A Kingdom Divided

A RPG based on the setting of PoP 3, taking place roughly a century after the end of the unification wars
 
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 IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense

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Ferdinand XIV

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PostSubject: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   29.03.14 12:58

The tent to which Jukar lead the knights was filled with incense and rich tapestries depicting the glorious Jatu Warlords of old and their God, Indar, shooting fleeing riders in their back. It was a skill of nomadic tribes to make a simple tent feel so much like a proper home. Jukar coughed and beckoned the Order knights to sit down and enjoy a cup of freshly made tea. As old as he seemed outside in the sun, here in the tent he seemed younger, somehow, and his words were more clearly spoken unhindered by the dusty winds of the desert.

"As you knights have seen, our horses have almost drenched the river." he said after a long angry stare at the present member of the Clarion Call. "The horde as a whole cannot stay here for long, soon they will ride north to fresh and unsalted waters and there's nothing your small warband can do about that."

Another silence followed, wherein Jukar slowly enjoyed his tea and paid no mind to his guests until he sighed in pleasant relief and put his tea back on the small table in front of him. "I am Jukar of the Jatu tribes, and I shall explain to you all the politics of this horde and follow it with a proposition.

The horde is ruled by a woman who managed to beat our warbands again and again, something we the Jatu admire greatly and we began to follow her out of as sense of honor. Lately, however, her zeal wavers and she spends a lot of time in the tent of Mustafa Azah Khan, a chieftain from the desert.  We fear the influence this young dashing man has on her, because he is bend on conquest without regard to her and our people and will wreak havoc across Pendor like once Brencis the Bold has done to the deprimand of the Jatu tribes.

But alas, we cannot pull the arrow from our own back. We will ride and defeat the armies of King Mordred III and burn his cities until our leader and Mustafa at her side are satisfied with conquest and old of age. However much we like it here and how strongly the D'Shar are tied to these steppes, without your help there is no containing us.

And thus my proposition is as follows; you will draw out Mustafa Azah Khan of the desert people, and defeat him in battle before my efforts to distract the mistress fall short and she will come to his aid. Eradicate the desert raiders and you'll see this region flourish under the hands of its peaceful tribes. What is your answer?"
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Methodius Marci

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   30.03.14 12:59

The warlords swift proposition sent the room in a deadly silent. Jukar's sudden change of attitude confused Methodius. The man seemed to be too open.

" Well met Jukar, i am Methodius Marci. While im happy that you are so forthcoming, I remember you agreeing to the claim that the Jatu were in search of honor and glory... would this "Mustafa's" plan not fulfill that need?"

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Arcanum

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   30.03.14 14:15

Morek sat on the rug that had been proffered, his legs crossed beneath him and arms before him as he listened.

"There's a difference between glory and honor and mindless butchery Gauntlet. If the horde moves North and crushes the King's armies we would have chaos on par with the pre-unified Era a century ago."

He glanced back over to the Warlord.

"If this single man was such a problem, why not have him removed? Surely he must have committed some slight in the past, error enough to give cause for a duel, either to the death or one where he would lose prestige and influence."

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Methodius Marci

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   30.03.14 14:33

Methodius interjected upon hearing Moreks belittling comment.

"Fighting an entire kingdom with a thousand is butchery and not glorious? that makes little to no sense Ser Morek."

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Ferdinand XIV

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   31.03.14 9:51

"Don't you dare question my honor!" Jukar suddenly shouted in an angry tantrum, quickly followed by a fit of coughing. Two young men in the garb of Jatu Battle raiders rushed up to him with concern written on their faces. He was forced to drink some tea and the whole company of knights could see that his hands were covered in blood.

One of Jukar's tribesmen turned towards the knights and said "My father has the decease of the lungs. Give him a moment to recover."

Sure enough, a few moments later Jukar seemed fine again and wiped his hands clean. "The Jatu will defeat Pendor's armies, but you and I both know that all men must die..eventually. The war will make it unable for the tribes to ensure survival in the long term and it will be lost completely over a few generations. That is why I'd rather settle in the steppe and have many grandchildren who can continue the Jatu legacy." he said with a sore throat.

"As to your question, Ser Morek." Jukar smiled. "There's no man alive that can beat Mustafa Azah Khan in a duel and he will lash out before we manage to decrease his influence. My sons are not yet ready to lead the Jatu."

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Ser Varys

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   31.03.14 11:32

Rayvs stared at the Jatu leader, a mixture of disgust and scorn on his face. The weathered lines on his face stood out, showing years of battle and human erosion. Erosion that chipped away at the essence of a being: the kind of erosion that washed away a soul.

He snorted when he heard the mention of eventual death. He murmured, "Not all men die..some live on..some torture others eternally...and cowardice is an eternal torment of the living.."

"You seem to put much stock in Mustafa Azah Khan. Describe him, and his dueling style. You underestimate the strength of the members in this tent. As the Black Raider, I can put forth a guarantee of my own strength..and the Gauntlet looks as if he could tear him apart in an instant."

