It was not a good season for building a house, but despite
that Jerreck had enjoyed every moment of it. By midwinter,
his cabin had stood ready, built of solid trees trunks and
thatched with wood and moss. Jerreck didn't own any furniture
at all, so a solid bench is what he started working on next.
He had purchased pots and other kitchen equipment in the
village down in the valley.
He had picked the location of his cabin quickly, as a map of
the land had been shown to him. The name Badlands had made
his hardened face smile, and his cabin was nested in the highlands
of the western mountain range that bordered that area.
In the beginning, he had had to scare off some beasts, mostly
bears, that had curiously examined this new inhabitant of the
highlands. Many wind spirits lived here as well, and Jerreck
made sure not to disturb them, as he set up his home. Outside
his cabin, a strange arrangement had been hung up on a pole,
with sticks and pipes that sometimes made strange noices in
the ever playful mountain wind.
Inside the cabin, any guest would be welcomed by a warm glow
from the hearth, where a fire would always be kept at this time
of the year.
As far as weapons went, Jerreck had only a hunting bow, a walking
stick, and some knifes used to cut meat and carve skin. His shield
hung on a wall, half covered with other tools and furs, and his
armor was buried along with the Lightning Mace under the dirt floor
of his cabin.
Life had slowed down, and during these dark winter months, Jerreck
finally got the time to just brood upon the mysteries of life.
OOC: This is kind of a long post, but it pertains to the BIS.
December 18, 794
His men stopped working at their commander's orders. The flying man had been working them hard in the two weeks since they had assembled again. He wanted to make them the strongest contingent in the entire army.
When they had learned that a new commander was coming, the usual grumbling had come up. No one wanted another noble with a yearn for adventure. But when he had made his entrance by flying down from the heavens, he had instantly earned his men's respect. Only a great warrior could have a gift like flight. Eating with his men, he told them the horrors of the expedition to the Red Bastion. Within a month of his arrival, he had fully grown into his role as leader. And he grew close to his men.
"The winter solstice is arriving, soldiers. Less than a week away now. Now, I know you all want to go back and spend your time with your families. But I won't allow that." A cry of protest coming from one thousand mouths roared up towards him. Ravyson waited for the cry to go down. "I will not only allow it, I will facilitate it. There are wagons coming in, from all points in the nation. You will be able to board these wagons to go back to your homeland as soon as possible." A smile played with his face. "Give all your kids a big hug from their Uncle Rav, and if you don't have any, use your time to make some." His men laughed with joy. They would all be able to spend solstice back with their families. "As for me, I don't have a family. So I'm going to find a friend of mine. The break ends in three weeks. Be back on January 10, 795."
The men walked towards the main encampment to wait for the wagons to begin arriving. They wondered amongst themselves who their commander was going to spend his time with. They knew that he had very few friends, so their choices were slim. They knew that he wasn't going to spend it with Reeven, who was here at the camp. They all theorized that he had found himself a woman, or that he was going to spend it floating in the sky, meditating, or that he was going to the court of King Rolshin. Continuing on with their ideas, getting more and more unlikely, they gave their commander a cheer as he flew over their heads, heading to the west.
December 20, 794
Jerreck was enjoying the peace of not having to fight. Having fought all his life, this was a most enjoyable way to spend his time. Instead of striking men down, he was waiting for the spring to arrive so he could plant his crops. Until then, he had to go to the nearby village to purchase enough supplies to last the winter out. The townspeople, gossiping as all townspeople do, spread the word that a great warrior had become a pacifist and settled down nearby. The mayor of the town had approached him with a proposition.
December 9, 794
"Sir Jerreck, please accept my humble thanks for choosing our town to purchase supplies for. I insist, you must not pay for these. One of your station should not have to-"
Jerreck cut him off. "Formal titles are not needed. Call me Jerreck. And since I do not have a 'station', I will pay for that which I bought. If I didn't, I would consider it stealing." Jerreck could tell that something else was bothering the man.
