skaforhire, on Flickr Ponce laughed. LAUGHED! “ You know not what you step into.” He smiled. “You can’t hurt me here.” Now Petera was interested, what made this guy think he could get out of here alive if Petera thought it prudent to end him? Mikeo moved forward but Ponce turned to the Efrite. “Alka’dar Baelos Moritt’guf, al’gernen de’coli pillianar.” Donjini’s eyes widened and he immediately bowed to Ponce and then turned to Mikeo. “He is right master Mikeo, I cannot let you hurt him.” DSC_1705 by skaforhire, on Flickr Petera remembered the incantation, he would have to figure out what just had happened, but it was most likely Old Olinor’s Tongue that he spoke it. It was said that Olinor was the location where the Djin and the Efrite parted ways, and forever Efrite were forbidden to use the old language. Something Ponce said, in that language, had turned Donjini into his guardian. Petera had a feeling that if he was to try to call his magic, he would be unable to do so. Although Donjini was not powerful enough to stop Petera in full sorcerer state, he could easily keep him from reaching that state if he had the drop on him, like he did at the present. A bit of panic hit him… Ponce could kill him now. =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ Lord Folston was preparing for the Worst. Knightsbridge was to be attacked from the South soon. His scouts had reported that the Ulandians were making their way up the Peak Road – in his mind, more of a trail than a road—and they had high numbers. DSC_1712 by skaforhire, on Flickr Folston had only a few dozen men left. The council had not sent gold in months, and his soldiers were now deserting. He had taken out all the loans he could from villages up to thirty miles away. There just was no more Gold left from Needletop to Southpass. Kaliphlin-north-east-0 by skaforhire, on Flickr The council said that Knightsbridge must be held, as it would keep the Ulandians from reaching the territory claimed by the Desert King. The council feared that if major blood was spilled over a bit of land, then the winner would be less likely to negotiate or relinquish control of said land. Folston agreed. Even if his benefactor was no longer on the council. He thought of Petera, cooped up in Eastgate. He had been a good liege to serve, and Folston was happy to be placed on the high council with Petera’s support. But in reality, NOBODY wanted Knightsbridge. That is why there was a seat open, the last family abandoned its lordship. Knightsbridge was the crucial link on the Peak road. A small trail that went North to South, but also led to the northern Kaliphlin coast, a valuable trade route for spices and other small loads that one can bring by pack animal. Wagons could not travel on the road because of its grade and width at times. The town itself protected a bridge over the Al’Weri River, or Weary River in the common tongue. IT was the only passable place for the length of the whole river within the Rakath Mountains . Therefore its strategic importance was paramount, which was also why the Council subsidized the small town. The town itself sat mostly underground in an old dwarf den – or perhaps it was one of the outposts of the old Rat King’s people? Folston didn’t care, he hated it. It was damp, ugly, smelly, and he relied on the mountain villages to provide food. It was a terrible place to be Lord of. “Alright, we need to work quicker men!” he shouted as a few of his boys pushed barrels towards the secret door to get within the Trifort, The fortification of the south side (technically East side because of the way the river bent at this location) of the river. preparing for defense by skaforhire, on Flickr Just then, Lady Avona appeared next to him and he nearly jumped out of his skin. Damn teleporters! “Greetings Lord Folston, Petera sends is regards and well wishes. He has a message for you.” Avona said, and handed him a letter. DSC_1716 by skaforhire, on Flickr “Hello, Lady Avona, what a pleasant surprise” he said as his heart calmed down. In honesty, he had always been terrified of storm mistress. “Open it right away there is much we must discu…” Suddenly her eyes widened. “I have to go, Petera is in trouble!” with that she vanished. He opened the letter and his heart sank. The Desert King was attacking from the North. He had maybe two days. Petera urged him to keep the bridge at all costs, and to keep the two armies apart. Even if it meant fighting back, something the council had yet to do. DSC_1717 by skaforhire, on Flickr =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ Mikeo was still upset. The meeting with Ponce, then his unexpected departure with Mikeo’s Efrite, and finally Petera telling him to just let it go, was wearing on his twin brother. “I will make this right.” Petera said. “I don’t think his power will last over Donjini for long, and I think, if I know my Efrite lore correctly, he will return to you, still your slave.” “Fine. But I want to kill that guy personally.” Mikeo said. Petera ignored that last bit. “Get a message to the Yukar, we need more reports about the Desert King’s whereabouts. “ Petera concluded. DSC_1710 by skaforhire, on Flickr With that, Mikeo left. Almost immediately Avona reappeared, ready to fry anything in her path. DSC_1691 by skaforhire, on Flickr “Are you alright?!” she demanded. “Fine.” He said. They embraced. He then told her about the meeting, and how the Ulandians wanted him to continue to distract Dugal’s forces, and in return, he would be placed on the council. Avona seemed to agree this was wise. But then again, what could he do when he had a Genie’s blade to his throat? Now… was he to keep his bargain?
  2. Hello, since the other thread is becoming a response to the Call for Arms, I wanted to move the contest thread here. If you have already posted your entry, go ahead and post a link to it here. If you are posting an entry, make sure to link to it here. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PART TWO: Bringing the pain We are going to try something new this time around; we are going to have other people “build” weapons of war that will be used in both battles. The builders will build LDD models that we can use the show construction mode on. (Alternatively, a builder could photograph “instructions” to participate in this battle). Then, we will build some of these models for the battles. This is what you have to do: Create a separate thread for your weapon of war, then link it in a post in this thread. The title tag for the LDD contest is {WotB} In your thread you should have a completed picture of the siege weapon. You should have the capability to email us the design or “print” it. (Links to this material in your thread are highly appreciated!) You can add story to your weapon (maybe what company / person built it, etc…) You can also tell us what side you hope will use your weapon (Petera or Dugal’s). Is it a one of a kind weapon that has special properties? Or could there be multiple on the battle field? There are two categories, and each builder can enter both up to three times. The first category is Field Pieces. These will be used at the Battle of the Wither Woods. This battle will most likely take place in a lightly wooded area, but overall very few fortifications will be present on the field. The weapons can range from catapult to ballista, from twirling death machine to cow crusher… the limits are endless, other than it really should not be a siege engine. The second category is Siege Engines. These should be the heavy duty battle machines that are designed to take down walls, assault fortresses, and get men in close to fight the enemy. The siege engines will be used later on in the year at the Battle for Eastgate. One caveat -- the portion of the battle portrayed at the end of summer will be an invasion from the sea... So, any siege weapons that fold up nicely, may have the upper hand in the judging. (MAY HAVE) Specifications: Since we are going to try and build these, we are going to set a 400 piece limit. You don’t have to use 400 pieces, you can use fewer. We just won’t be able to build anything larger than 400 pieces. The one thing I do not have in my collection is a lot of technic gears and pieces, staying away from these would increase the chances of seeing your weapon in built form during the battle. However, containing many technic pieces won’t hurt your chance of winning. Just like the call to arms, anybody in the Guilds of Historica can participate. Deadline: Field Pieces: May 15th Siege Engines: July 30th The winner of each category will be forever known as Artillery Captain of Eastgate or Siege Commander of Eastgate