Birthright: Ascension

Aftermath
Ongoing repercussions following the Baron's death

“A ha! That’s where they’ve taken you off to!” The pair of misplaced books glared at Ancaerin down the length of the Academy’s hallway, as though blaming him for their mistreatment. “Apprentices,” the bard muttered to the tomes, as he scooped them gingerly into the crook of his arm. The vast majority of the books in the Academy’s library were completely benign, but it never hurt to be respectful where wizardry was concerned.

Proper respect was a lesson that the new crop of apprentices had yet to learn. They appeared diligent enough at their studies, but Ancaerin found himself constantly picking up after them, interceding on their behalves when they ran afoul of Hermedhie’s epic temper, or – worst of all – meeting with their noble parents when the baronets and marquises inevitably came to ask why they had not heard from their offspring for the past three months or more.

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Family Matters
Marlae and Daenal discuss romance and Roesone

Marlae marveled at how different Blacktower Castle looked when Vilnik was not in residence. The stonework, of course, was unchanged. The battlements still stood in their square and functional lines, the flagstones of the inner bailey were still dirty from the traffic of foot and horse, and here and there the vestiges of the Sword and Crown could still be seen: a bonfire’s shadow in the courtyard, a ghost of smoke on the tower wall. The people, Marlae reflected, were perhaps the most altered. Now they smiled as they passed one another at the castle gate. A stout goodwife with her hands folded in her apron made idle conversation with a young guardsman. The pall of fear cast by the Black Shirts was nowhere to be seen.

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In the Shadow Hours

Castle Bellam at night is a quiet place, even with the addition of the Academy. The small handful of apprentices that have come are under curfew at night, lest the dangers of the Shadow Hours influence them overmuch in their formative years. Even the servants in the castle were mostly asleep, though a few guards remained vigilant – flirting with the night maids as they swept the stone corridors. Johann, too, usually sleeps during the night, fatigued from teaching his classes, his own research, and the general rigors of running his county. Tonight, it is his research that has kept his mind from sleeping. What he needs, he thinks, is a quiet place to sit and sort through his thoughts.

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Behind the Scenes
In other parts of Cerilia...

Bartan Kiyat licked his lips nervously as he hurried through the halls of the fortress of Yanskia. The halfling had been quite clear in his instructions: the missive he brought was to be seen by Warlord Tusilov, by the Raven’s eyes alone. And yet it had come from the sunlit lands of Anuire…the lands to which his daughter had been taken…

Since Chantou’s departure nearly eight years ago, the Kiyat family had risen in the world. The Raven treasured loyalty and rewarded obedience in his own peculiar way. No longer was Bartan’s wife, Megje, forced to work her fingers to the bone scrubbing pots in the estate’s kitchens. And Bartan had become an important man, a respected man. A trusted man. He licked his lips again, breaking into a trot.

The fortress of Yanskia was one of the few permanent structures in all of Ust Atka. The provinces of the lands known as the Raven’s Realm had once been crippled by tribal warfare, and even ten years ago none would have dreamed that the vast, fertile taiga of Dmitriya and Ayon could be used as anything more than staging grounds for battle. Now Ust Atka was the breadbasket of Vosgaard. Its people prospered, and the warring tribal lords had pitched their tents side-by-side beneath the blood red arms of the Raven, under the shadow of the black walls of Yanskia.

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Plots and Rumors
The politics of the Sword and Crown, MR 553

The following information circulates through the pockets of nobility and regents at the Sword and Crown. Next to each lead, I’ll post a skill check DC. You can check to see whether or not your character would hear each bit of information, though we’re purely on the honor system here, so do as you see fit.

- Aeric Boeruine has let it be known that he is in search of a bride, ending at last his long years of widowhood (Streetwise, 15). Eriene Mierles of Brosengae is first in line to apply (Streetwise, 17). Darien Avan is enraged that his vassal Eriene is so eagerly offering herself up to the enemy (Streetwise, 21).

- A mysterious and beautiful Brecht guilder named Katreda has been making inquiries into guild holdings on the Southern Coast (Streetwise, 15). She has specifically approached el-Hadid and has made no secret of leveraging his defeat at the hands of Duerlin in negotiating an alliance (Streetwise, 18). Katreda really likes jewelry… (Perception, 10).