"Yes, whichever you prefer. I'm afraid that we have a more serious matter though. Recently, a force has been attacking and raiding nearby towns and villages. It would help our poor village to the utmost if you would help us. Having a great warrior such as yourself with us, no force would dare attack us."
Jerreck stood up. "I'm sorry, good sir, but flattery will get you nowhere. I have no wishes to involve myself with any sort of conflict. I have had my fill of it. Good luck with these raiders."
December 20, 794
A voice broke his reverie. Ravyson was leaning against his doorway. "You work fast, Jerr. I would have though you would have left me something to do."
Jerreck smiled at his friend. He hadn't seen him since Ravyson had left for the post of commanding. "Ravyson. Welcome to my home. Good to see you." He walked to him and the two men shook hands. "How goes commanding your thousnad men?"
"I'm training them. It'll take a while, but I think I can do it. I gave them all a few weeks off to see their families during solstice. Since I don't have any family, I decided to show up here and hope that you wouldn't turn an old friend away."
"Like I said before, you're always welcome here. But don't be offended if I put you to work." The two continued their banter, and catching up the last few months. Both were still shaken by the horrific sights they had seen and battled. The fire plane had been home to a myriad of therapy-inducing creatures, and the two had killed many of those. But even though they were the victors, they were also scarred.
"It feels good working with humans, instead of fighting some supernatural evil like Apyrel. Strangely enough, I feel more yearning to fight a war amongst men instead of freakish creatures of mana."
"Be careful what you wish for. I have fought in wars, and I don't wish to do it anymore. I have taken myself from battling, and the affairs that I don't belong in."
December 30, 794
The two friends were working on furniture for the cabin. Along with a bench, they had made chairs and were working on a table. Ravyson was enjoying the simple work. He had lain his armor down, and would only pick it up to move it from place to place. The calm in this place was invigorating. He hadn't flown in the ten days that he had gotten here. The wind slightly blew, banging the door. Ravyson walked over to the door and began to close it.
Out of the corner of his eye, the flying man could see a pillar of smoke rising from the town that was several miles away, out of the foothills. "Hey, Jerreck, is that town supposed to be on fire?"
"What are you talking about?" Jerreck joined him next to the door. The smoke was rising from the town. "Not... Good..." He walked back into the cabin, grabbed Ravyson's breastplate, and threw it to him.
Ravyson quickly donned his armor. "Jerr... If this is bad, do not let anyone just come and kill you. Even if you have to use your weapons, it's better than dying. I'll go check this out." He stepped out of the cabin and launched himself into the air.
At the town, Reji'nik watched as it burned. He turned to Lenishin. "I thought you said that these would turn to our side."
"That is what I was told. Apparantly though, they decided to fight, insisting that a mysterious warrior would save them."
"A warrior? A challenge?"
"Yes, sir. The name of the warrior is Jerreck, and he supposedly lives some miles that way. I do not know anything about him though."
"Yes, that is fine. I believe that our mysterious savior has come though. This is interesting." He pointed to a dot in the sky that began to grow larger and larger. Soon, they made out the shape of a man with armor, but no weapons. The flying man slammed into the ground in front of the two. "Good entrance. I take it you are Jerreck?"
"No. My name is Ravyson, and I am an officer in the Dantimos army. You have set this town ablaze, and killed its inhabitants. You will pay for your crimes." Ravyson stepped towards the barbarians.
Reji'nik laughed. "Who will be delivering this punishment? I see no army here, and mine is right over there. Lenishin, get the men to kill this little gnat for me. He doesn't even have a weapon." The arrogant barbarian walked away, and several men came towards him. The sunlight glinted off their teeth as they prepared for an easy kill.
Three stepped up to him. "Dantimos is weak. If you are in their army, you are weak. You will be the first casualty in this war." They all ran at him, and he flipped backwards to avoid them. In midair, his blades came out of his gaunlets. When his feet hit the ground, he pushed one hand into the nearest warm body it could find. Driving it upwards, blood spilled out of the warrior's chest as his insides were ripped out of him. His other arm whipped out, slicing the man's face. Taking his blades out of his first defeated victim, he quickly jumped into the air.