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Methodius Marci

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   31.03.14 19:01

Methodius nodded to Varys' comment and looked at Jukar to continue

"I did not mean to question your honor, you must understand that we didn't expect much from negotiation. Your proposal was beyond a golden opportunity, hence my skepticism."

Methodius looked around at all the knights before continuing

"I think i speak for all of us when i say that we accept your proposition?"

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Aodh

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   01.04.14 2:52

Natir had sat quietly for the meeting up until this point, his hand on his chin ever since Jukar had made his offer. He cautiously joined the conversation aware of the hostility of the chieftain towards him.

"Though I am keen on a peaceful solution to this predicament we are in, I am sorry, but I have yet to be convinced of this plan. If a group of Pendorian knights kills a main supporter for hostilities with Pendor, I would think it would prove their point in the eyes of their leader. Especially one so close to their leader."

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   01.04.14 10:02

Having stayed quiet and reserved for the beginning of the meeting, Gilaver suddenly seemed to stir. He gave a strange look at the other people present, especially the Eventider, before proceeding to add his two cents to the matter at hand.

"While your proposal is an intriguing one and has most likely the best outcome we could all hope for, I too am worried about the unforeseen consequences if we kill this Mustafa Azah Khan. Sir Natir's concerns here are valid, I'd warrant."

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Methodius Marci

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   01.04.14 16:21

Methodius nodded to both Natir and Gilaver, finally turning to Jukar

"Things can certainly backfire on us, how will the death of Mustafa affect your leader? if they are close, would she not wage war out of vengeance?"

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Ferdinand XIV

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   02.04.14 5:59

Jukar sighed. "I offer the only way to prevent your kingdom's demise, and you all question it as if I'm your underling."

He stared at the knights that had raised their doubts, or made a mockery of his sense of honor. Then with a voice that suggested he was on the verge of another angry outburst, he loudly said "I am Jukar of the Jatu and I have fought countless battles with Brencis the Bold and even more after his demise. My lance has impaled many of your knights and if you question me again you'll never reach the ruined city of Torbah again."

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Ser Varys

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   02.04.14 9:51

Rayvs chuckled. He replied in a soft voice,
"We question you as equals. An underling would have been dismissed. I respect your claim to strength; All of us here accept it. You, however, do not seem to respect ours."

Standing, Rayvs continued his scornful, biting tirade.

"I am known as the Rayvs the Crucified. Rayvs the Unrelenting. The Black Raider of the D'Shar. I have fought hordes of Cultists in their own territory, wading through the blood of allies and enemies alike. I have ventured into the forgotten lairs of elder horrors, slaughtering the abominations that lay within. I fought the demon of Alderak. I survived nine years on a personal Black Crusade to Amala. I sailed through the howling storms of the Amalan Sea, fighting for my life on every crest of the waves. I traveled to the heart of the Arachnid Forest, the forgotten battleground of the Last of the Eventide Ancients. I carry the relics of Varys the Spider, unblemished by age and unbowed by time. I have slain countless Jatu, bandits, Raiders, Knights, Demonic Magni, Vanskerries, and savages. I have beheaded petty kings, leaving their crowns lamenting the demise of their kingdoms on their thrones of bones. My lance has not had want of blood. My sword has enveloped the battlefield in a cacophony of screaming pain. I have endured more than any other knight here can even fathom. And yet, I may be the least dangerous fighter here." with a pointed look in Gilaver's direction.

If you feel as if I have impugned your honor, then challenge me. Do not cower behind your kin like a wounded, mangy pup. You are Jatu. It seems as if you have forgotten what that means."

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   02.04.14 10:01

Morek had his face in his hand at the end of Ravys speech. He was talking softly to himself.

"Oh hell. You did nott just call a Jatu Warlord that...."

He ensured discretely that he could stand and arm himself quickly if need be.

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Methodius Marci

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   02.04.14 15:09

Methodius followed suit and put his hand on the pommel of his sword. He quickly glanced at Rivatha and whispered a few words.

"Rivatha, you said you knew the man, can you do something?"

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   04.04.14 0:15

Gilaver only sighed at the developement that had suddenly occurred. He hadn't exactly hoped for the negotiations to become ugly, but all things considered, this felt much more natural for him. He couldn't help the very slight smirk creeping onto his face. While he didn't seem to make any other gestures, he prepared to draw his one-handed sword quickly if the tribesmen moved too close to him while armed.

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   04.04.14 9:54

"Black raider" Jukar said slowly, pensively, and locked eyes with Rayvs while the Pendorian knights prepared themselves for a sudden outburst and made subtle movement to their weapons. Jukar kept staring at the knight in his pitch black armor. Unmoving and unflinching he was sizing him up, while at the same time his dark eyes showed the wisdom he had gathered from his travels and decades of fighting. Jukar never claimed to have slain Kings, but his lands never knew kings to behead.