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The Wanderer's Rest

“You fool! I can’t leave the inn!” Sieresa Coriel screamed. But the accursed Bellamie continued setting fire to the inn’s rough wooden furniture. Johann Bellamie, Sedrie’s prized heir. He had spoken of Johann with such pride, Sedrie had, telling her how Johann was the first in their family in generations to possess a talent for true wizardry. The bragging certainly hadn’t made for very exciting pillow talk, and seeing Johann now, Sieresa Coriel couldn’t really understand what all the excitement had been about.

As Sieresa called upon the power of the Seeming to create fire, only to be countered at every turn by Johann’s magic, she developed a healthy new respect for the younger Bellamie’s power. The involvement of the mannish Roesone girl and the insufferable white-haired poseur from Ghoried certainly didn’t help matters. Within moments, Sieresa found herself outmatched. And Vilnik just…walked away. Somehow that hurt worse than the physical injuries. Granted, she had worked as something of a double-agent in his court, however unwillingly, but she had also offered him the ultimate sacrifice. Sieresa watched the Baron’s stooped and retreating back as the final blow struck her to the inn’s straw-strewn wooden floor.

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Domain Action Log 552

Turn 5: Day of Rebirth / New Year 552 (Spring Equinox)

  • Domain Action 5a: Sarimiere (Spring I)

Bellam: Moves troops into Brothendar, rides with troops

Medoere: Timoed returns to Duerlin

Osoerde: Sends Lady Katherine Haile Almondier to diplomatize w/ Caercas

IHH: Declares war on Osoerde, marches troops into Brothendar

Duerlin: Decrees lower taxes, moves scouts back to Duerlin, adventures in Abbatuor (learns about logging problem, piracy and lighthouse)

Siele/ El-Hadid: Fayez Hassoun in Abbatuor

Caercas: Send 4 GB to Ghoried, level law in Caercas (3), Edlin (2), Duerlin (2), Fairfield (2)

Ghoried: Court builds level 1 castle (gets 4 GB/2 RP from Siele), tries to level up law, fails

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Domain Action Log 551

Turn 1 – Day of Rebirth / New Year 551 (Spring Equinox): Campaign Start

  • Domain Action 1a – Sarimiere (Spring I)

Caercas – Medoere interested in diplomacy; Raenech claims throne of Osoerde from William Moergan; Vilnik contests Patriarch Hubaere’s control of the IHH in Caercas & Edlin

El-Hadid – Rules guild elsewhere

Hubaere – Moves to Abbatuor, agitates against Vilnik

Duerlin – Wedding at end of spring between Lara Borokiev, your cousin, and Andreas Bellamie.; El Hadid offers 2 GB; Jebe makes level 0 guild

Ghoried – Raids from Spiderfell; Siele offers GB; Aidan levels up province

Bellam – Osoerde army moving; wedding at end of spring between Andreas Bellamie, your cousin, and Lara Tcholnev; Johann makes deal with Orthien Tane for 4 GB, makes level 0 law holding

Tane – Contests Siele’s guild in Bellam

Siele – levels up guild in Ghoried

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The Funeral
Mid-Keltier, MR 550

Marlae rubbed furiously at her eyes with the back of her hand. The unshed tears on her lower lashes had begun to crystallize, burning her skin with their cold. For the first time, she was thankful that the nature of the event precluded wearing armor, as her leather gauntlets undoubtedly would have proven less-than-effective for the purpose of blotting tears. Then again, had she been wearing her armor, she might not have cried half so much.

”...though enemies mounted on either side,” Patriarch Hubaere droned. “Our Baron Teried, first of his name, sixth Baron of Roesone, never lost sight of his friends and his allies, drawing them close, sharing the light and the law of Haelyn with…”

“He looks good, doesn’t he?” Daenal whispered. Marlae considered punching him in the mouth, thought better of it, and pinched his side hard enough to leave a bruise instead. “Ow-OW-” Daenal bit down on his yelp and finished, “-ouch. Damnit, Marlae!”

“Don’t speak that way about the dead,” she hissed back.

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Death in Midwinter
Eve of the Dead, MR 550

Damned strange weather.

The mutters had sounded in Proudglaive for weeks, fogging on the lips of the dockworkers at Theoren’s Landing, whispered at the River Gate, down Spider River Road to the market at Daensmarch Square, echoing in the halls of Blacktower Castle. Marlae could not argue. The weather had been passing strange for the Southern Coast of Anuire, with a first frost in Sehnir and bitter cold marking the short days of Emmanir. The leaves of the apple and oak trees in Blacktower’s courtyard, ordinarily as ostentatious a red and gold as the sunburst of Haelyn, had browned and shriveled in the chill, and now lay scattered across the flagstones like casualties of a slaughter.

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