The two remaining barbarians stepped back in fear. First, he sprouts claws, then he flies? What sort of demon was he? Ravyson flew backwards for several feet, then propelled himself forwards. Making himself into a ballistae bolt, he pierced both bewildered barbarians with one swoop. Removing his arms from the impaled faces of the two, he retracted his blades again. "Not... Good..." He mimicked the words of his friend earlier that day. Sweeping into the sky, he flew towards the house of Jerreck.
Jerreck was waiting for him as he stepped down. Seeing the blood on his armor, Jerreck offered him one of the newly-made seats. "Not good, I assume."
Ravyson caught his breath. The fight had been difficult for him to begin, because of the fire raging around them. Luckily, he had quelled his fears, and battled the barbarians. As he told Jerreck what had happened, his mind raced. What did the barbarian mean when he had told him that he would be the 'first casualty'? "They mean to invade." The knowledge hit him with the force of a catapult. "They are going to attack Dantimos. I have to get back, and alert Rolshin. Jerr, you can't stay here."
"I can, and I will. If my presence is required, I will return, but here I live. I will not abandon my home."
"Only if you insist, but please unearth your armor and weapons. If you are attacked, you will surely need them."
"I know. Good luck, my friend. Hopefully, my cabin and I will still be here on your next visit. Just hope for a bit more peace and quiet." Jerreck returned into his cabin, and closed his door. From inside, the sound of digging could be heard.
December 31, 794
Reji'nik picked up the messenger by the neck. "The flying man escaped? He killed three of my elite warriors, and flew away? Fantastic." He snapped the neck of the messenger. "The plans must advance quicker now. Lenishin!"
January 2, 795
Stepping into the court of King Rolshin, Ravyson was announced by the herald. "Commander Ravyson X'iniv, of the 19th Force of the 2nd Corps, savior of Loebar, to whom Dantimos offers gratitude..." Ravyson waited for the herald to finish all the honorary titles he had earned in the Red Bastion expedition. He did not care for the court customs, and adressed Rolshin directly.
"Sir, there is a problem in the Badlands. I was visiting Sir Jerreck, who has began a new life there. While I was there, the nearby town of Minconium was attacked by a force of foreign soldiers. I went to investigate, and was attacked. They declared me to be the first casualty in the war against Dantimos." A murmur went amongst the members of the court. If Dantimos was attacked, where would the assaults come from? "Sir, the nation is in immediate danger. We have to draw our forces together. I know that the Black Monolith War drained the resources of the nation, but this invasion could mean our lives."
Rolshin sat back. They were going to be attacked. His border scouts had reported small instances, but this clinched it. The great nation of Dantimos was being invaded by a foreign power. And such timing...
"Pardon me, but I think I might be of some assistance. The barbarian leader thinks that I'm here assassinating you, but he is something of a fool." Kiara stepped out from her hiding place. It had been extraordinarily difficult getting into the throne room. Aside from the guards, a few mages had apparently left some intent-sensitive traps laying around. Those were not a problem so much, but it had been quite a test getting in. She almost had to use the Xidani.
Kiara wondered if Reji'nik had sent her on a suicide mission, but then, as expected, about a dozen guards tackled her and forced her to the ground. She sighed mentally, wondering if this had been such a good idea. Barbarians were one thing, but this was the seat of power on the continent, not a guy to mess with lightly. Hopefully, she would live long enough to continue her explanation.
OOC: Kiara's in Justice Keep? Or somewhere else?
Ah, sorry for the confusion. She is addressing Rolshin, and is in his court. I thought the post above suggested some type of throne room, and I also assumed the whole place would be rather well protected, so I wrote as such. Is there a detailed blueprint and description of Justice Keep that I should consult?