Suddenly, he laughed and his hoarse voice broke while he did. But as he moved to stand, one of his sons stepped forward with angry steps and came to a halt between his father and Rayvs. "You would dare a dying man to a duel, is that how you defeated those kings and demons? You are honorless, and I will rejoice when I put your head atop my lance."

Just behind his son, the old man sighed and shook his head. He was seated again and disagreed with his son's actions, but he would not stop him. And so it happened that the son was able to word his challenge.

"I, Zulkar of the Jukarid clan, challenge Rayvs the so-called Black Raider to a duel of honor." the youth said with a steady and proud physique, but he couldnt hide the doubt that was written in his eyes, that never quite looked Rayvs directly in the eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   04.04.14 17:42

Rayvs grinned. However, this smile was subtly different from his previous ones. There was a.. gleeful insanity behind it.

"If you are a dying man, maybe you should refrain from antagonizing those in front of you."


Turning to Zulkar, Rayvs smiled again. "Draw your sword. We fight to the death outside this tent. I want your father to look into your eyes as you die. I want him to hear your screams." The grin began to widen on Rayvs's face.

Drawing Dusk, the blade seemed to hiss as it was unsheathed from the similarly colored black scabbard.

"My blade is hungry for blood."

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Methodius Marci

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   05.04.14 4:33

Methodius approached the Eventide before he readied himself for the duel.

"I couldn't help but to notice that mercy wasn't exactly a... strong point in your tale, Will you show any if the kid yields?"

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   05.04.14 9:46

"Of course he won't. Eventide aren't known for mercy, their reputation is built on darker things. Just listen to him talk."

Morek panned his head across to look at everyone in the tent, coming to rest at the Jatu challenger. None of this set right with him and Ravys blatant desire to kill someone wasn't helping his ill feeling about the situation.

"Killing a whelp is just as bad as killing an old man."

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   05.04.14 12:05

Rayvs suddenly flinched when Methodius approached him.

Seemingly broken out of a daydream, Rayvs replied, "If the child yields, he is broken. His tribe will no longer respect him. I would be doing him a favor in giving him an honorable death at the edge of Dusk."

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Ferdinand XIV

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   05.04.14 12:25

Jukar's eyes flashed murder when he heard Rayvs' words, clearly he had overestimated that man's brain. A duel, even if it involved his son and heir, was never a reason for the Jatu to go on a rampage, but the words of that 'Black Raider' sure did ruin any thoughts of collaborations. Before the knights knew it they were hushed outside and the Jatu signalled each other to come and watch, between the small encampement at the bridge and the Horde's main camp, hundreds of Jatu were gathering on top of their horses and with their honor lances pointed at the sky. "Huzzah Jatu"

But the Jatu's movements didn't go unnoticed, and soon D'Shar tribesmen and Desert raiders joined the audience and fixed their eyes on the small circle of desert sand that was left open in the middle. Once the Pendorian knights were spotted by these newcomers, one of them quickly ran or rode to the tents of their leaders. Seljuk, Mustafa Azah Kahn and Abaza Bey.

In that small circle of desert sand, Zulkar and Rayvs stood opposite each other. As the challenged man had chosen a duel by sword, Zulkar was handed a Jatu sabre and the long deadly weapon reflected the sunlight, blinding the eyes of unfortunate onlookers. The youth seemed very popular among the Jatu and the other tribes alike, as they started chanting his name; "Zulkar Zulkar! Zulkar Zulkar!"

After a few minutes of chanting, one of Jukar's honor guard stepped into the circle and requested silence. "Zulkar of the Jatu has challenged Rayvs the Black Raider to a duel, for insults thrown towards his father and the honor of the Jatu." he was interupted by another chant from the gathered Jatu battle riders and honor guard, for they knew why Jukar had named his first son after a famous Warlord of before the unification. They started chanting his name again "Zulkar! Huzzah Jatu!" It took another minute before the honor guard asked again for silence and turned towards the duelists, "Begin"

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   05.04.14 13:19

Morek shoved his way unceremoniously to the front of the ring halting on the edge of it to watch, his eyes narrowed under his Great Helm. He wasn't going to let the young man be killed by some blood drunk Eventide at the end of a duel. The gods would never forgive such a failure of action. Going by the way he talked it was like everything the Dawn said about the Eventide was true but he kept his peace and waited to see just how the fight would play out.

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   05.04.14 15:38

Rayvs raised his sword and cleared his throat.

"I accept the duel. Let us begin the purest form of ecstasy- battle!"

Rayvs gripped Dusk tightly, a dark maelstrom brewing behind the tinted glass eyes, and advanced slowly towards Zulkar, watching his movements carefully.

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   05.04.14 23:23

Feel lucky over his opponents slow advancement, Zulkar positioned himself favourable to the sun and reflected a ray of light via his sword into Rayvs' eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: IC Scene - The tent of inspirational incense   06.04.14 2:56

Rayvs continued to circle around Zulkar, blocking the sun with his own sword, almost imperceptibly advancing inwards in a spiral motion.

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